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Title: The effect of free play on quality of life, motor development and social adaptive skills of preschool children with developmental disabilities
Authors: Chan, Fung-pik Laurie
Degree: M.Phil.
Issue Date: 2005
Abstract: This study aimed to investigate the effect of free play on quality of life, social adaptive behavior and gross motor performance of preschool children with developmental disabilities. In order to measure these three aspects objectively, The Peabody Developmental Motor Scales-2 (PDMS-2) was used to measure gross motor function. The Hong Kong Based Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale (HKBABS) was used to measure adaptive behavior for the children. Since there is no existing Chinese scale for measuring quality of life suitable for this study, The Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) was translated and validated prior to the main study. One hundred and eighty seven children and parents were involved in varied stages of the validation of the Chinese PedsQL. Internal consistency (Crobach>0.862), test-retest reliability (ICC=0.617 to 0.993), known group differentiation and correlation between parent proxy-report and child self-report (r=0.315 to 0.782) were examined and were found to be satisfactory with some exceptions. The validated Chinese version of PedsQL was then used as an outcome measure of quality of life of the children participated in this study. Test-retest reliability of all tests and inter-rater test for PDMS-2 (as it need subjective observation in scoring the items) were also done prior to the main study. The results showed good inter-rater reliability of PDMS-2 (ICC>0.955). Test-retest reliability was also moderate to good (ICC from 0.617 to 0.991) for all total scores and subtest scores of the three measures. For the main study, 35 children with disabilities were recruited from two special child care centres of The Heep Hong Society in Hong Kong. Eighteen of them were in intervention group in which they received intervention of free play program in addition to the usual programs. The other 17 children served as control and received no additional free play intervention. Two half-hour weekly sessions were provided for 14 weeks for children in the intervention group. Significant differences were obtained in social, motor function and activities of daily living subtests of the HKBABS (p<.001 to .048) but not in the other measures. Findings of this study suggested that free play probably has a positive effect on the development of children. The insignificant result could be due to small sample size. However, this study seems to show that there is positive value of play for adaptive behavior. Benefits of free play should be examined in future studies to determine if it should form part of the daily training for children with developmental disabilities.
Subjects: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Developmentally disabled children -- Rehabilitation
Play therapy
Pages: 159 leaves ; 30 cm
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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