Physical literacy and reading literacy: the relationship between fine and gross motor skills and reading ability of children in grades three and four, in a New Brunswick, on-reserve First Nation elementary school

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University of New Brunswick


This study examines the relationship between physical literacy, motor coordination, language, and reading in an on-reserve, First Nation elementary school with children in grades three and four, while controlling for potentially confounding factors such as language, and nonverbal abilities. The Jebsen Hand Function Test provided one indicator of motor coordination (manual dexterity). The Physical Literacy Assessment for Youth’s (PLAY) Fundamental Skills tool provided a physical literacy score and five indicators of motor coordination (run, locomotor, object control upper and lower body, and balance, stability and body control). The Wechsler Individual Achievement Test – III provided two indicators of basic reading (Word Reading and Pseudoword Decoding subtests). Basic reading was controlled for language (Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals – 5) and nonverbal abilities (Coloured Progressive Matrices). The thesis hypothesizes that motor coordination will have a correlation with basic reading ability. To determine this hypothesis, correlation, partial correlations, and independent t-tests were conducted. The results of the current study indicated that there was no association between fine and gross motor skills and basic reading. This is an exploratory study with a limited number of participants.