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Studying Environmental Effects on Motor Development. C omparatively, little research has addressed one of the primary determinants of MD Environment . Intent :. to highlight the role of the environment in the study of MD describe a contemporary model for research

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Studying environmental effects on motor development l.jpg

Studying Environmental Effects on Motor Development

C omparatively little research has addressed one of the primary determinants of md environment l.jpg

Comparatively, little research has addressed one of the primary determinants of MD Environment

Intent l.jpg


to highlight the role of the environment in the study of MD

describe a contemporary model for research

consider examples of (for) research…

Developmental systems perspective l.jpg
Developmental Systems Perspective

Human Development is the product of changingrelations between the developing person and his or her changingmulti-level environmental contexts

understanding how biological levels dynamically interact with levels of contexts (Contextualism)

stresses the interrelation of all levels

(Lerner, 2002)

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What is Motor Development?

Study of changein motor behavior [and underlying processes] as influenced by biological and environmental factors

environmental contexts

biological systems

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The first assumption of the dynamic approach is that developing organisms are complex (self-organizing) systems ……the coherence is generated solely in the relationships between the organic components and the constraints and opportunities of the environment.

Smith & Thelen (2003) Trends in Cognitive Sciences

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Environmental Effects developing organisms are complex (

An optimal level of development occurs only with a stimulating

environmentand strong contextual support

The National Academies(January, 2000)

“ Research indicates that early relationships are especially

critical, and thatcultural values and practicesprovide the

context for these bonds.”

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Newell’s Constraints Model developing organisms are complex (

  • (specific)

(setting, sociocultural)

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Gibson’s Ecological Perspective developing organisms are complex (

Infants directly perceive and act on information



in environment

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Affordance developing organisms are complex ((Gibson, 1979)

Theory explores the potential relationships between person-environment

Properties of the environment that offer the individual the opportunity to learn or utilize a skill or develop a part of the biological system

Affordances are opportunities that offer the individual potential for action, and consequently to learn and develop a skill or a part of the biological system

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Affordances developing organisms are complex (include: toys, materials, apparatus, availability of space, stimulation and nurturing by parents and others Eventsoffer the child opportunities for action. Hirose states, “Affordances are opportunities for action that objects, events, or places in the environment provide for the animal,” (p. 104).

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Affordances developing organisms are complex (

Action depends on(task):

developmental level


present need

cognitive awareness= Ecological Fit

Studies, e.g., Adolph, 1993, 1995, 2007

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Urie Bronfenbrenner developing organisms are complex (

Ecological Systems Theory

  • The varied systems of the environment and the interrelationships among the systems shape a child's development.

  • Both the environment and biology influence the child's development.

  • The environment affects the child and the child influences the environment.

Bronfenbrenner U. (1979, 1989. 2005)

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Ecological Systems Model developing organisms are complex (

  • the person interacts with ecological contexts as part of a system. That is, the person acts on the context while the context acts on the person. To some extent, all the contexts interact with one another

  • the world of the child (and indeed all of us) consists of five systems of interaction

  • each system depends on the contextual nature of the person’s life and offers an evergrowing diversity of options and sources of growth

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Systems Model developing organisms are complex (

  • Microsystem

  • Mesosystem

  • Exosystem

  • Macrosystem

  • Chronosystem

Bronfenbrenner U. (1979, 1989. 2005)

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* developing organisms are complex (





increasing focus on the child


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microsystem developing organisms are complex (-- the most immediate and earliest influences is the family, along with local neighborhood or

community institutions such as the school, religious institutions and peer groups as well as the specific culture

with which the family identifies.

macrosystem-- society and global influence

Huitt (2003)

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Research developing organisms are complex (

  • Swick & Williams, 2006, use of model

  • Harney, 2007, use of model

  • Liles & Juhnke, 2008,adolesc. diabetes

    • (Process-Person-Context-Time Model)

  • Yu & Stiffman, 2007, alcohol abuse

  • (family, social, cultural)

  • Garcia & Saewyc, 2007, mental health

    • (cultural, community services)

  • Schwebel & Brezausek, 2007, pediatric injury

  • (family [home], and child care environment)

23 dissertations in 2007 (ProQuest)

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Movement Science developing organisms are complex (

Salmon & Timperio, 2007, Med Sport Sci, physical activity(neighborhood social and physical environment)Gilmer et al., 2003, J Pediatric Nurs, physical activity(peers, family, & community)

Bronfenbrenner’s model provides a comprehensive and dynamic conceptual framework for understanding human development (Bengoechea, Quest, 2002)

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Process-Person-Context-Time ( developing organisms are complex (PPCT) ecological model

Bronfenbrenner, 2005

See excellent review by Krebs, Int. J. Sport Psychol., 2009

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(PPCT) developing organisms are complex (

Process: fused and dynamic relation of the person and context

Person: biological, cognitive, and emotional characteristics

Context: nested levels or systems of the ecology

Time: multiple dimensions of temporality

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(PPCT) example A developing organisms are complex (

Environmental influence on physical activity /

fundamental motor skills

Person(fitness, FMS characteristics)

Process (play / sport, physical education, recess - time / freq)

Context(SES, family [father, mother…], community [facilities, access, safety, crime, urban design])

Time(K > 2, childhood > adolescence)

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(PPCT) example B developing organisms are complex (

The relation between early motor development

and early cognitive ability

Person(birth status, fine- and gross motor ability, cognitive..)

Process (play time / type, physical education, sport)

Context(SES, family [father, mother…{education, alcohol, pa level…],home environ.,community [facilities, access, urban design])

Time(early childhood > school age years)

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MD in context developing organisms are complex (








Time 1TIMETime 2


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The developing organisms are complex (AHEMD

Affordances in the Home Environment for Motor Development (AHEMD)

A unique observational research instrument to assess the quality and quantity of motor development affordances in the home for children 3- to 42 months, and a new infant scale (AHEMD-IS) for ages

3- to 18 mo.

Rodrigues et al., 2005, 2008)

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Thank you! developing organisms are complex (