ANTHROPOMETRIC CHARACTERISTICS OF PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN

Blagoja GESHOSKI

Abstract


In special education and rehabilitation a large number of implemented researches on physical and motor development of children with disabilities have been targeted in comparison to development of standards for children with normal development. It is evident that the overall physical and motor development of children with disabilities is unfolding in various pace and it is achieving a different level compared to children with normal development.

The theory and practice of special education and rehabilitation takes into account the specifics of the rhythm of physical development, that is predisposed to the biological development plans (regulated by internal factors), but differences in the pace and level of development of children with disabilities require a special  research approach, interpretation and application of the results obtained.

It is necessary to explain the specifics of the physical and motor development and the impact of sensory, cognitive and motor development disorders on physical growth and motor development among people of different calendar age and its results to be linked to programs for education and rehabilitation.

The main objective of the study was evaluation and comparison of the anthropometric characteristics of primary school children, whilst anthropometric characteristics were analyzed in terms of gender, age, type of school, degree of physical activity, the condition of the senses and the level of intellectual and motor functioning.

The survey covered a total of 260 respondents from primary schools in both genders,  counting: I group - 160 respondents from regular primary schools in the municipality of Strumica and 100 respondents who attend special schools and day care centre (II group - 40 subjects with impaired hearing the Special institution for rehabilitation of children with impaired hearing "Koco Racin" - Bitola; III group - 40 participants with mild intellectual disabilities from Special institution "Idnina" - Skopje and IV group - 20 respondents with cerebral palsy from the Day Centre in Skopje). Each group was structured in terms of gender (male and female) and in terms of age (8 to 10 years and from 14 to 15 years).

The survey was conducted on terrain, in natural living conditions and the relevant data were collected by an insight in documents, measurement, testing and respondents survey. For the  needs of the research A  Protocol  is composed for  anthropometric assessment  status and motor functioning among students of primary schools, which contains tests for measuring  anthropometric characteristics, test assessment lateralization of limbs and senses, an assessment test of general motor skills based  on Ozoretski and questionnaire to assess the involvement of children in physical activities. Anthropological measurements of variables are carried out under international biological program (IBP).

The data obtained in the study were processed using appropriate mathematical and statistical procedures: descriptive statistics, χ2 -test, Fisher exact test, t-test, ANOVA and Pearson correlation coefficient. The data were processed using statistical computer program XL STAT, and the statistical significance was a level of significance of ρ <0,05.

According to the obtained  results it has been confirmed that among respondents from Group I (normal development) and Group II (hearing impaired) there have been  statistically significant differences 8 of 10 anthropometric parameters aged 8 to 10 years and 9 to 10 anthropometric parameters in group age 14-15 years. Among the respondents I and III (mild intellectual disability) group derived statistically significant difference for 9 of 10 anthropo­metric parameters aged 8-10 years and 8 of 10 parameters in the age group 14-15 years. Among the respondents I and IV (CP) group, 9 of 10 anthropometric parameters obtained statistically significant difference in the age group of 8-10 years, and 14-15 years age group, statistically significant differences to 5 of 10 anthropometric variables.

Respondents with normal development at the age of 8 to 10 years have a significantly higher body height and higher BMI (body mass index) compared to their peers with hearing impairment, significantly higher body height and body weight in relation to students with mild intellectual disability and significantly higher body weight and body height in relation to children with cerebral palsy. Respondents with normal development at the age of 14 to 15 years have a significantly higher body height, body weight and a higher BMI compared to those with hearing the same age, significantly higher body height, body weight and a higher BMI compared to those with mild intellectual disability and significantly higher body weight and body height in relation to their peers with cerebral palsy.

Respondents from Group I at the age of 8 to 10 years, in 9 of 10 anthropometric parameters obtained statistically significant difference between male and female respondents. From a total of 10 tested anthropometric parameters in subjects from I group aged 14 to 15 years in 9 anthropometric parameters were obtained statistically significant differences between respondents from male and female. Respondents from Group II, III and IV group of age group 8-10 years and respondents from Group II, III and IV group, group aged 14-15 years received no statistically significant differences between participants of different gender.

Comparison of anthropometric characteristics of respondents from Group I and respondents from Group II in terms of age, in 9 anthropometric parameters obtained statistically significant difference between respondents aged 8-10 years and respondents aged 14 to 15 years. Comparison of anthropometric characteristics of respondents from Group III and Group IV of the respondents in terms of age, for all tested anthropometric parameters obtained statistically significant difference between respondents aged 8 to 10 years and respondents aged 14 to 15 years.

Quotients of motor pupils aged 8 to 10 years, the group subjects with normal development is 89.49; the group of subjects with impaired hearing is 85.54; the group of subjects with intellectual disability is 82.47 and in subjects with cerebral palsy 64.64. In the second age group (14–15 years) subjects with normal development of motor skills have quotient 94.90; those with impaired hearing - 92.20; those with intellectual disabilities - 82.76 and those with cerebral palsy - 56.48.

The majority of respondents (74.80%), aged 8-10 years are engaged only in regular physical activities at school (II group - 90%, I group - 83,75%, III group - 50%, and no respondent the IV group). In preventive / corrective activities 13,39%  are included (IV group -71,43%, III group - 50%, II group - 10% and none in Group I respondents). The largest number of respondents aged 14-15 years is included only in regular physical activities at school (75.94%).

Furthermore, research has established a significant factor definition and compliance of lateralization group subjects with normal development and in the group of subjects with sensory disorders, compared to those with intellectual and motor development disorders.

Analysis of the results confirms our basic assumption that developmental disorders determine anthropometric and motor profile of children from primary schools. The survey obtained different structures of anthropo­metric profile and motor abilities of hearing impaired pupils with mild intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy and children with normal development.

The structure of the results indicates that the various developmental conditions cause different anthropometric and motor profile of students of primary schools. Anthropometric characteristics of children with normal development are structured in terms of gender and age, while students with sensory, cognitive and motor development disorders, anthropometric characteristics are structured in terms of age, but not in terms of gender.

In theoretical terms, this research highlights the changed conditions for development and the importance of their prediction on physical and motor development among students with disabilities. In a practical sense, knowledge of standards development and the impact on certain factors for structuring the body and motor profile of students is an important predictor in assessing the functional capacity of the students and the basis for the structuring of physical education and education program for preventive corrective work.


Keywords


growth, development, children with disabilities, anthropometry, motor, elementary school.

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