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Correlation between Motor, Socio-Emotional Skills, and Academic Performance between Young Children with and without Disabilities

Abstract

Preschoolers and kindergarteners demonstrate rapid growth and change in motor skills, socio-emotional (SE) skills, and academic performance. Data on 250 children with disabilities (CWD) and 250 typically developing children (TDC) from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort (ECLS-B) data set were analyzed to explore the relation between motor skills, SE skills and academic performance for children with and without disabilities. The ECLS-B data set is the first study to follow children from birth through kindergarten entry, collecting data on thier early development. The current study utilized descriptive and regression analyses (survey frequency, mean, and regression) were conducted using Statistical Analysis Software (SAS) version 9.2 (SAS Institute, 2008). Results indicated that both fine and gross motor skills make significant contributions to SE skills in CWD at both preschool and kindergarten and in TDC at preschool only. A significant correlation between fine and gross motor skills and academic performance was found for CWD and TDC in preschool and kindergarten. These findings indicated that an increased emphasis on the development of fine and gross motor skills during the preschool years may benefit the development of SE skills and academic performance for CWD. Results sheds light on the importance of including motor interventions as part of early childhood education programs delivered to CWD to narrow the achievement gap and ideally result in early learning success.

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Cheung, W.C., Shen, S. & Meadan, H. Correlation between Motor, Socio-Emotional Skills, and Academic Performance between Young Children with and without Disabilities. J Dev Phys Disabil (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10882-021-09796-8

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Keywords

  • Motor
  • Social
  • Academic performance
  • Children with disabilities
  • ECLS-B