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Visuomotor integration and inhibitory control compensate for each other in school readiness

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Description:
Visuomotor integration (VMI), or the ability to copy designs, and 2 measures of executive function were examined in a predominantly low-income, typically developing sample of children (n = 467, mean age 4.2 years) from 5 U.S. states. In regression models controlling for age and demographic variables, we tested the interaction between visuomotor integration (design copying) and inhibitory control (pencil-tap) or verbal working memory (digit span) on 4 directly assessed academic skills and teacher-reported approaches to learning. Compared with children with both poor visuomotor integration and low inhibitory control, those on the higher end of the continuum in at least 1 of these 2 skills performed better across several dependent variables. This compensatory pattern was evident for longitudinal improvement in print knowledge on the Test of Preschool Early Literacy (TOPEL), with similar though marginally significant findings for improvement in phonological awareness (TOPEL) and teacher-rated approaches to learning on the Preschool Learning Behaviors Scale (PLBS). Of note, the same compensatory pattern emerged for concurrently measured receptive vocabulary on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT), expressive vocabulary on the Woodcock-Johnson III (WJ), TOPEL phonological awareness, and teacher-rated approaches to learning. The consistent pattern of results suggests that strong visuomotor integration skills are an important part of school readiness, and merit further study. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
Country:
United States

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