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The interrelation between cognitive and motor development in typically developing children aged 4–11 years is underpinned by visual processing and fine manual control

Authors


Nicola J. Pitchford, School of Psychology, University Park, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK (e-mail: nicola.pitchford@nottingham.ac.uk).

Abstract

We charted the interrelation between cognitive and motor skills in typically developing children aged 4–11 years across broad ability measures from standardized tests and investigated the nature of this relationship by examining effects of age and sex. Results indicated a significant, moderate correlation between gross cognitive and motor scores across all participants. Correlations between indices of the standardized measures and a principal component analysis revealed that visual processing (VP) and fine manual control (FMC) largely accounted for the interrelation between the overall domains. Age and sex affected the strength of gross correlation: 7-year-olds showed a weaker correlation than all other ages and females exhibited a significantly stronger correlation than males. However, the correlation between VP and FMC was constant across all age and sex groups, except 4-year-old males. These findings advance evidence that from an early age, cognitive and motor development is linked by elucidating the underlying nature of this relationship. These results have important implications for clinical, educational, and experimental practice.

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