Family socioeconomic status and the provision of motor affordances in the home

Teresa C. B. Freitas Carl Gabbard Priscila Caçola Maria I. L. Montebelo Denise C. C. Santos About the authors

BACKGROUND:

Socioeconomic status (SES) and stimulation provided in the home environment are influential factors in aspects of child well-being including motor development. Little is known regarding the influence of SES on specific aspects of the home environment.

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the availability of affordances in the home to promote infant motor development and family SES.

METHOD

: The sample consisted of 300 families with infants aged 3 to 18 months. SES was assessed according to family socioeconomic class, income and parental level of education. To evaluate motor affordances found at home, the Affordances in the Home Environment for Motor Development-Infant Scale (AHEMD-IS) was used. The AHEMD-IS was designed to assess dimensions of the home environment including Physical Space (outside and inside space), Daily Activities and Play Materials (fine-motor and gross-motor toys).

RESULTS:

SES indicators significantly influenced the availability of Physical Space and Play Materials. The Physical Space dimension was influenced by family economic class and income. The Play Materials dimension was influenced by all SES indicators. Daily Activities were not influenced by any of the SES indicators. Daily activities and play material were influenced by the infant's age.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study suggests that SES indicators are influential with regard to the provision of motor affordances in the home environment for infants. However, daily activities, which represent an aspect of the environment that is highly dependent on parental generation of situations that are conducive to motor skill development, are independent of family SES.

socioeconomic status; environment; psychomotor performance; infant development; physical therapy; family


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