Lacoursiere, Victoria Louise Francoise (1969)
Development of "right-left" concept in children between ages 4 and 12 years.
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About fifteen years ago, the unreflecting acceptance of such concepts as right and left as simple polarities, virtually prevented most serious researchers from investigating closely how a child comes to differentiate and name both sides of his body and succeeds in doing so on other persons as well as on himself.Work done by Spionek and Benton in particular has highlighted the various stages through which the development of the right-left concept progresses. Initially it is identified on oneself then 011 other people and on objects. The problem now is to isolate the variables which have a determining influence; this involves an evaluation of the extent of their influence and their interaction.A sample of eighty boys and girls, four to twelve years old was selected and seven tests covering the variables thought to be relevant were administered to them, namely: body schema, vocabulary, abstract reasoning, space relations, handedness, and motor coordination; a measure of knowledge of right and left was also employed. The data obtained on those tests together with the age element were submitted to Principal Component Analysis.This statistical analysis shows that maturation is the most Important of all components extracted. A second component was one of directional orientation and a third, of gross visuo-motor coordination. A fourth factor also emerged involving handedness and right-left discrimination on others. This investigation ofhandedness gave rather puzzling results; further examination suggested that the concept was oversimplified, it is an intricate multidimensional characteristic, rather than a unitary one.It is concluded that verbal ability plays a part throughout the whole evolution of the right-left concept while age and body image are relevant only when the child is applying the concept to himself; space orientation is correlated with this application on other persons.
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in Royal Holloway Research Online.Last modified on 31-Jan-2017
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Institution: University of London, Bedford College (United Kingdom).