Children with amblyopia have a lower self-perception of scholastic, social and athletic competence, associated with lower reading speed and performance of aiming and catching skills, according to a study.
The investigation was carried out at the Pediatric Vision Laboratory of the Retina Foundation of the Southwest and included children in grades 3 to 8 (age 8 to 13 years).
Fifty children with amblyopia were compared with 18 controls. Self-perception was assessed with the Self-perception Profile for Children, a questionnaire that evaluates perceived scholastic, social and athletic competence; physical appearance; behavioral conduct; and the overall sense of self-worth. Reading skills were evaluated with the Readalyzer (Bernell) and motor skills with the Movement Assessment Battery for Children2 (MABC-2).
Children with amblyopia had lower scores than control children for scholastic, social and athletic competence, positively associated with lower reading speed and lower aiming and catching skills. No difference was found in the self-perception of physical appearance, behavioral conduct and overall self-worth.
This association “may highlight the wide-ranging effects of altered visual development for children with amblyopia in their everyday lives,” the authors wrote.
Reading and eye-hand coordination deficits objectively impede their ability to demonstrate their knowledge and achieve satisfactory results in sports and physical activities. Because perceived scholastic, social and athletic competence, along with physical appearance, are key determinants of self-esteem in children of this age, these deficits may ultimately affect self-perception and interaction with peers, they said.
Treatment of amblyopia is, therefore, important to improve self-perception of scholastic, athletic and possibly social competence, the authors concluded. – by Michela Cimberle
Disclosure: The authors reported no relevant financial disclosures.