Culture and the motor performance of preschool children
Nordwind, Lilia LD.
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This study aimed to answer the question: Is there a significant relationship between cultural background and the motor performance of preschool children? Thirty-six preschool children with a mean age of 56 months and 16 days and 32 parents were involved in this study. They belonged to four culture groups: Afro- American, Asian-American, Euro-American, and Hispanic- American. Two instruments were used: the questionnaire and the McCarthy Scales of Children's Abilities (MSCA). The questionnaire was used for the purpose of getting the profile of parents and having an insight into the culture of the child. It was not used to evaluate, per se, the culture of the child. The questionnaire had three parts: part one dealt with the profile of parents, part two dealt with child-rearing practices, and part three dealt with family values. It had a scale of 1 through 5 with corresponding qualitative values of strongly disagree. disagree, no idea/not sure, agree, and strongly agree. The parents were instructed to check (/) the space provided that best described their economic, educational, and social status. The McCarthy Scales of Children's Abilities were used to determine the motor performance of preschool children. Only the motor tests of the MSCA were used. These motor tests had five major tasks with subtasks under each one of them. These tests were administered to preschool children who were enrolled in three centers in DeKalb, Illinois. The data gathered from the questionnaire revealed that the parent populations were generally on the same scale of the continuum in terms of economic, educational, and social status. Using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), the results of the MSCA tests showed that there were only slight differences among the four cultures in leg coordination, arm coordination, imitative action, and draw-a- child. In draw-a-design, however, significant differences were found as shown by the significance probability of the f computed value which was less than the .05 level of significance. The Asian-American children obtained the highest mean. Based on the findings, it can be concluded that there was no significant relationship between cultural background and the motor performance of preschool children.