Children with Down syndrome exhibit lower motor and cognitive performance than typically developing children. Although there is a relationship between these two developmental domains, only a few studies have addressed this association in children with DS compared to groups of the same chronological age or mental age within one study. This study aimed to fill this research gap.
There are significant group differences in the motor dimension, for processing speed, and cognitive flexibility. Between typically developed chronological age-matched children and both other groups, the differences in the magnitude of correlations for the motor dimension balance are also significant. The results of previous studies could be confirmed separately for both domains—motor and cognitive performance. Children with Down Syndrome show relative strengths in aiming and catching in the motor domain and good information-processing functioning in the cognitive domain. In higher cognitive functions (cognitive flexibility), children with Down Syndrome show weak performance. Our results suggest that the relationships depend on the studied cognitive and motor skills. It seems crucial to select a wide range of tasks for both domains that are as isolated as possible for future studies, to better understand the relationships between cognitive and motor skills in children with Down Syndrome.
Klotzbier, T. J., Holfelder, B., & Schott, N. (2022). Associations of motor performance and executive functions: Comparing children with Down syndrome to chronological and mental age-matched controls. Children, 9(1), 73 .