The ability to match one’s movements to an external beat and maintain that rhythm in the absence of the beat suggests sophisticated, well-developed neural control. Children (aged 5–10 years) were compared with adults (aged 18–30 years) during a repetitive reaching task to determine development of this control. Children as young as 5 years exhibited this control. The mean rate of reaching did not differ between groups nor did it differ during the two phases, suggesting an overall ability to internalize and continuously repeat a given pace. Children aged 5–8 years were significantly more variable than children aged 9–10 years and adults, likely attributable to variability in central control processes. We found a possible transition period of temporal control. Children aged 9–10 years begin to exhibit more adult-like levels of variability with respect to temporal consistency and movement effort.
Victoria Galea, Robyn Traynor and Michael Pierrynowski
Marilyn J. Wright, Victoria Galea and Ronald D. Barr
Participation in physical activity has important beneficial effects on physical and psychological health. Many outcomes associated with physical activity are typically compromised in survivors of childhood cancer. The purpose of this study was to describe self-perceptions of physical activity in survivors of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and to explore the relationships of these findings with quality of life measures and clinical descriptors. 62 children and adolescents treated previously for ALL and 71 comparable healthy subjects completed the Children’s Self-perceptions of Adequacy in and Predilection for Physical Activity (CSAPPA) scale and the Health Utilities Index (HUI). The ALL subjects had significantly poorer self-perceptions of their adequacy in and predilection for physical activity than the comparison group. Stepwise regression analyses identified high risk for relapse, female gender, and older age, but not body-mass-index, age, age at diagnosis, length of time off therapy, or cranial irradiation as significant predictors of CSAPPA total scores in the ALL group. HUI overall scores and single attribute scores for emotion, cognition and pain had significant positive correlations with various CSAPPA scores. Results suggest that survivors of ALL are less inclined to participate in physical activity and physical activity scores are related to quality of life scores. Long-term follow-up should include education and programming to promote participation in physical activity.
Olivia Cook, Gail Frost, Donna Twose, Linda Wallman, Bareket Falk, Victoria Galea, Allan Adkin and Panagiota Klentrou
This pilot study examined whether an adapted gymnastics program, CAN-flip, could be a feasible activity for children with cerebral palsy (CP) leading to improvements in muscle fitness, motor performance, and physical self-perception. Four girls and 1 boy (9.8 ± 1.3 yr) with CP participated in this multiple-baseline acrosssubjects design and were randomly assigned to start either the 6-wk gymnastics or the 6-wk control period. Muscle strength, neuromuscular activation, range of motion, gross motor performance, balance, and physical self-perception were assessed at baseline, after the first 6-wk period, and at the conclusion of the study. The gymnastics program comprised two 1-hr individualized classes per week. All participants were able to complete the gymnastics classes without injury and showed improvement in specific gymnastics skills. In addition, 3 of the 5 participants registered for regular gymnastics classes after the study, demonstrating the program’s usability as a link to inclusive gymnastic classes.