Monday, January 9, 2012

Goal-directed behavior in children with spina bifida.

Landry SH, Copeland D, Lee A, Robinson S. (1990) Goal-directed behavior in children with spina bifida. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 1990 Dec;11(6):306-11.

A group of school-age children with spina bifida (n = 15) between the ages of 6 and 12 years were compared with an age- and IQ-matched control group of normal children (n = 15). Goal-directed behavior in these two groups was measured by videotaped observational measures of the number of different task-oriented play activities the children performed and the amount of time they spent in independent task-oriented activities. Measures of time spent off-task and in simple manipulation of the play materials were taken, as well as the number of social initiations the child directed to the examiner. The children with spina bifida spent less time in task-oriented activities than the control group, even though there were no group differences in the number of activities performed. The differences could not be explained by cognitive impairments or socioeconomic factors. These results suggest that children with spina bifida may have specific problems with sustaining goal-directed behavior, and need assistance in formulating and implementing a sequence of actions in order to achieve concrete short-term goals.

PMID: 2149725

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