An exploration of the relationship between motor skills difficulties and wellbeing, educational and social outcomes.

  • Katherine Lodal

Student thesis: Doctor of Educational and Child Psychology


This thesis explores the relationship between motor difficulties and wider educational, social and emotional outcomes. The first two sections have been prepared in accordance with author guidelines of the journals proposed for submission. The first paper presents a systematic review of the literature examining the effects of poor motor skills on self-esteem (global and/or domain specific) in children and adolescents. Four databases were searched for articles focusing on motor skills and self-esteem in children and adolescents. 26 potentially relevant studies were identified and from the 26, eight studies met the inclusion criteria. A synthesis of the studies reveals that there appears to be a relationship between motor skills and self-esteem, however this relationship is complex and likely to vary depending on age, gender and co-morbidity. Implications for EP practice are discussed. The second paper is an exploratory product evaluation of the Manchester Motor Skills Programme (MMSP). A mixed methodology was used to explore outcomes for four KS2 children with motor skills difficulties who participated in the MMSP. The children's motor skills, social skills, academic outcomes and self-esteem were assessed using standardized measures pre and post intervention and at follow up. Semi-structured interviews and a focus group were used to elicit the views of pupils, the class teacher and the group leader. Results indicated improvements in some motor skill domains which were sustained at follow up. Qualitative data highlights perceived improvement in children's social skills, confidence, and use of meta-cognitive strategies. Further research is needed into outcomes of the MMSP on children's social skills and self-esteem. The third paper discusses the dissemination of the research, providing a summary of the research development implications from the research at, the research site and at a wider Local Authority level. A strategy for promoting the dissemination and impact of the research will be discussed.
Date of Award31 Dec 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorCaroline Bond (Supervisor) & Catharine Atkinson (Supervisor)


  • Developmental Coordination Disorder; self-esteem; motor skills difficulties; children; adolescents; systematic literature review.
  • intervention programme; primary school; exploratory outcome evaluation

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