Comparison of the Effect of Activities Based on Executive and Perceptual-Motor Functions on the Anxiety of 7-9-Year-Old Children: Quasi-Experimental Study

Document Type : Original Articles




Introduction: Performing sports exercises at any age can improve physical and mental health and boost self-confidence. Creating an environment for group and movement games can help enhance children's executive functions and attention. Thus, the present study was conducted to compare the impact of activities based on executive and perceptual-motor functions on the anxiety levels of 9-7-year-old children.
Materials and Methods: The statistical sample of the current research included 3 groups of 20 people, consisting of 10 girls and 10 boys, who were selected through available sampling. The Spence Children's Anxiety Scale (SCAS) was used to measure the children's anxiety levels. The first experimental group performed activities based on executive function in the form of abacus training and practice, and the second experimental group performed perceptual-motor activities in 16 sessions of 45 minutes for 8 weeks (2 sessions per week). The control group had no continuous, purposeful mental, perceptual-motor, or physical activities. At the end of the intervention, a posttest similar to the pretest was performed for all participants. The collected data were analyzed using analysis of covariance, the Bonferroni post hoc test, chi-square test, and Mann-Whitney test in SPSS software at an error level of α ≤ 0.05.
Results: The results showed that by controlling the effect of the anxiety score in the pretest, the average anxiety score in the executive functions group (P < 0.001) and the perceptual-motor functions group (p = 0.006) was significantly lower than the control group. However, the average anxiety scores of the two experimental groups were not significantly different (P = 0.176).
Conclusion: Since executive and perceptual-motor function activities effectively reduce children's anxiety, it is suggested that these exercises be included in sports and recreational programs for children with anxiety.


Main Subjects

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