Early motor skills predict the developmental trajectory of problem solving in young children with motor delays

Rebecca M. Molinini, Natalie A. Koziol, Emily C. Marcinowski, Lin Ya Hsu, Tanya Tripathi, Regina T. Harbourne, Sarah W. McCoy, Michele A. Lobo, James A. Bovaird, Stacey C. Dusing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: The purpose of this study was to quantify the relationship between early motor skills, such as sitting, and the development of problem-solving skills in children with motor delays. Methods: Motor (Gross Motor Function Measure) and problem-solving (Assessment of Problem-Solving in Play) skills of 134 children 7–16 months adjusted age at baseline with motor delay were assessed up to 5 times over 12 months. Participants were divided into two groups: mild and significant motor delay. Results: Motor and problem-solving scores had large (r’s = 0.53–0.67) and statistically significant (p’s >.01) correlations at all visits. Baseline motor skills predicted baseline and change in problem solving over time. The associations between motor and problem-solving skills were moderated by level of motor delay, with children with significant motor delay generally having stronger associations compared to those with mild motor delay. Conclusions: These findings suggest that overall baseline motor skills are predictive of current and future development of problem-solving skills and that children with significant motor delay have a stronger and more stable association between motor and problem-solving skills over time. This highlights that children with motor delays are at risk for secondary delays in problem solving, and this risk increases as degree of motor delay increases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere22123
JournalDevelopmental Psychobiology
Volume63
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2021

Keywords

  • infant
  • locomotion
  • motor
  • posture
  • problem solving

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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