Exploring the effect of gender and disability on gross motor performance in kindergarten children.

This study looked at differences in gross motor performance of children based on disability and gender.


Background: Gross motor movement is a vital part of the growing process and ultimately plays a role in a person’s ability to lead a physically active life. Researchers have analyzed the different ways in which individuals develop skills. At the heart of that discussion has been gender. Most recently, researchers have focused on the differences among various forms of disability. However, little has been done to understand how these variables interact with each other in the development of gross motor skills.

Objective: Therefore, in this study I sought to explore the interaction of disability and gender on gross motor performance. Method: Utilizing a national dataset, the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study - Kindergarten Class of 1998–99 dataset (ECLS-K), I utilized a 2 × 2 factorial ANOVA to understand the effects of gender and disability on gross motor score.

Results: A large sample (N = 16,960) was utilized to indicate a significant interaction effect of gender and disability, as well as significant main effects. Results suggest that both gender and disability have an effect on gross motor performance; specifically, boys with disabilities are at a higher risk for having low gross motor skills.

Conclusion: The significant results from this analysis demonstrate that gender and disability have an effect on the gross motor ability of young children. In contrast to other literature, in this study female participants performed slightly better than male participants did, and in line with other research, in this research the group without disabilities demonstrated a better gross motor score than the group with disabilities.

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