n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Physical growth and academic intelligence of rural South African children : Ellisras Longitudinal Growth and Health Study - : growth and development

Volume 18, Issue Issue-4_2
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between physical growth, and academic intelligence of the rural South African children. A total of 390 (210 boys and 180 girls) children attending grades 4-7, who formed part of the Ellisras Longitudinal Study, participated in the study. Their mean age ranged between 11.8 ± 0.8 years and 12.7 ± 1.1 years for boys and girls, respectively. Anthropometric measurements of stature and body mass were carried out according to the protocol of the International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropometry (ISAK). General Scholastic Aptitude Tests was administered to these children. A frequency table was generated to reflect the rate of non-verbal, verbal and IQ tests of Ellisras children grade 4 to 7 in the categories of cognitively challenged, borderline, low average, and above average. Generally, boys exhibit a mean score ranging between 64.5 and 72.3 across the grades and between verbal, nonverbal and Intelligence Quotient (IQ) tests. Girls on the other hand exhibit a mean score of 66.0 to 71.4 for both the verbal, non verbal and IQ test across the grades. Cognitive challenges among these children were generally high (for boys ranged between 62 to 90.3%) and for girls (69.0 to 75.0%) for the non verbal assessment. The study concluded that low academic intelligence was observed through-out the grades. Further investigation into factors like learning environment, teaching methods and availability of school material could shed more light into the low academic intelligence found in the sample.

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