Links between Motor Skills and Indicators of School Readiness at Kindergarten Entry in Urban Disadvantaged Children

  •  Linda Pagani    
  •  Sylvie Messier    


School readiness represents a kindergarten characteristic which ultimately contributes to academic and personal success. This literature has traditionally focused on cognitive and behavioral characteristics. However, clinicians underscore the critical importance of motor skills to kindergarten preparedness. This study, using data from the Montreal Longitudinal Preschool Study, examines concurrent links between motor skills and other indicators of school readiness in typically developing children attending regular kindergarten classrooms in disadvantaged environments. Participants include a sample of 522 children from the Montreal Longitudinal Preschool Study with individual assessments of receptive vocabulary and number knowledge and teacher ratings of gross, fine, and perceptual-motor skills and classroom behaviors. The link between motor skills and early math skills completely explained any influence attributed to verbal skills. Developing a better understanding of how the distinct key elements of school readiness relate to each other will help teachers devise more comprehensive strategies in helping children become prepared for the first grade transition, especially in urban, disadvantaged settings.

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