Much social interaction centres on physical skill. The child lacking motor skills is often barred or not accepted in social participation.
Human personality cannot be developed apart from the social group and since our children are destined to live in a highly organized social order, the physical activities of children and youth should be used progressively from kindergarten through high school to develop social learnings and a gradual in tensification of social consciousness.
The social implications of play and sports are revealed in several studies. Foehrenbach, when inquiring into the social motives operating to make high school girls participate in after-school sports, found that “going with the crowd” and “imitation of older girls” were prominent in the thinking of junior high school girls, while “making new friends” was a stronger motive for senior high school girls.
Wells administered a 38-item battery of physical fitness tests and Cattell’s 16 Personality Factor Inventory to 80 male college students.
Dynamic strength related negatively to personality traits described as emotional, tense, and withdrawn; and positively with traits described as being less anxious, less emotional, more poised, and less unsure. Various body measurement variables were found to relate significantly to my personality traits.
Comparing academically successful and unsuccessful children, Volberding found that the child considered most likely to succeed is more intelligent, better adjusted socially and personally, more interested in active play, prefers play in competitive groups, attends movies less often, and listens to radio more frequently.
Latham classified 837junior high school boys according to level of sexual maturity. They were classified by their teachers, also, into three leadership categories elective, appointive, and athletic.
Athletic leaders were found to be sexually more mature than their contemporaries who led in non-athletic activities. None of the other categories of leaders showed clear discrimination of the mature from immature boys.
Jones and Bayley reported that late maturing boys ranked relatively well until the middle of junior high school in social behaviour and related personal attributes.
The tended to drop to a lower level. Early maturing boys become student leaders in high school. Boys maturing late were mostly below average in Espenschade’s test of motor ability; early maturers were unusually large and superior in strength and skill.
Durry studied 16 nursery school children, age 2 years, 11 months to 3 years, 10 months. His observations suggested a possible correlation between muscle tension and various aspects of behaviour, such as number of physical contacts in free play, number of words used, degree of restlessness, and degree of inattention.
Resnick studied the relation of high school grades to satisfactory adjustment as judged by scores on several standardized inventories and found that pupils earning the higher grades also secured the highest mean satisfactory adjustment scores.
In general, categories related to adjustment in relation to other pupils, to social competency, social participation, satisfying work, recreation and interpersonal skills were significantly in favour of the student with higher honour point ratios.
Reaney tested more than 600 boys and girls on their ability to play certain games. It was found that the children who were best at playing games were also superior in intelligence and general ability.
From a larger group of normal children, Rarick and McKee selected for investigation 20 third graders. Ten had a high level of motor achievement and the other 10 a low of motor achievement.
Though a small number of cases were observed, those children who attained a high level of motor proficiency tended to be more frequently well adjusted in school and personal relationships. Also they appeared to have fewer irregularities and difficulties in infancy and early childhood.
Patridge studied factors of leadership in six different Boy Scout troops totaling 226 boys by using a “five-to-man” plan of rating. He found that outstanding leaders excelled others in age, intelligence, athletic ability, scout rank, scout tenure, and physique.