Assessment of a Supine-to-Stand (STS) Task in Early Childhood: A Measure of Functional Motor Competence

in Journal of Motor Learning and Development
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  • 1 University of South Carolina
  • 2 Missouri Western State University
  • 3 Universidade de Pernambuco
  • 4 University of Michigan–Ann Arbor
  • 5 Southern Utah University
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This paper examined relationships between qualitative (developmental sequences) and quantitative (time) performance in rising from a supine position in early childhood. One hundred twenty two children ranging in age from 3 to 5 years were videotaped for five trials of rising from a supine position. Children’s performance on the supine-to-stand (STS) task was quite variable in terms of both qualitative movement patterns and time (mean = 2.37 s, SD = .60). Results: Component sequences were moderately to strongly correlated with each other (r = .387 to .791). Upper-extremity (r = –.383) and axial (r = –.416) component levels also were inversely correlated with STS time. Results indicated a strong coordinative link between the development of trunk control (i.e., axial movement) and upper-extremity movement levels (r = .791), and together they demonstrated the strongest impact on the ability to rise quickly. These data provide important information relating to a child’s motor development that may have clinical relevance for diagnosis. It provides also a greater understanding on how to improve performance on this task. Future research should examine qualitative and quantitative aspects of STS performance to understand its predictive utility as a lifespan assessment of motor competence and its potential importance as a measure to predict healthrelated variables and functional capability across the lifespan.

Nesbitt is with the Dept. of Physical Education, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC. Molina is with the Dept. of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, Missouri Western State University, Saint Joseph, MO. Cattuzzo is with the Dept. of Higher School of Physical Education, Universidade de Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil. Robinson is with the Dept. of Kinesiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. Phillips is with Southern Utah University, Cedar City, UT. Stodden is with the University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC.

Please address author correspondence to Danielle Nesbitt at