OBJECTIVE: Children with osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) must participate in therapy to achieve motor performance objectives. Their behavioral style may influence motor performance. For this reason, the temperament of children with types III or IV OI was assessed prospectively to 1) compare their temperament with that of nondisabled children, 2) investigate the relationship between temperament and gross motor performance, and 3) examine relationships among temperament, parental overprotection and coping, physical activity, muscle strength, and motor performance. METHODS: Age-appropriate Carey Temperament Scales, Brief Assessment of Motor Function (BAMF), and the Vulnerable Child/Overprotecting Parents Scale were completed for 35 children 1 to 12 years old. Additional measures included the Childhood Health Assessment Questionnaire, Parent Daily Hassles Scale, manual muscle testing, Pediatric Activity Record, and a Summed Severity Score. Spearman correlations and multiple regression were used to identify and predict significant relationships. RESULTS: Temperament of children with OI differed from age-based norms in only 1 domain: activity. Motor performance (BAMF) correlated significantly with 3 domains of temperament: persistence (r = -.48), approach (r = -.34), and activity (r =.40). Activity was also related to the ratio of head circumference to body length (r = -.45) and the number of fractures in the preceding year (r = -.35). Parents' reports of their daily hassles significantly correlated with several domains of the child's temperament. No significant relationships were identified between parental overprotection and temperament or motor performance. CONCLUSIONS: The temperament of children with types III and IV OI does not differ from that of their nondisabled peers, with the exception of lower activity scores. Although it is considered a biological attribute, the expression of temperament, specifically activity, may be influenced by learned behaviors. Because gross motor performance is related to activity, persistence, and approach/avoidance, knowledge of an individual's temperament may enhance the child's ability to benefit from interventions to improve motor skill and activity levels.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health