Sport Sciences for Health

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 497–502 | Cite as

The influence of environment potentiality (affordances) on motor development in 6–9 years old children with intellectual disability

  • Morteza Homayounnia Firoozjah
  • Mahmoud SheikhEmail author
  • Rasool Hemayattalab
  • Shahnaz Shahrbanian
Original Article



Affordance is the tendency to encouraged of growth changes. It involves providing critical assistances and encouraging or training learners.


The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of environmental affordances on motor development in children with intellectual disability.


This was a quasi-experimental study. Target population included 175 children (6–9 years old) with intellectual disability living in Babol in 2017. Among them, 50 children were conveniently recruited and randomly divided into two groups: experimental and control group (25 per each group). The experimental group went under a specific program including the environmental affordances, such as facilities, training, and exercises focusing on motor skills development of children. The intervention lasted for 36 weeks, three sessions per week, and 30–45 min per session. Bruininks–Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency was used to assess the motor skills development of participants. Analysis of covariance was used to analyze the collected data.


The obtained results revealed that affordances had impact on upper parts of the body coordination (p = 0.02), agility (p = 0.04), balance (p = 0.04), response rate (p = 0.6) and power (p = 0.03). Also, results of the study showed that affordance had no impact on the variables of motor–visual, speed and dexterity of the upper parts in the study (p = 0.13).


In conclusion, there should be special attention to the environmental affordances for enhancing motor skills development in children with intellectual disability. Considering the benefits of the assigned protocol in the present study, it could be used as a complementary and alternative medicine for motor skills development in children with intellectual disability without the side effects owing to medication.


Environment Affordances Motor skills development Children Intellectual disability 



The authors would like to thank all the participants and their families, and the employees of the Center for the Development of Children with Mental Disorders who sincerely have collaborated with the researchers.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

The study procedure, consent form, and measures were confirmed by the Ethic Committee of the University of Tehran (code number = IR.UT.SPORT.REC.1396020). The authors declarate that this manuscript and research has been developed based on the Helsinki statement of ethical principles.

Informed consent

Written informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Morteza Homayounnia Firoozjah
    • 1
  • Mahmoud Sheikh
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rasool Hemayattalab
    • 1
  • Shahnaz Shahrbanian
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Motor BehaviorUniversity of TehranTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of Rehabilitation ScienceTarbiat Modares UniversityTehranIran
  3. 3.Department of Rehabilitation ScienceUniversity of TehranTehranIran

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