The Effect of Planned Physical Activities on Deficient Motor Skills in Head Start Preschool Children
During the past few years many physicians, nurses, psychologists, teachers, and physical educators have begun to place more emphasis upon the developmental problems of children. As an outgrowth of this, more attention has been given the child showing mild to moderate motor problems. As a result of these more subtle difficulties going unrecognized and untreated, children may suffer from learning disorders, lack of acceptance by teachers and peers, maladaptive behavior and feelings of low self-esteem (Cratty, 1970; Kiphard, -1970; and Ferinden, 1972).
The purpose of this study was to ascertain whether planned physical activities would aid in remediation and/or modification of identified motor deficiencies in Head Start preschool children.
The role of the public health nurse was to screen out children with motor problems and develop a program of planned physical activities specific to their needs. The hypothesis formulated was: deficient motor skills in Head Start preschool children will be enhanced by planned physical activities.
The "before-after" experimental method of study was chosen. The children's ability to perform selected motor skills normal for age was evaluated at the beginning of the study period and again five months later at the close to determine the status of these skills in the sample population.
The tool used was a battery of motor skills tests developed and researched by Dr. Bryant J. Cratty of U.C.L.A. The tests include skills in various categories such as: body perception, gross agility, balance, locomotor, agility, and tracking.
The planned physical activities were simple exercises to develop coordination such as ball throwing, walking a balance beam, and jumping activities.
The San Salvador School in South Colton with seven Head Start classes and three Head Start classes in Rialto, Fontana, and Riverside, California, were chosen for collection of data.
There were 169 children in the convenience sample. They made up the entire population of the ten Head Start classes, including the dropouts, during the study period. The sample consisted of four groups: Groups I and IV were children with low test scores who were not given any remedial planned physical activities. Group II were children with low scores who were given remedial planned physical activities on a daily basis. Group III were children with low test scores who were from a single classroom. They were given remedial planned activities, under the direction of the teacher, on a group basis with children who had passing scores.
The findings were treated as ordinal data and both the pre and post test scores were ranked. The median and range were found on the differences between the pre and post test scores for all groups. A Chi Square statistics was chosen with the level of significance being α = .05. The statistical data was significant (p< .01) and supported the hypothesis.
The two experimental groups were then compared to each other. In both instances the finding was that individual remediation was superior. The public health nurse, with her knowledge of growth and development, is able to identify and plan motor activity remedial programs for Head Start children.
Ruth M. White
Janet H. Jacobs
Eva G. Guthrie
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Physical Education and Training; Child Development
Loma Linda University Libraries
This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.
Robinson, Darlene L., "The Effect of Planned Physical Activities on Deficient Motor Skills in Head Start Preschool Children" (1976). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. 1652.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives
Design of Experiments and Sample Surveys Commons, Health and Physical Education Commons, Nursing Commons