Deakin University

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Top-down and bottom-up approaches to motor skill assessment of children : are child-report and parent-report perceptions predictive of children's performance-based assessment results?

journal contribution
posted on 2013-01-01, 00:00 authored by J Kennedy, T Brown, Karen StagnittiKaren Stagnitti
Background/ Aim: Therapists use different types of tests, scales, and instruments to assess children's motor skills, including those classified as being top-down and bottom-up. The aim of the study was to investigate the ability of measures of children's motor skill performance from the perspectives of children and parents (a type of top-down assessment) to predict children's performance-based motor ability test results (a type of bottom-up assessment).
Methods: A convenience sample of 38 children and parents was recruited from Victoria, Australia. Motor skill performance was evaluated from a top-down perspective using the Physical Self-Description Questionnaire (PSDQ) and the Movement Assessment Battery for Children – Second Edition (MABC-2) Checklist to measure children's and parents' perspectives respectively. Motor skill performance was also evaluated from a bottom-up approach using the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency – Second Edition (BOT-2). Data were analyzed using multiple linear regression analysis to determine whether the PSDQ or MABC-2 Checklist was predictive of the children's BOT-2 performance results.
Results: Two predictive relationships were identified based on parents' perspectives, where the total score of the MABC-2 Checklist was found to be a significant predictor of the BOT-2 Manual Coordination motor composite score, accounting for 8.35% of its variance, and the BOT-2 Strength and Agility motor composite score, accounting for 11.6% of its variance. No predictive relationships were identified between the children's self-report PSDQ perspectives and the BOT-2 performance scores.
Conclusions: Therapists are encouraged to utilize a combination of top-down and bottom-up approaches and purposefully to seek parents' and children's perspectives when evaluating children's motor skill performance.



Scandinavian journal of occupational therapy






45 - 53


Informa Healthcare


London, England





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C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

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