The role of self-regulation in motor learning : exploring the self-regulated motor performance of children with developmental coordination disorder
Sangster, Claire Alexandra
University of Cambridge
Faculty of Education
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
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Sangster, C. A. (2010). The role of self-regulation in motor learning : exploring the self-regulated motor performance of children with developmental coordination disorder (Doctoral thesis). https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.11682
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Children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) struggle to perforn1 everyday motor tasks and, as a result, experience difficulty coping with the demands at home and school. Recently, a cognitive learning paradigm has been applied to studying the nature of the problems experienced by children with DCD, which assumes that these children have fewer cognitive and metacognitive skills with which to acquire motor skills and solve motor performance problems. In other words, it assumes that children with DCD poorly self-regulate their own motor performance. However, despite the highly recognized role played by cognition in motor learning and the emergence of cognitive models for working with children with DCD, individual differences amongst children's use of self-regulatory (SR) and metacognitive skill during motor learning has received little attention in the research literature. As such, the aim of the present research was to develop a better understanding of the self-regulatory differences exhibited during motor learning between children with and without DCD, whether these differences contribute to the performance problems experienced by children with DCD and how a cognitively oriented intervention program facilitates change in self-regulated motor performance. Twenty children with and without DCD, aged between 7 and 9 years, participated in a 10-session intervention program in which the aim was to improve performance on a self-selected motor task. This program became the context in which the self-regulatory performance of children was observed. Using a mixed methods approach, this study carried out quantitative and qualitative analyses using observational and self-report data in order to examine self-regulatory behaviour across groups and within individual cases. On the whole, children with DCD were found to exhibit less independent and less effective SR behaviour than children without DCD. Promisingly, SR performance amongst children with DCD often improved through mediated participation in the intervention program, an improvement which was observed to co-occur with improved task performance. The present study additionally revealed that existing models of self-regulatory and metacognitive development, which distinguish between implicit and conscious forms of such ability and describe the sequential nature in which these abilities emerge, are applicable to the study of these constructs in the motor domain and, as such, can be used to further our understanding of the role of self-regulation in motor performance and the nature of the difficulties experienced by children with DCD.
This record's DOI: https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.11682