Ball catching skills of 5- to 11-year-old typically developing children in real and virtual environments

Tsu-Hsin Howe, Tien Ni Wang, Ching Fan Sheu, Yung Wen Hsu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


OBJECTIVE:: The two aims of this study are (1) to examine the concurrent and discriminant validity of a newly developed virtual ball catching test and (2) to explore the ball catching performance of typically developing children in a virtual environment. DESIGN:: Three groups of children aged 60- to 140-mo-old (n = 368) participated in this study: (1) typically developing children (n = 272), (2) children with diagnoses of developmental coordination disorders (n = 33), and (3) children with premature birth history (n = 63). RESULTS:: The concurrent validity of the virtual ball catching test was good, with Pearson's correlation coefficient = 0.67 between the virtual ball catching test and the Van Waelvelde's short ball catching test in successful catching rate. The discriminant validity of the virtual ball catching test was acceptable in differentiating the performance among typically developing children, children with developmental coordination disorders, and children with preterm history. The significant main effects in age, sex, speed, and location (Ps < 0.001) as well as significant interaction effects in age × location and age × speed were found when examining the virtual ball catching performance of typically developing children. CONCLUSIONS:: The virtual ball catching test demonstrates acceptable psychometric properties in assessing the ball catching performance of children aged 5-11 yrs. We propose that testing children's motor performance in a virtual environment might be a useful and promising alternative for clinical assessment. Future research on its clinical application is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)523-529
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010



  • Child Development
  • Motor Skills
  • Pediatric development
  • Validity
  • Virtual environment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Medicine(all)

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