Relations between motor skills and language skills in toddlers and preschool-aged children
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionReikerås, E., Moser, T., & Tønnessen, F. E. (2020). Motor skills and language skills in toddlers and preschool-aged children. Journal for Research in Arts and Sports Education, 4(2), 47-67. https://doi.org/10.23865/jased.v4.2417
The purpose of this longitudinal study is to (1) examine the relations between language and motor-life skills in toddlers and preschool-aged children (n = 646) in real-life situations; and (2) to explore how the level of motor-life skills in toddlers (2 years and 9 months, T1) is related to language skills at preschool age (4 years and 9 months, T2). Data were collected through structured observation during play and daily life activities (authentic assessment) by staff in Norwegian Early Childhood Education and Care institutions. The correlations between motor-life skills and language skills at T1 were significant but small (r = .12 to .29) and were somewhat stronger at T2 (r = .18 to .46). The correlation between motor-life skills at T1 and language skills at T2 (total score) was small (rho = .25) but significant. However, the subgroups with weak and strong motor-life skills at T1 differed significantly in language skills at T2 (effect size: .40). These findings support and complement previous research, which indicates significant relations between the level of motor-life skills in toddler age and language skills in preschool age.