Analysis of cutting skills in the 4 to 6 year population.

Gutmayer, Ingrid
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The purpose of this study was to develop some guidelines for cutting skills in the four to six year age group. There are no precise norms available at this stage and these guidelines would be beneficial to occupational therapists and teachers assessing children as they need to compare the children's function to the norm. 14 T.E.D registered nursery schools were selected according to certain criteria, in order for the researcher to get a multiracial sample of 210 four to six year old children. These children were tested individually with the consent of the parents. Each child was presented with seven shapes and asked to cut them out on the line.The shapes were presented in order of expected difficulty, starting with the straight line and ending with a crown. The researcher gave the child left or right handed scissors, depending on the dominance of the child. While the child was cutting out the shapes the researcher filled out an observation sheet which included the scissor grip, as well as the cutting motion. Time was used as a secondary variable. In the pilot study, three months prior to the study, the researcher examined the line thickness of the assessment shapes for the various age groups, as well as the suitability of the observation sheet. These were then adjusted accordingly. The results were evaluated by measuring those parts cut off the line, using a line measure. The results were given as a length score, which was then converted to a percentage score. The percentage score was then used for analysis. The aim of the researcher was to analyse cutting skills in the four to six year age group.This included the development of the cutting approach as well as the accuracy with which children were able to cut. By using the results, the researcher was able to develop specific guidelines for the development of cutting skills which can be used in children's cutting ability.