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ISSN 1791-3837 European Psychomotricity Journal 2008; 1; 2, 54-60 Published by: Athlotypo Sports Publishing

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Scientific Psychomotor Association Hellas
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© 2008 Scientific Psychomotor Association Hellas; Published by Athlotypo Sports Publications. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution.

. The results of the present study suggest that gross motor development of preschool aged children is affected by the stimulation level of school environment. & Garcia . The purpose of this study was to determine if gross motor development of preschool children is affected by preschool-type setting (public vs private). The analysis of variance showed that children who attended the private preschool typesetting displayed higher quotients and could execute at a younger age every item of the locomotor scale. Preschool-type setting & gross motor development 54 ORIGINAL ARTICLE Effects of the characteristics of two different preschool-type setting on children’s gross motor development Paraskevi Giagazoglou. The sample consisted of 300 preschool children of both sexes (136 boys and 164 girls) aged 4-6 years who were enrolled at the two different types of preschool centers of Northern Greece. Trost. The preschool years are critical for children’s motor development. Giagazoglou et al. Serres. Fragoso. 2007. Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. 2003). & Castro. In this early period. Huston. gross motor development Introduction The process of growth and development occurs according to the rhythm that is established by genetic inheritance and environmental factors. Oliveira. Griffiths. The gross motor development of the children was assessed using the locomotor scale of the Griffiths test No II (Griffiths. Brooks-Gunn. The characteristics and the services provided on these settings might have great influence on children’s development. 1984. Maria Sidiropoulou and Konstantinos Salonikidis Department of Physical Education and Sports Science. 1984). 2004. preschool aged children.. Griffiths test. 1997. McLoyd. Cabral Filho. Pate. gymnasia. Greece Abstract Many young children spent a major part of their day in formal preschool type-setting. The rest (n=150) participated in formal public preschool centers that had limited spaces for sports and free play and did not include any physical education lessons into their schedule. Half of the children (n=150) attended private preschool centers which had plenty of open space for playing. 1998). Barnett. Ziegler. Angelopoulou. & Dowda. Soc et al. Pate. Many young children spent a major part of their day in formal preschool typesetting. Pfeiffer. have the potential to influence greatly the overall physical activity levels of young children (Dowda. Kyparos. School policies and practices directed toward providing preschool-aged children with physical activity. 2003.P. the children’s permanence in an encouraging environment and their participation in motor activities could facilitate a normal development and offer possibilities to a larger potential of exploration and interaction (Gallahue & Ozmun. there are significant differences in development rate due to the special characteristics of the environment in which every child is growing (Barros.Coll. Physical education lessons are an ideal setting to improve child motor skills and increase physical activity for optimal health (vanBeurden. Fotiadou. Although the stages of psychomotor development are the same for all children worldwide. & Duncan. Klebanov. 1994). & Sirard. Key words: preschool type-setting. physical activity programs. Trost. Olga Karagianni . courts and playgrounds and included daily exercise physical activity programs. Almeida. Giagazoglou. 2004).

They also included sports activities (mini tennis. the majority of the formal preschools in Greece are characterized by limited play areas. much more of open space for playing. All children spent at least five hours per day. Giagazoglou et al. Additionally. Eight preschools (four of each type) were enrolled into the study. neurological diseases. Therefore. public schools includes them into their daily schedule. courts and playgrounds with climbing apparatus (e.P. 1997). sensory disturbances. almost every private preschool center provides daily physical activities. narrow buildings and large number of students in the classes. swings). gymnastics. private preschools in Greece. five days per week at the preschool. Participants All participants were enrolled at the two different types of preschool centers of Northern Greece. slides. Contrarily. gymnasia. use of time. . no other research has examined the ways that the two different preschool-type settings (public and private) may affect the motor development of preschool children. they spent the greater part of their school time in indoor play facilities that were included in the curriculum of a formal public preschool center in Greece and did not include any organized physical education lessons into their schedule. the purpose of this study was to determine if gross motor development of preschool children is affected by preschool-type setting (public vs private). physical spaces. Private preschool centers provided more supportive environment including active opportunities. while the rest attended (n=150) private preschools. while none of the children from public school participated in any organized sport activity. Preschool-type setting & gross motor development 55 Childcare centers with supportive environment present an ideal opportunity to promote physical activity and help in the early development of healthy behaviors. On the contrary. soccer) and 60 min of structured physical activities lessons into their daily preschool schedule. plenty of playground equipment and spacious indoors and outdoors areas. etc (Cryer & Phillipsen. Thus. premature children and children with epilepsy or other chronic diseases were excluded from the study. Unfortunately. participated in this study. The parents were all informed about the procedures and gave informed consent for their children to participate. The children from private preschools participated in sport activities provided inside their schools. should offer high quality policies and practices in order to attract more children.g. Methods Type of Preschools Each preschool was categorized by type (public and private). To our knowledge. although it is known that physical education programs. should be an essential part of early childhood education. portable and fixed play equipment. the formal public preschools were located in small buildings and had limited spaces for free play. based on appropriate practices. none of the formal. Half of the children (n=150) attended public preschool centers. Three hundred preschool children of both sexes (136 boys and 164 girls) aged 4-6 years (Mean age= 57±9 months). monkey bars. Additionally. Preschools were randomly selected from the two types and invited to participate into the study. Children with a history of perinatal problems. due to the high market competition. The environment of the preschools centers is characterized by policies and practices regarding group sizes.

For example. There are six items for each year. Certain information such as "if a child can ride a tricycle or other pedal toy" was elicited from the child or the mother by careful questioning.A) =108. 2005). but measuring this one aspect as completely as possible. Preschool-type setting & gross motor development 56 Procedure Gross motor development of the children was assessed using the Locomotor scale of the Griffiths test No II (Griffiths. The test scores are transformed into Developmental Ages (D.p. Fotiadou. In the first 2 years (Griffiths I) there are five different areas of ability.Social (Subscale B). Eye-Hand coordination (Subscale D) and Performance (Subscale E).P. A child’s performance on the test expressed as a quotient. Also. A 2x 2 Analysis of Variance was utilized to determine the effect of school attendance (public versus private). The scales are designed to ascertain the level of psychomotor development of babies and young children from birth into early school life. Hearing and Speech (Subscale C). Locomotor (Subscale A).A x 100) / 48 (C. Six failures in succession are usually enough to give the child full opportunity to do all he can (Griffiths. if a 4 years old child (C. Personal. Tsimaras. the Locomotor Scale can be used to supplement observation in studies of physical activities and development in both normal and physically handicapped children" (Griffiths 1984. All children were individually tested by the same investigator in their schools. Therefore his D. p. The Griffiths scales are an internationally acknowledged and reliable method for the assessment of psychomotor development. consisting of six scales with strong developmental emphasis (Holt. Each item within each subscale carries two months of Developmental age credits (see Table 1).A= 48 months) passes 10 of the 36 items of the locomotor subscale. Giagazoglou et al. The major advantage of the Scales is that every sub-scale gives a different developmental quotient and provides a clear diagnostic indication of individual problems in early childhood (Griffiths. 1991). Experimental design and statistical analysis Data were presented as means ± SD. 34-35). helps the examiner evaluate the development of the subject.A). p. All the items of the locomotor scale were presented in the recommended order given by Griffiths (1984). It is usual to begin somewhat below the child’s actual age and work on until he/she can pass no further items. Evaggelinou. The total number of test items is 36 in each scale and are placed in strict order of difficulty. 1984.Q) = Developmental Age x 100 / Chronological Age (C.Q will be 52 x 100 (D. throwing or kicking a ball and riding a bicycle. The Practical Reasoning Scale (Subscale F) is added for the years 3-8 inclusive (Griffiths II). gender (boys . Tsikoulas & Angelopoulou. the number of items passed is multiplied by two. Scale A (locomotor) consists of items related to gross motor skills such as running. Griffiths (1984) states that "each subscale was devised to be a separate and complete scale in itself each measuring only one avenue of learning or process of development. his/her D. These results are always added with the number 24 which is a standard number for all children and the total number gives the Developmental Age credits in months. 1984).p 40). Scale A provides a basis for objective observation and a first impression of the general maturity of a young child. 1984) which is standardized in Greek preschool children (Giagazoglou. Thus. jumping.A) and then into Quotients: Developmental Quotient (D.A will be (14 x 2) +24 = 52 credits in months.

78. 296 = 74. p < 0. The descriptive statistics have shown that the number of children who succeeded in 26 out of the 36 items was greater in children from private preschools compared to children from public preschools. Results The 2 way Analysis of Variance on mean Developmental Quotients on locomotor Subscale indicated a significant main effect of school (F1. η2 = 0. p > 0. 296 = 1. Giagazoglou et al. Preschool-type setting & gross motor development 57 versus girls) or school attendance versus gender interaction. Mean developmental Quotients on Locomotor Scale for main effect of school attendance Table 1 presents the 36 items of the locomotor subscale. The Mean scores for Developmental Quotient on Locomotor Scale was higher in private preschools (M=128. Furthermore.05).201) but not significant effects of gender (F1. The Mean values for Developmental Quotients across different preschool type setting are shown in Figure 1.05. p > 0.P. 296 = 0. SD=13). The level of statistical significance was set at p < .01. In the remaining 10 items the number of children who succeeded was identical between those from private and public preschools.05) and school x gender interaction (F1. Figure 1.34.86. . SD=20) compared to scores in public preschools (M=111. the estimates of effect size were calculated.

Consistent with previous work.P. encouragement and instruction are provided.201). Wasik. it should be mentioned that we detected only a low-moderate effect size (η2 = 0. 1993). children expand their motor skills (Burchinal. Additionally. Campbell. Preschool-type setting & gross motor development 58 Table 1.) Rises from kneeling Crosses feet and knees sitting Can stand and walk on tiptoe Walks upstairs one foot on each step Year IV Can run fast indoors Can run a tricycle Marches to music Walks a chalk line Hops on one foot Jumps off two steps Year V Can run to kick a ball Walks downstairs 1 foot on each step Touches toes knees straight Can jump 6 inches rope feet together Can climb on or off a bus Can run upstairs Year VI Can bounce and catch a ball Can run fast out of doors Can throw up and catch a ball Can hop-skip 4 plus steps Jumps off three steps Hopscotch I Year VII Can jump over a rope 10 inches Hop-skips freely indoors Hopscotch II (2 hopes) Can run all round playground Can skip with rope 3 plus Hopscotch III (3 hops) Year VIII Runs downstairs Jumps off 4 plus steps Rides a bicycle (2-wheeler) Hopscotch IV (4 hops) Fast single Skipping Skips well 12 plus (ordinary skipping) Public N 146 150 150 150 149 148 146 147 141 143 119 132 131 126 102 114 117 92 91 94 49 60 67 43 60 17 18 39 3 7 21 10 22 3 1 1 Private N 147 150 150 150 150 148 149 147 141 148 126 135 137 126 141 129 126 115 113 103 89 69 71 78 85 27 54 82 14 45 42 20 22 32 1 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 III 1 III 2 III 3 III 4 III 5 III 6 IV 1 IV 2 IV 3 IV 4 IV 5 IV 6 V 1 V 2 V 3 V 4 V 5 V 6 VI VI VI VI VI VI 1 2 3 4 5 6 VII 1 VII 2 VII 3 VII 4 VII 5 VII 6 VIII 1 VIII 2 VIII 3 VIII 4 VIII 5 VIII 6 Discussion The aim of the present study was to determine if gross motor development of preschool children is affected by preschool-type setting (public vs private). Cleland & Gallahue. open spaces and daily physical training and education had as a result children from private preschools to display higher Mean Developmental Quotients and to execute at a younger age every item of the locomotor subscale. plenty of play equipment. & Ramey. 1997. Bryant. Number of children who passed every item from public and private schools Items of Locomotor scale Year III Jumps off step: both feet together Can stand on one foot (6 plus secs. However. The results suggest that the private preschool type-setting which provided a supportive environment including active opportunities. Giagazoglou et al. recent studies reported that preschool children’s motor development is . our findings suggest that when opportunities for practice.

appropriate equipment and care that gave their children better chances for the development of their motor skills. Oliveira. 2002. Besides. K. monkey bars. are the most expensive of the activity promoting toys and not all schools can afford this type of equipment (McKenzie..L. 107: 1459-1462. et al. Attending appropriate preschool intervention programs and preschools with a reliable and opportunity. Giagazoglou et al.P. References American Academy of Pediatrics: Committee on sports medicine and fitness and committee on school health. the results of the present study suggest that one environmental variable that clearly affects motor performance is schooling. 1992). Another factor that probably exerted a strong influence on motor development of preschool-aged children. Kelly et al. may probably contributed to the delay found in the locomotor of children who attended public preschools. Pate. P. who attended private preschools. structured. increase fitness and develop appropriate motor skills. It is therefore recommended that all preschools should be encouraged to include physical education lessons in their daily schedule.Gunn. On the contrary. & Duncan. .E. slides. 2004).G.. large group size. Fragoso. Broyles. offered a sufficient infrastructure. swings). American Academy of Pediatrics.M. Reilly. Climbing apparatus (e. To meet the recommended 60 min of daily physical activity.. In summary. 2002.Filho J. McKenzie et al. It is important schools to provide plenty opportunities for children to be active. Brooks. 2005) and in organized sports (Ulrich. Our findings suggest that gross motor development of preschool aged children is associated with the stimulation level of school environment. Physical educational support may be an important first step in providing a rich. A. Organized sports for children and preadolescents (2001) centers and private schools. et al. 61 (2A): 170-5. the poor training on structured physical activities in conjunction with less stimulated environment (narrow classes.g.. & Nelson. occupying with indoor activities like drawing. Children who attended public schools had access to fewer active toys. active environment for all children in preschools.. (2003) Do environmental influences alter motor abilities acquisition? A comparison among children from day . (1992) suggests that with proper direction and environment could support the better gross motor development. Barros. providing proper activities and designing suitable school playgrounds.. cutting with scissors etc. (1997) The effects of poverty on children. Preschool-type setting & gross motor development 59 positively related with the participation in vigorous activity (Fisher. The private preschool centers. equipment can be used to teach children to be active. Arquivos de Neuropsiquiatria. Klebanov. Preschools have the responsibility for developing appropriate physical educational programs. Cabral . structured activity sessions should be included into the daily preschool schedule and should emphasize a wide variety of movement experiences (National Association for Sport and Physical Education. G. J. 2004). was the type of the provided exercise programs. & Castro. 2001). motor and sport activities were included in the schedule of private preschools. Informal observation inside the public preschools indicated that children spent most of their day sitting. 7: 55-71. The future of children. Sallis. Daily lessons with at least 60 min of varied. These results are consistent with previous studies which suggested that preschools providing their children with adequate physical activity may influence the activity levels of their children (Finn. A. Nader. it has been recommended that preschool children should accumulate at least 60 min of daily structured physical activity. limited play areas). RM..

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