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The present paper is a comparative review of studies assessing the psychomotor skills of hearing impaired children and youth. Studies have found balance deficiencies in hearing impaired subjects compared to hearing subjects. Research comparing hearing impaired and hearing subjects in motor performance have revealed contradictory results. Studies assessing physical fitness found hearing impaired subjects to be inferior to hearing subjects in a few items. Overall, hearing impaired subjects were found to be more similar than dissimilar in psychomotor behavior, with the exception of balance. Hearing impaired persons need to be individually evaluated in order to develop appropriate physical education programs; psychomotor deficits should not be automatically assumed. Results of studies are confounded by factors such as communication techniques, selection of measuring instruments, and educational placement. Directions for future research are suggested.
Jeff Goodman is a doctoral student in the Dept. of Health Promotion, Physical Education, and Leisure Programs at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131. Chris Hopper is with the Dept. of Physical Education at Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA 95521. Request reprints from Dr. Hopper.