n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Developmental Coordination Disorder in grade 1 learners

Volume 20, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


Since the 1900's the scientific community has acknowledged a large group of children who develop well intellectually but experienced movement skill difficulties. Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is defined as children who experience motor coordination difficulties which impedes functional performance and interfere with their academic achievement, physical- and psychological development as well as activities of daily living. Therefore, the purpose of the study was; to determine the prevalence of DCD amongst Grade 1 learners, to establish the boy-girl ratio regarding DCD and the prevalence of DCD amongst various ethnic groups. Five-hundred and fifty nine learners between the ages of 6 and 8 years took part in this study. There were n=321 girls (57%) and n=238 boys (43%) of various ethnical groups, which consisted of 57.4% Caucasian, 39.7% Black, 2.50% Mixed-race, 0.3% Hispanic and 0.1% Indian children. The Movement Assessment Battery for Children-2 (Movement ABC-2) was used to determine DCD. The results indicated that 85% participants had no motor difficulties (green zone), 8% of children in the group were identified with moderate motor difficulties (amber zone), while 7% were identified with severe motor difficulties (red zone). With regard to the boy-girl ratio, the boys had 9% moderate difficulties and 10% severe difficulties in contrast to 7% moderate difficulties and 5% severe difficulties amongst the girls. With reference to ethnic groups, 5.3% of Caucasian learners fell in the amber zone and 5.3% in the red zone, 10.6% of Black learners fell in the amber zone and 9.7% in the red zone, 14.2% Mixed-race learners fell in the amber zone and 21.4% in the red zone. The conclusions drawn from the results suggest that the prevalence of DCD amongst Grade 1 learners in Bloemfontein is estimated to be 15%. The results also indicate that boys have a significantly higher (p=0.0507) prevalence of DCD when compared to their female counterparts.

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