Two-Handed Catching in Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder

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Sarah Astill
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Andrea Utley
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This study investigated the nature and extent of inter and intralimb coupling of the upper limbs in children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) and their age-matched controls (AMC) when catching a ball two-handed. Sixteen children (8 DCD, 8 AMC) volunteered for the study; parental consent was gained for each child. Using standard video analysis and 3D kinematic analysis, all children were examined performing 30 two-handed catches. Video analysis showed that the AMC children caught more balls than the DCD children (p ≤ .005). Analyses of the kinematic data showed DCD participants exhibit a greater degree of linkage both between and within limb than the AMC participants (p ≤ .01), but the AMC participants demonstrate more intra individual variability in these linkages (p ≤ .01). The data shows that both DCD and AMC children couple their limbs to exert control over redundant degrees of freedom when catching a ball two-handed. However, DCD children show little capacity to vary their motor behavior exhibiting a less adaptable movement system, which in turn affects their success at the task.

The authors are with the Centre for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Institute of Systems and Membrane Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds, United Kingdom.

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