Date Approved

2018

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

Committee Member

Jin Bo, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Catherine Peterson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Renee Lajiness-O’Neill, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jannel Phillips, Ph.D.

Abstract

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) can cause a multitude of neuropsychological sequelae, or late effects, in children following intensive medical treatment. Late effect research has focused primarily on non-motor related sequelae; however, recent studies have begun to highlight evident impairments in motor functioning during and following medical treatment. The following study aimed to further characterize multiple domains of motor functioning in children treated for ALL compared to healthy controls, as well as investigate the relationship between motor impairments and other areas of functioning, including academic and psychosocial. The study included a cross-sectional design with a sample of 13 children treated for ALL and 13 ageand sex-matched healthy controls. Performance based measures were used to assess motor, academic, and cognitive abilities, along with self- and parent-reports of psychosocial and motor functioning. Results revealed that the ALL survivor group performed significantly worse than the control group on tasks assessing visual perception, fine motor skills, and gross motor skills. No significant differences were observed between the groups in motor learning and visual-motor functioning. A significant relationship was observed between fine motor and visual-motor functioning in the ALL survivor group, though motor skills were not significantly associated with academic skills and most domains of psychosocial functioning. The present findings provide additional evidence for motor impairments in pediatric ALL survivors and partial evidence for interrelations between motor skills and other domains of functioning. Present findings shed light on the need for clinical screening and interventions for motor skills in the survivor population as well as continued research on motor functioning within pediatric ALL survivors.

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