The effect of different intervention programmeson the self-concept and motor ability of 7-9 year old dcd children

Por: Alida Nienabar, Anita Pienaar e Anquanette Peens.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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[1] stated that the self-concept of children will be influenced by motor problems such as Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). Children’s feelings about themselves might, however, be enhanced through achievement-related experiences in the physical domain, and motor skill intervention [2][3].  The aim of this study was therefore to determine the most effective method in enhancing motor ability and self-concept of 7-9 year old DCD children.     


Teachers at 9 different schools identified 201 possible DCD candidates.  An evaluation with the Movement Assesment Battery for Children [4] identified 68 with DCD (42 boys and 26 girls 7-9 years).  Self-concept and anxiety was determined by the Tennessee Self-Concept Scale (Child Form) [5] and Child Anxiety Scale [6] respectively.  They were randomly grouped into four experimental groups [Motor intervention (MG), based on task-specific- kineasthetic training and sensory integration treatment, Self-concept (SG) enhancing intervention, Psycho-motor intervention (P-MG, combination of SG and MG) and control group (CG)  receiving no intervention].  The method of paring was used to randomly allocate children with the same age, gender and race in each group.  A four group pretest-posttest, retest design was followed, and a repeated measures ANOVA followed by a Bonfferoni correction (Statistica for Windows) were applied to analyze the results.


After completion of the intervention programmes, no significant improvement was found in the SG group, while the MG, P-MG and CG groups improved significantly (p<0.01). The mean total improvement of the MG and P-MG groups were, however, higher compared to the CG.  After the retention period the MG and CG groups improved further (p<0.01), while the P-MG showed no further improvement.  Anxiety improved significantly (p<0.05) in the SG, while the total self-concept of the P-MG improved significantly (p<0.05).




The motor proficiency and self-concept of DCD children seems to benefit from intervention, but it was found that both should be addressed for optimal benefits to the DCD child. Results also indicated that the period of intervention was too short to have a lasting effect on both aspects.  The intense nature of the self-concept and motor intervention programmes as well as the complexity of the problems of the DCD child, may suggest that a longer duration of such programmes and/or that they should be conducted in succession to each other might be a better option to address the problems of young children with DCD.



[1]  Colchico, K. et al.  (2000).  American journal of public health, 90(6):977 (2p.)  [In EBSCOHost : Academic  

       Search Elite, Full display :]  [Date of access: 12 February 2001].

[2]  Bunker, L.K.  (1991).  Elementary school journal, 91(5):467-471, May.

[3]  Pless, M & Carlsson, M.  2000.  Adapted physical activity quarterly, 17(4):381-401, October.

[4]  Henderson, S.E. & Sugden, S.A.  (1992).  Movement assessment battery for children.  London : The

       Psychological Corporation.  240 p.

[5]  Fitts, W.H. & Warren, W.L.  (1996).  Tennessee self-concept scale. 

[6] Gillis, J.S.  (1980).  Child anxiety scale.  Los Angeles, Calif.: Western psychological services.  27 p.





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