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Does stereopsis account for the link between motor and social skills in adults?

Smith, Danielle; Ropar, Danielle; Allen, Harriet A.


Danielle Smith

Danielle Ropar

Harriet A. Allen


Background: Experimental and longitudinal evidence suggests that motor proficiency plays an important role in the development of social skills. However, stereopsis, or depth perception, may also play a fundamental role in social skill development either indirectly through its impact on motor skills or through a more direct route. To date, no systematic study has investigated the relationship between social skills and motor ability in the general adult population, and whether poor stereopsis may contribute to this association. This has implications for clinical populations since research has shown associations between motor abnormalities and social skills, as well as reduced depth perception in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Developmental Coordination Disorder.
Methods: 650 adults completed three validated questionnaires, the Stereopsis Screening Inventory, the Adult Developmental Coordination Disorder Checklist, and the Autism Spectrum Quotient.
Results and conclusions: An exploratory factor analysis on pooled items across all measures revealed ten factors that were largely composed of items from a single scale, indicating that any co-occurrence of poor stereopsis, reduced motor proficiency, and difficulties with social interaction cannot be attributed to a single underlying mechanism. Correlations between extracted factor scores found associations between motor skill and social skill. Mediation analyses suggested that while fine motor skill and coordination explained the relationship between stereopsis and social skill to some extent, stereopsis nonetheless exerted a substantial direct effect upon social skill. This is the first study to demonstrate that the functional significance of stereopsis is not limited to motor ability and may directly impact upon social functioning

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Oct 24, 2018
Publisher BMC
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Article Number 55
APA6 Citation Smith, D., Ropar, D., & Allen, H. A. (2018). Does stereopsis account for the link between motor and social skills in adults?. Molecular Autism, 9, doi:10.1186/s13229-018-0234-4
Keywords stereopsis, stereoability, depth perception, motor skills, social skills, factor analysis, path analysis
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