Wednesday, May 5, 2010

86 Percent Of Disadvantaged Preschoolers Lack Basic Motor Skills

Can we call it socioeconomic discrimination? There are many factors that lead to the creation of disadvantaged neighborhoods. Researchers at The Ohio State University suggest (86 Percent Of Disadvantaged Preschoolers Lack Basic Motor Skills) that children are not only “at risk” academically in underprivileged neighborhoods, but they may also be “at risk” physically. This study reports that 86% of the preschool participants scored below the 30th percentile labeling them developmentally delayed. The results were even more profound in object control skills (involving objects such as a ball or a bat). In object control skills females scored at the 11th percentile and males at the 22nd percentile. The preschool participants in this study are in a critical time in their physical maturation process. Any delay in development places these children at a disadvantage when competing with peers who are proficient in their locomotor skills. Exercise related injuries are caused by a training mistake. Not having the opportunity to learn the basic locomotor skills, is a mistake. A mistake that if not corrected will create injury. Organizations such as the Youth Sport Safety Alliance have been created to combat injuries in youth sports, but their effectiveness will be stymied by a class of youth athletes who have not been taught how to hop skip and jump correctly. Contrary to conventional belief (and ask any Physical Educator), locomotor skills are not naturally developed. They have to be taught and practiced. When it comes to youth and high school sport, success tends to be more prevalent in higher socioeconomic neighborhoods. In other words, “money talks”. We can call it socioeconomic discrimination if disadvantaged children are denied the opportunity to learn the basic locomotor skills involved in physical maturation.

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