The relationship between motor skills and cognitive skills in 4-16 year old typically developing children: A systematic review

Irene M. J. van der Fels, Sanne C. M. te Wierike*, Esther Hartman, Marije T. Elferink-Gemser, Joanne Smith, Chris Visscher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

188 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: This review aims to give an overview of studies providing evidence for a relationship between motor and cognitive skills in typically developing children.

Design: A systematic review.

Methods: PubMed, Web of Science, and PsychINFO were searched for relevant articles. A total of 21 articles were included in this study. Methodological quality was independently assessed by two reviewers. Motor and cognitive skills were divided into six categories.

Results: There was either no correlation in the literature, or insufficient evidence for or against many correlations between motor skills and cognitive skills. However, weak-to-strong evidence was found for some correlations between underlying categories of motor and cognitive skills, including complex motor skills and higher order cognitive skills. Furthermore, a stronger relationship between underlying categories of motor and cognitive skills was found in pre-pubertal children compared to pubertal children (older than 13 years).

Conclusions: Weak-to-strong relations were found between some motor and cognitive skills. The results suggest that complex motor intervention programs can be used to stimulate both motor and higher order cognitive skills in pre-pubertal children. (C) 2014 Sports Medicine Australia. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)697-703
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Volume18
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov-2015

Keywords

  • Motor performance
  • Motor ability
  • Cognition
  • Intelligence
  • Executive function
  • Children
  • EXECUTIVE FUNCTION
  • WORKING-MEMORY
  • 6-YEAR-OLD CHILDREN
  • COORDINATION
  • PERFORMANCE
  • INTELLIGENCE
  • SAMPLE
  • INTERRELATION
  • ADOLESCENTS
  • ACHIEVEMENT

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