Locomotion Improves Children's Spatial Search: A Meta-Analytic Review

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This meta-analysis quantitatively summarized the developmental influence and the effects of locomotor experience as well as the benefits of locomotor practice, locomotor assistance, and active searching patterns on children's search performance. Based on specific criteria, a search of a database and reference lists identified 19 studies, including 1,029 children (510 boys and 519 girls) from 4 to 144 months of age. Outcome measures of spatial performance were converted to 83 effect sizes that reflected the effects of specific experimental characteristics. Analyses of variance indicated that with older children, locomotor activities are more important to their spatial searching. Locomotor status, searching patterns, locomotor assistance, test conditions, and test reliability were identified as moderator variables. In addition, locomotor training significantly improved children's spatial search. The results supported the hypothesis that children's development of spatial search skills is influenced by locomotor experience.

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Yan, Jin H., Jerry R. Thomas, and John H. Downing. "Locomotion improves children's spatial search: a meta-analytic review." Perceptual and Motor Skills 87, no. 1 (1998): 67-82.

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