Free
Poster Session
Issue Date: July 2015
Published Online: July 01, 2015
Updated: April 30, 2020
Motor Development Characteristics of Young Children Exposed to Maltreatment
Author Affiliations
  • Loma Linda University
Article Information
Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / School-Based Practice / Basic Research
Poster Session   |   July 01, 2015
Motor Development Characteristics of Young Children Exposed to Maltreatment
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July 2015, Vol. 69, 6911505113. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.69S1-PO3091
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July 2015, Vol. 69, 6911505113. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.69S1-PO3091
Abstract

Date Presented 4/17/2015

This retrospective study explored the motor development of 15 children younger than age 5 yr who had been exposed to maltreatment. Results from the Peabody Developmental Motor Scales–Second Edition (PDMS–2). Results indicated 93% (n = 14) improvement in the area of grasping and 80% (n = 12) improvement in visual–motor integration after occupational therapy intervention.

SIGNIFICANCE: Consequences of maltreatment can be identified at an early age, including delays in gross and fine motor development. Children explore and experience life by maneuvering through the environment by rolling, crawling, walking, running, as well as reaching for objects (and grasping and manipulating the objects in their hands). Challenges in motor development can affect the child’s play, self-care, and school readiness.
This retrospective study explored the motor development of children from birth to age 5 yr who had been exposed to maltreatment. This was accomplished by analyzing pre- and postintervention deidentified data from the Peabody Developmental Motor Scales–Second Edition (PDMS–2) administered by an occupational therapist (OT).
METHOD: In this retrospective study, data were collected from a countywide program in southern California that provides services for children younger than age 5 yr who experienced trauma or who were prenatally exposed to alcohol or drugs. Data were collected from August 14, 2008, to June 1, 2013. Fifteen deidentified data sets of pre- and postinterventions were collected from children aged 4 to 56 mo.
The PDMS–2 is a standardized assessment designed for children aged 0 to 5 yr that measures the following motor skills: reflexes, stationary, locomotion, object manipulation, grasping, and visual-motor integration. The test is valid and reliable, with internal consistency reliability coefficients for the PDMS–2 subtests exceeding .90 in most instances. Descriptive statistics were utilized to highlight results.
Pre- and postintervention data were analyzed by organizing subtests and by determining fine motor quotient (FMQ) and gross motor quotient (GMQ). Incomplete data, such as reflexes and object manipulation, were discarded. Descriptive statistics were determined and completed in grasping, visual-motor integration, stationary, and locomotion.
RESULTS: The range of data sets was from 4 to 56 mo at time of administration. The time between pre- and postadministration of the PDMS–2 varied from 4 to 19 mo in time. Overall, the preassessment mean FMQ (1.86) and GMQ (1.93) indicated motor delays. From initial assessment of fine motor skill subtests, 73% (n = 11) of grasping standard scores and 47% (n = 7) of visual-motor integration standard scores were between 1 and 5, correlating to a percentile ranking range of 1% to 5%. Initial assessment of gross motor skill subtests showed that 47% (n = 7) of locomotion standard scores and 40% (n = 6) of stationary standard scores were between 1 and 5, correlating to a percentile ranking range of 1% to 5%. Descriptive analysis of the pre- and postassessment for the data sets (n = 15) showed that grasping standard scores improved in 93.3% (n = 14) of the cases when comparing initial assessment to postassessment scores. A total of 80% (n = 12) of visual–motor integration standard scores either improved or remained the same, whereas 93.3% (n = 14) of stationary standard scores from initial assessment to postassessment either improved or remained the same. Nearly 87% (n = 13) exhibited improvements in locomotion standard scores when comparing initial assessment to postassessment scores.
CONCLUSION: This study highlights the characteristics of motor development of young children who experienced maltreatment as well as the positive changes in child’s trajectory in the area of motor development after OT intervention. The limitation of this study included a number of variables, such as time elapsed between pre–post administration of the PDMS–2, unknown home environment, reunification, and adoption.