ERIC Number: EJ929170
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Are Balance Problems Connected to Reading Speed or the Familial Risk of Dyslexia?
Viholainen, Helena; Aro, Mikko; Ahonen, Timo; Crawford, Susan; Cantell, Marja; Kooistra, Libbe
Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, v53 n4 p350-353 Apr 2011
Aim: The aim of this study was to examine the connection between balance problems and reading speed in children with and without a familial risk of dyslexia by controlling for the effects of attention, hyperactivity, and cognitive and motor functioning. Method: The prevalence of balance problems was studied in 94 children (48 females, 46 males) with a familial risk of dyslexia (at-risk group) and 85 children (38 females, 47 males) without a risk of dyslexia (comparison group). Further, the relationships between balance problems (at age 8y 6mo), reading proficiency (at age 9y), attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (at age 8y), and cognitive (at age 8y 6mo) and motor functioning (at age 6y 6mo) were examined. Inclusion criteria for the at-risk group were that at least one parent had a confirmed reading problem and one or more of the parents' close relatives also had a reading problem. The Good Balance System was used to assess static standing balance, word-list and text reading tasks were used to measure reading proficiency. The Behavioural Assessment System for Children--Parent Rating Scale was used to assess attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder, the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children was used to assess cognitive functioning, and the Movement Assessment Battery for Children was used to measure motor functioning. Results: Balance (F(subscript 1,177) = 4.82; p = 0.029; eta [superscript 2; subscript I] = 0.027) and reading (F(1,176) = 11.95; p = 0.001; eta [superscript 2; subscript I] = 0.064) problems were more common in the at-risk group than in the comparison group. Furthermore, attention, hyperactivity, IQ, and motor functioning were not related to balance problems. However, attention (F(1,154) = 10.80; p = 0.001; eta [superscript 2; subscript I] = 0.066) and IQ (F(1,170) = 22.08; p less than 0.001; eta [superscript 2; subscript I] = 0.115) were individually connected to reading speed. Interpretation: Balance problems alone could not produce any differences in reading skills. Instead, both balance problems and reduced reading skills were mainly associated separately with a familial risk of dyslexia. This indicates that there may be a shared genetic mechanism between balance and reading problems.
Descriptors: Dyslexia, Reading Rate, Perceptual Motor Coordination, Children, At Risk Persons, Reading Skills, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Psychomotor Skills, Cognitive Ability, Attention, Hyperactivity, Intelligence Quotient
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children