Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development

Development of a New Motor Assessment for Young Adults

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  • Funded by a Nigel Groome Studentship, Cara Law is developing a new motor assessment for young adults for her PhD.

    Competence in movement coordination and motor control is necessary for full participation in education and employment. However, some individuals, such as those with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)/‘Dyspraxia’ have difficulties in this area. Currently there are few tools available to assess motor skill in older adolescents and young adults, and their motor difficulties are poorly understood. Cara’s research will develop a new motor performance test to be used with young adults in Higher Education.

    Cara’s initial study will use interviews and questionnaires with professionals and practitioners working with young adults in education and health settings. This will help to identify current practice relating to motor assessment, and the type of test that would be useful to them. This will help understand the needs of assessors and the design of a new practical tool for use in Higher Education.This is likely to include a range of movement tasks to assess the speed, accuracy and quality of movement. Data will be collected on a sample of over 200 young adults in Higher Education. The reliability and validity of the new motor test will also be assessed. The findings from this research will assist in furthering our understanding of the presentation of DCD in young adults and the profile of motor ability, and may be used to support a diagnosis of DCD and support an application for additional support for Higher Education students.

    If you would like to find out more or to take part in Cara’s research please contact her via email: cara.law@brookes.ac.uk