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  • Author: Suzanne Houwen x
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Esther Hartman, Suzanne Houwen and Chris Visscher

This study aimed to examine motor performance in deaf elementary school children and its association with sports participation. The population studied included 42 deaf children whose hearing loss ranged from 80 to 120 dB. Their motor skills were assessed with the Movement Assessment Battery for Children, and a questionnaire was used to determine their active involvement in organized sports. The deaf children had significantly more borderline and definite motor problems than the normative sample: 62% (manual dexterity), 52% (ball skills), and 45% (balance skills). Participation in organized sports was reported by 43% of the children; these children showed better performance on ball skills and dynamic balance. This study demonstrates the importance of improving deaf children’s motor skill performance, which might contribute positively to their sports participation.

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Esther Hartman, Chris Visscher and Suzanne Houwen

The aim of this study was to measure physical fitness of deaf Dutch elementary school children compared with hearing children and to investigate the influence of age on physical fitness. Deaf children were physically less fit than hearing children. Overall, physical fitness increased with age in deaf children, but no significant differences were found between the age groups of 9–10 years and 11–12 years on most of the Eurofit items. The difference in performance between deaf and hearing children, favoring the latter, increased with age in handgrip strength and the 20-m endurance shuttle run. More attention should be paid to developing and maintaining an adequate level of physical fitness in deaf children.

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Suzanne Houwen, Esther Hartman, Laura Jonker and Chris Visscher

This study examines the psychometric properties of the Test of Gross Motor Development-2 (TGMD-2) in children with visual impairments (VI). Seventy-five children aged between 6 and 12 years with VI completed the TGMD-2 and the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (Movement ABC). The internal consistency of the TGMD-2 was found to be high (alpha = 0.71−0.72) and the interrater, intrarater, and test-retest reliability acceptable (ICCs ranging from 0.82 to 0.95). The results of the factor analysis supported internal test structure and significant age and sex effects were observed. Finally, the scores on the object control subtest of the TGMD-2 and the ball skills subtest of the Movement ABC correlated moderately to high (r = 0.45 to r = 0.80). Based on the current results, it is concluded that the TGMD-2 is an appropriate tool to assess the gross motor skills of primary-school-age children with VI.

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Suzanne Houwen, Chris Visscher, Esther Hartman and Koen A.P.M. Lemmink

The purpose of this study was to examine the test-retest reliability of physical fitness items from the European Test of Physical Fitness (Eurofit) for children with visual impairments. A sample of 21 children, ages 6-12 years, that were recruited from a special school for children with visual impairments participated. Performance on the following physical fitness items was measured on two test sessions with 4 weeks in between: sit-and-reach, standing broad jump, handgrip, sit-ups, bent-arm hang, and 20-m multistage shuttle run. The 10 × 5-m shuttle run was replaced by a 5 × 10-m shuttle run. Intraclass correlations ranged from .63 to .91, indicating moderate-to-excellent reliability. However, systematic differences between test and retest were found for the sit-and-reach, bent-arm hang, and the modified 5 × 10-m shuttle run items. The results indicate that for most items, test-retest reliability was satisfactory, but that improvements need to be made to the test protocols of the sit-and-reach, bent-arm hang, and the 5 × 10-m shuttle run items to ensure test-retest reliability.