An examination of the relationship between motor coordination and executive functions in adolescents
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2012
© The Authors. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology © 2012 Mac Keith Press
Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology
Volume 54, Issue 11, pages 1025–1031, November 2012
How to Cite
RIGOLI, D., PIEK, J. P., KANE, R. and OOSTERLAAN, J. (2012), An examination of the relationship between motor coordination and executive functions in adolescents. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 54: 1025–1031. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2012.04403.x
- Issue published online: 5 OCT 2012
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2012
- Accepted for publication 29th May 2012. , Published online.
Aim Research suggests important links between motor coordination and executive functions. The current study examined whether motor coordination predicts working memory, inhibition, and switching performance, extending previous research by accounting for attention-deficit–hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptomatology and other confounding factors, in an adolescent normative sample.
Method Ninety-three adolescents (38 females, 55 males) aged 12 to 16 years (mean age 4y 2mo, SD 1y 1mo) were assessed on the Movement Assessment Battery for Children-2 (MABC-2), Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-IV, N-back task, the inhibition subtest from the NEPSY-II: A Developmental Neuropsychological Assessment, second edition, and the parent-rated Strengths and Weaknesses of ADHD Symptoms and Normal Behaviour Questionnaire.
Results The MABC-2 total score accounted for a significant proportion of the variance in visuospatial working memory (p=0.041) but not for verbal working memory. The MABC-2 aiming and catching component, however, was found to account for unique variance in both verbal (p=0.019) and visuospatial working memory (p=0.016). The MABC-2 total score was found to account for a significant proportion of the variance in inhibition total completion time (p=0.017). Finally, balance skills accounted for unique variance in a NEPSY-II inhibition total errors variable (p=0.020).
Interpretation The results provide support for an overlap between motor coordination and executive functions, which has important practical implications. The study also suggests shared mechanisms underpinning the relationship between these areas, including possible cerebellar involvement.