The validity of parental reports on motor skills performance level in preschool children: a comparison with a standardized motor test

Zysset, Annina E. and Kakebeeke, Tanja H. and Messerli-Bürgy, Nadine and Meyer, Andrea H. and Stülb, Kerstin and Leeger-Aschmann, Claudia S. and Schmutz, Einat A. and Arhab, Amar and Ferrazzini, Valentina and Kriemler, Susi and Munsch, Simone and Puder, Jardena J. and Jenni, Oskar G.. (2018) The validity of parental reports on motor skills performance level in preschool children: a comparison with a standardized motor test. European Journal of Pediatrics, 177 (5). pp. 715-722.

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Motor skills are interrelated with essential domains of childhood such as cognitive and social development. Thus, the evaluation of motor skills and the identification of atypical or delayed motor development is crucial in pediatric practice (e.g., during well-child visits). Parental reports on motor skills may serve as possible indicators to decide whether further assessment of a child is necessary or not. We compared parental reports on fundamental motor skills performance level (e.g., hopping, throwing), based on questions frequently asked in pediatric practice, with a standardized motor test in 389 children (46.5% girls/53.5% boys, M age = 3.8 years, SD = 0.5, range 3.0-5.0 years) from the Swiss Preschoolers' Health Study (SPLASHY). Motor skills were examined using the Zurich Neuromotor Assessment 3-5 (ZNA3-5), and parents filled in an online questionnaire on fundamental motor skills performance level. The results showed that the answers from the parental report correlated only weakly with the objectively assessed motor skills (r = .225, p < .001).; Although a parental screening instrument for motor skills would be desirable, the parent's report used in this study was not a valid indicator for children's fundamental motor skills. Thus, we may recommend to objectively examine motor skills in clinical practice and not to exclusively rely on parental report. What is Known: - Early assessment of motor skills in preschool children is important because motor skills are essential for the engagement in social activities and the development of cognitive abilities. Atypical or delayed motor development can be an indicator for different developmental needs or disorders. - Pediatricians frequently ask parents about the motor competences of their child during well-child visits. What is New: - The parental report on fundamental motor skills performance level used in this study was not a reliable indicator for describing motor development in the preschool age. - Standardized examinations of motor skills are required to validly assess motor development in preschoolers.
Faculties and Departments:07 Faculty of Psychology
07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Forschungsbereich Klinische Psychologie und Neurowissenschaften > Klinische Psychologie und Epidemiologie (Lieb)
UniBasel Contributors:Meyer, Andrea Hans
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:15 Nov 2018 13:33
Deposited On:15 Nov 2018 13:33

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