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ALSPAC – Age 7.5 – Motor Ability Task

The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) assessed their cohort members (CMs) during the study’s age 7.5 sweep (Focus@7) using the Motor Ability Task.

Details on this measure and the data collected from the CMs are outlined in the table below.

Domain:Motor skills
Measures:Motor skills
Manual dexterity
CHC:Gp (Psychomotor abilities)
Administration method:Trained interviewer; clinical setting; physical tasks
Procedure:Motor ability was assessed using the Movement-assessment battery for children (Henderson & Sugden, 1992). The three following sub-tests were administered: i) manual dexterity (placing pegs and threading lace), ii) ball skills (bean bags), and iii) balance (heel toe walking). For the pegs task, the child had to insert 12 pegs, one at a time, into a peg board. This was done using the preferred and non-preferred hand, and the time taken for each was recorded. For the threading lace task, the child was asked to thread a lace through holes in a wooden board. The task was demonstrated by the interviewer, and a practice trial was performed. The time taken to complete the task was recorded. For the ball skills task, the child was tasked with throwing a bean bag (underarm) into a box, which was placed 6 feet away from the child. After demonstrations and five practice throws, the number of successful throws out of 10 were recorded. For the balance (heel-toe) task, the child was asked to walk along a taped straight line, without leaving any gaps between their heel and toe. The child was scored on the total number of "successful" steps taken.
Link to questionnaire: (opens in new tab)
Scoring:0 - 72 seconds (peg game)
0 - 118 seconds (threading lace)
0 - 10 (bean bag)
0 - 15 (heel-toe)
Item-level variable(s):f7cr015 - f7cr331
Total score/derived variable(s):f7cr500 - f7cr502
Descriptives:Heel-toePeg game
N = 7,305N = 7,256
Range = 0 - 15Range = 14 - 72
Mean = 13.79Mean = 22.54
SD = 2.08SD = 3.98
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Threading laceBean bag
N = 6,658N = 7,314
Range = 9 - 118Range = 0 - 10
Mean = 23.32Mean = 5.82
SD = 8.20SD = 2.07
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(click image to enlarge)
Age of participants:Mean = 90.5 months, SD =3.83, Range = 82 - 113
Other sweep and/or cohort:None
Source:Sheila, E. H., & David, A. S. (1992). Movement-assessment battery for children: manual. London: The Psychological Corporation.
Technical resources:None
Reference examples:Lingam, R., Hunt, L., Golding, J., Jongmans, M., & Emond, A. (2009). Prevalence of developmental coordination disorder using the DSM-IV at 7 years of age: a UK population-based study. Pediatrics, 123(4), e693-e700.
Green, D., Lingam, R., Mattocks, C., Riddoch, C., Ness, A., & Emond, A. (2011). The risk of reduced physical activity in children with probable Developmental Coordination Disorder: a prospective longitudinal study. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 32(4), 1332-1342.

For the named items in the table above, links are provided to their corresponding content on CLOSER Discovery. Where a variable range is provided, full variable lists can be accessed through the ‘Variable Groups’ tab on the linked Discovery page.

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This page is part of CLOSER’s ‘A guide to the cognitive measures in five British birth cohort studies’.