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Movement coordination and control in children with and without Developmental Coordination Disorder in ball catching Open Access


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Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Przysucha, Eryk
Supervisor and department
Maraj, Brian (Department of Physical Education & Recreation)
Bouffard, Marcel (Department of Physical Education & Recreation)
Examining committee member and department
Causgrove-Dunn, Janice (Department of Physical Education & Recreation)
Rieger, Jana (Department of Speech Pathology & Audiology)
Jones, Kelvin (Department of Physical Education & Recreation)
Reid, Greig (Magill University)
Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
A rigorous investigation of functional collectives of musculo-skeletal articulators is lacking in DCD literature, in spite of powerful empirical arguments suggesting that they represent a critical unit of control (e.g., coordinative structure theory). Thus, the purpose of this dissertation was to examine how children with and without DCD coordinate and control their actions in a multi-degrees of freedom task, such as ball catching. The first study focused on the development of a protocol and qualitative measures capable of examining ball catching performance in children of varying skill levels. The second study involved a replication of the previously devised protocol with a larger group of individuals with and without DCD. The third phase involved a more in-depth analysis of spatial and temporal aspects of movement coordination and control using kinematics. Typically developing boys effectively coordinated and controlled their actions regardless of the task constraints. This confirms that by 10-11 years of age ball catching, and the underlying perceptual-motor mechanisms, are well developed. The analysis of the emerging tendencies showed that they coupled and decoupled the existing spatio-temporal coordinative relations depending on the task constraints, and biomechanical properties of the relevant elements involved. This supports the notion that optimal movement coordination reflects the ability to re-organize the relevant coordinative structures, given the existing constraints.
License granted by Eryk Przysucha ( on 2010-12-16T16:57:37Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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