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Complexity of rhythmic ability as measured in preschool children.

Research paper by V V Derri, A A Tsapakidou, E E Zachopoulou, V V Gini

Indexed on: 17 Jul '01Published on: 17 Jul '01Published in: Perceptual and motor skills



Abstract

There are many aspects which need to be explored before a comprehensive description of young children's rhythmic ability can be developed. The present study examined the relation of age and sex and preschool children's rhythmic ability expressed in performance with one and two hands, bilateral and parallel use of upper and lower limbs. Two groups of preschool children participated (N= 77), 4.5 to 5.5 and 5.6 to 6.5 yr. of age. A version of the High/Scope Beat Competence Analysis Test was used to assess rhythmic ability. The children performed the same six movements, e.g., parallel movement of hands, bilateral movement of hands, movement of the preferred hand, movement of the nonpreferred hand, bilateral movement of feet in a seated position, and bilateral movement of feet in a standing position. Analysis showed that girls were more accurate than boys on bilateral movement of hands while boys were more accurate than girls on bilateral movement of feet in a seated position. Also, children were more accurate (a) on the movement with the preferred hand than with parallel movement of hands and nonpreferred hand movement, (b) on bilateral movement of hands than with parallel movement of hands and bilateral movement of feet in a seated position, and (c) on bilateral movement of feet while standing than seated. It can be concluded that the various rhythmic movements with upper and/or lower limbs follow different rates of development in preschool children. The above findings may assist physical educators in implementing a physical education program more effectively for the corresponding age groups.