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The Psychometrics Centre

Cambridge Judge Business School

In early 2007 The Psychometrics Centre completed the UK standardisation of the 2nd revision of the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (MABC) for Pearson Assessment in association with Sheila Henderson, one of the authors. The MABC identifies, describes and guides the treatment of motor impairment. It is used to assess children's motor skills disabilities and determine intervention strategies. The MABC-II is an individually administered test that takes between 20 and 40 minutes to complete and can be used within the age range of 3 years through 16 years.  It provides screening, assessment, and management for children with motor skills disabilities.The four primary uses of the MABC-II are:  

  • Identification: Mild to moderate movement difficulties can cause as much distress to a child and his family as a severe motor disorder. Either the MABC Test or the MABC Checklist can be used to identify a child with motor difficulties by comparing the child’s score to the normative data. However, neither instrument should be used on its own as a predictive screening instrument.
  • Clinical exploration and intervention planning: Deciding how to help a child who has motor difficulties requires a different strategy from simply establishing that the difficulty exists. As a general rule, the examiner must think beyond the profile of the child’s motor competencies to include all other relevant aspects of his or her development (e.g. whether or not the child has an attention problem as well as a motor one).  Movement ABC-2 provides the examiner with the opportunity to record many different aspects of a child’s behaviour in a systematic way.  With the information provided by the Test and the Checklist together, an individualised program of intervention can be developed, specifying both short and long term objectives.

  • Programme evaluation: Accurate evaluation of intervention for children with difficulties is notoriously difficult. Such studies are complex to design and expensive to run. Yet they are absolutely essential if we are to reach a better understanding of how to help children with motor difficulties. One of the requirements of such studies is a valid and reliable assessment tool to document changes in the motor performance of participating children. Both components of the Movement ABC-2 serve this function well, especially when used in parallel.

  • Research tool: The Movement ABC is already well established as a research tool.  It is used to select subjects for experimental study; as an assessment instrument in longitudinal studies of children known to be at risk of motor difficulties; as a means of studying the factors contributing to poor motor competence; and, as noted above, as a measure of change in intervention studies.  Also, the Test and Checklist together are being used to determine the extent to which different professionals agree in their perception of children’s movement difficulties.

The MABC-II is available to appropriately qualified professionals from Pearson Assessment.

As well helping Pearson Assessment with test development, The Psychometrics Centre also provides courses leading to academic qualifications for psychometricians, carries out research, provides consultancy, and runs training courses for the BPS Certificates of Competence in Testing (both Level A and Level B) for appropriately qualified professionals.

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