Impact of age, sex, socioeconomic status, and physical activity on associated movements and motor speed in preschool children.

TitreImpact of age, sex, socioeconomic status, and physical activity on associated movements and motor speed in preschool children.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsKakebeeke, TH, Zysset, AE, Messerli-Bürgy, N, Chaouch, A, Stülb, K, Leeger-Aschmann, CS, Schmutz, EA, Arhab, A, Rousson, V, Kriemler, S, Munsch, S, Puder, JJ, Jenni, OG
JournalJournal of clinical and experimental neuropsychology
Date Published02/2018
Mots-clésAge Factors, Child, Contralateral associated movements, Exercise, Female, Functional Laterality, Humans, Male, Motor Skills, motor speed, Preschool, Psychomotor Performance, Reaction Time, Sex Factors, Socioeconomic Factors, SPLASHY, Zurich Neuromotor Assessment

INTRODUCTION: Young children generally show contralateral associated movements (CAMs) when they are making an effort to perform a unimanual task. CAM and motor speed are two relevant aspects of motor proficiency in young children. These CAMs decrease over age, while motor speed increases. As both CAM and motor speed are associated with age, we were interested in whether these two parameters are also linked with each other.

METHOD: In this study, three manual dexterity tasks with the dominant and nondominant hands (pegboard, repetitive hand, and repetitive finger tasks) were used to investigate the effect of covariates (age, sex, socioeconomic status, total physical activity) on both motor speed and CAMs in preschool children.

RESULTS: There was a significant age effect for both motor speed and CAMs in all tasks when the dominant hand was used. When the nondominant hand was used, the decrease in the intensity of CAMs over age was not consistently significant. The influence of physical activity and socioeconomic status on motor proficiency was small. Furthermore, the correlation between motor speed and CAMs, although significant, was low.

CONCLUSIONS: Motor speed improved with age over three fine motor tasks in preschool children. Decrease in CAMs was observed but it was not always significant when the nondominant hand was working. Motor speed and CAMs were only weakly associated. We conclude that the excitatory pathways responsible for motor speed and inhibitory pathways responsible for reducing CAMs occupy two different domains in the brain and therefore mostly behave independently of each other.

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First publication date (online)




Alternate JournalJ Clin Exp Neuropsychol
Citation Key / SERVAL ID7878
Peer reviewRefereed
PubMed ID28548032


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