A follow-up study of the effects of early malnutrition on subsequent development. II. Fine motor skills in adolescence

Pediatr Res. 1985 Jun;19(6):524-7. doi: 10.1203/00006450-198506000-00004.


One hundred nine children, aged 8 through 15 yr, who suffered from malnutrition in the 1st yr of life and 107 well-nourished comparison children were tested for fine motor skills by the Purdue Pegboard test. The performance of index children was impaired on three of the four test measures. IQ measured concurrently showed a reduction in the index group; when the effects of IQ were eliminated, there was no longer any significant difference between index and comparison groups. The data suggest that the effects of early malnutrition on Pegboard performance are largely mediated by deficits in IQ. The presence of soft neurologic signs measured 4 yr earlier in the same children was highly correlated with reduced Pegboard performance, implying that early malnutrition has effects on nervous system function that are evident at least through 15 yr of age.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Barbados
  • Child
  • Child Development / physiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Intelligence
  • Male
  • Motor Skills / physiology*
  • Protein-Energy Malnutrition / physiopathology*