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Stability and prediction of motor performance and cognitive functioning in preschoolers: A latent variable approach


Zysset, Annina E; Kakebeeke, Tanja H; Messerli‐Bürgy, Nadine; Meyer, Andrea H; Stülb, Kerstin; Leeger‐Aschmann, Claudia S; Schmutz, Einat A; Arhab, Amar; Puder, Jardena J; Kriemler, Susi; Munsch, Simone; Jenni, Oskar G (2020). Stability and prediction of motor performance and cognitive functioning in preschoolers: A latent variable approach. Infant and Child Development, 29:e2186.

Abstract

At preschool age, motor skills and cognitive functions are regularly examined at well-child visits. Although reliable screening depends on the stability of the assessed develop- mental domains, little is known about the stability of motor and cognitive performance in preschool children. The aim of the present study was to investigate how stable motor skills and cognitive functioning are in the preschool years and whether they can predict their own and respective outcome 1 year later. 509 children were examined (46.4% female; M = 3.9 years; SD = 0.6; range 3.0–6.0 years) from the Swiss Preschoolers' Health Study (SPLASHY) at baseline and 1 year later. A Latent Variable Cross-lagged Panel Model revealed that both motor skills and cognitive functioning are highly stable in the preschool age (.65/.67). Cross-lagged coeffi- cients were smaller (.37/.22). However, as the cross-lagged paths did not differ significantly from each other, no reliable conclusions for the prediction of motor skills and cognitive functions may be drawn. We conclude that cognitive func- tioning and motor skills are highly stable already in the pre- school years. Although small cross-lagged predictive values were found, motor skills and cognitive functions may not to be reliable predictors of their respective outcomes. Future studies should test cross-lagged predictive effects in clinical samples, where the effects might be larger.
• This study investigated the stability and predictive value of motor skills and cognitive functioning in 3–6-year-old typically developing children.
• Motor skills and cognitive functioning were highly stable already in preschool age, however, predictive values for their respective outcomes are lower and may not to be reliable predictors of their respective outcomes.
• As motor and cognitive development are highly stable at preschool age, they could be applied for the identifica- tion of children at risk.

Abstract

At preschool age, motor skills and cognitive functions are regularly examined at well-child visits. Although reliable screening depends on the stability of the assessed develop- mental domains, little is known about the stability of motor and cognitive performance in preschool children. The aim of the present study was to investigate how stable motor skills and cognitive functioning are in the preschool years and whether they can predict their own and respective outcome 1 year later. 509 children were examined (46.4% female; M = 3.9 years; SD = 0.6; range 3.0–6.0 years) from the Swiss Preschoolers' Health Study (SPLASHY) at baseline and 1 year later. A Latent Variable Cross-lagged Panel Model revealed that both motor skills and cognitive functioning are highly stable in the preschool age (.65/.67). Cross-lagged coeffi- cients were smaller (.37/.22). However, as the cross-lagged paths did not differ significantly from each other, no reliable conclusions for the prediction of motor skills and cognitive functions may be drawn. We conclude that cognitive func- tioning and motor skills are highly stable already in the pre- school years. Although small cross-lagged predictive values were found, motor skills and cognitive functions may not to be reliable predictors of their respective outcomes. Future studies should test cross-lagged predictive effects in clinical samples, where the effects might be larger.
• This study investigated the stability and predictive value of motor skills and cognitive functioning in 3–6-year-old typically developing children.
• Motor skills and cognitive functioning were highly stable already in preschool age, however, predictive values for their respective outcomes are lower and may not to be reliable predictors of their respective outcomes.
• As motor and cognitive development are highly stable at preschool age, they could be applied for the identifica- tion of children at risk.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Developmental and Educational Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Developmental and Educational Psychology
Language:English
Date:1 September 2020
Deposited On:04 Feb 2021 15:42
Last Modified:05 Feb 2021 21:05
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:1522-7219
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/icd.2186
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant IDCRSII3_147673
  • : Project TitleRelationship of stress and physical activity with psychological and physiological health in young children

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