Motor coordination and social-emotional behaviour in preschool aged children.
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School-age children with movement problems such as Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) are known to have social and emotional difficulties. However, little research has investigated younger children to determine whether these problems emerge at school age or are present earlier. The aim of the current study was to investigate the relationship between motor coordination, emotional recognition and internalising behaviours in young preschool children. Forty‐one kindergarten children (M = 4 years, 4 months), 22 boys and 19 girls, were assessed on the McCarron Assessment of Neuromuscular Development, the Emotional Recognition Scales, the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence, and the Child Behavior Checklist. Motor ability was positively related to a child's emotion comprehension. However, once age, sex, Performance IQ and Verbal IQ were controlled for, it was no longer a significant predictor, which contrasts with previous findings in school‐age children. However, the expected correlation between motor ability and anxiety/depression was significant with a moderate effect size. The results indicate that further investigation is required on the relationship between motor ability and social–emotional development in preschool-age children.
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