A quick and qualitative assessment of gross motor development in preschool children
There is a need for a quick, qualitative, reliable, and easy tool to assess gross motor development for practitioners. The aim of this cross-sectional study is to present the Zurich Neuromotor Assessment-Q (ZNA-Q), which assesses static and dynamic balance in children between 3 and 6 years of age in less than 5 min. A total of 216 children (103 boys; 113 girls; median age 4 years, 4 months; interquartile range 1 year, 3 months) were enrolled from day-care centers, kindergartens, and schools, and were tested with 5 different gross motor tasks: standing on one leg, tandem stance, hopping on one leg, walking on a straight line, and jumping sideways. All ordinal measures (consisting of qualitative measures and scales) featured a marked developmental trend and substantial inter-individual variability. Test-retest reliability was assessed on 37 children. It varied from .17 for tandem stance to .43 for jumping sideways for the individual tasks, and it was .41 and .67 for the static and dynamic balance components, respectively. For the whole ZNA-Q, test-retest reliability was .7.
What is Known:
• Measurement of gross motor skills in the transitional period between motor mile stones and quantitative assessments is difficult.
• Assessment of gross motor skills is relatively easy.
What is New:
• Supplementary and quick gross motor test battery for children for practitioners.
• Normative values of five gross motor skills measured with ordinal scales.
KeywordsZurich Neuromotor assessment Quick and qualitative version Gross motor skills
Contralateral associated movements
Poor man’s data augmentation
Standard deviation score
Zurich Neuromotor Assessment
Zurich Neuromotor Assessment second edition
We gratefully acknowledge the support of the presidents’ conference of the public schools in Zurich and the educators and teachers of the child care centers and Kindergartens for their help with recruitment.
THK: Designed the study, acquired funding, performed data collection, coded and analyzed the corresponding data, and wrote the manuscript
AC: Performed statistical analysis and modeling
EK: Performed data collection and coded the corresponding data
JC: Performed data collection and corrected the manuscript
VR: Assisted in statistical data analysis
RHL: Contributed to the draft and gave advice on the assessment tools
OGJ: Designed the study, acquired funding, corrected final draft of the manuscript
All authors reviewed and edited the manuscript
This study was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation, grant no. 32003B_153273, the Largo, Maiores and Giedion Risch Foundation.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study. Parents provided written informed consent for their participating child and children consented orally.
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