Monday, March 8, 2010

Childhood Growth and Motor Development

One of the factors that affect childhood growth and motor development is nutrition. With nutrition, it can be many different factors that can lead to poor nutrition. These can be poor dieting choices, which can be childhood obesity. This could be due to parents not having time to prepare nutritious meals, and relying on fast food for their children. Another factor is physical activity. A lack of physical activity is a problem, as it means children aren't getting the adequate amounts of exercise needed. This can lead to obesity and possible decreases in muscle mass. If a child is overly physically active, it can lead to injuries that can be harmful to a child's development. Illness is the third factor. It's been shown that restricted opportunities of movements and movement experiences can interfere with a child's ability performing physical tasks. The last factor is lifestyle. Lifestyle has to do with the other three factors. A child may not have control over what they eat, how much they exercise, or environment factors that can affect their health.

Differentiation is the gradual progression from the movement patterns of infants as they mature to the basic functional movements in children. Integration is the coordinated interaction of opposing muscle and sensory systems. Both are related when an infant is developing skills and movements. These movements are usually hand-eye coordinated, which include both differentiation and integration.

A child in early development is usually energetic, preferring running over walking. Children in this stage are developing different movements, but understanding of certain movements is difficult for some children. At the early stage, children are enhancing their thoughts and ideas verbally. Children learn right from wrong, which during this stage, children begin to mature as they develop a conscience. A child who is in later development has instituted a hand preference. Girls begin to develop physically at a faster rate than boys, and interests become different between genders. Children are more focused at this stage, with a majority focused on their personal interests. Relationships with friends start to increase in the later stage. They want to spend more time with friends, and often engage in activities they don't want others to know about.

Track and Field skills involve all axial movements, along with dynamic basic skills. This is because in track, you have to stretch your body, along with bending the knees, and turning the body in a certain direction. Different locomotor skills include running, which is obviously important, for training and performance reasons. Jumping is important as well for those involved in field events. Different manipulate movement skills include field events such as shot put, javelin, and pole vault.

Gallahue's hour glass model describes four different phases. The first phase is the reflexive movement phase, which has the information encoding stage. This goes from when the child is in the uterus until about four months of age. The next stage is the information decoding stage which goes from four months to one year. The second phase is the rudimentary movement phase, which has two stages. The first being the reflex inhibition stage which goes from birth to one year, and the second being the pre-control stage. This goes from age one to two. The third phase is the fundamental movement phase, which has three stages. The first is the initial stage which goes from age two to three. The second is the elementary stage, going from age four to five. The third being the mature stage, going from age six to seven. The last phase is the specialized movement phase, which also has three stages. The first is the transition stage, which starts at age seven, and goes to age ten. The second is the application stage, going from age eleven to thirteen. The third stage is the lifelong utilization stage, which starts at age fourteen and continues as a child gets older.

The fundamental phase has three different stages which are the initial, elementary, and mature stages respectively. Beginning with the initial stage, children first begin to attempt certain activities, with movements still needing to be developed. The second stage is the elementary stage, which children are able to develop the basic skills needed for most locomotor movements. Some children don't make it past this stage. The mature stage is where someone can efficiently perform certain motor skills, which may be used in a game-like situation.

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