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Visual-motor skill forms an important psycho diagnostic component and is associated with psycho-neurological aspects. The Bender Visual-Motor Gestalt Test, widely used for the evaluation of this area, is meant for children up to 11 years. In adolescence, the changes associated with puberty generate nonlinear anthropometric development resulting in mild and temporary incoordination. This study investigated the relation between visual-motor development measured by the Bender test and pubertal changes according to the Tanner scale. In all 134 adolescents of both sexes, aged from 10 to 15, who kept routine medical appointments, participated. We used the Bender Visual-Motor Gestalt Test, Raven's Progressive Matrices Test, and medical chart data. The techniques were applied individually. Pubertal changes were associated with the Bender test results showing higher scores at the G3 stage, the period corresponding to a growth spurt, compared to the G5 stage (p = .007, ES = .187), the post-growth spurt period in boys. Age and gender did not influence the Bender test scores. According to the Raven test, the g intelligence factor, interfered significantly in the visual-motor performance (r = -57%, p < .001). Schooling, repetition of a school year, and developmental problems (p = .002, ES = .156; p = .002, ES = .623; p < .001, ES = .880, respectively) obtained similar results. The Bender Test was sensitive to schooling and maturational problems during adolescence. There was an association between visual-motor development and sexual maturity in male adolescents. Our results indicate the usefulness of the Bender Test at older ages than those used in the test standardization.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: The Spanish journal of psychology
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