Abstract

PURPOSE. This pioneer study examines the visual-motor and visual-perceptual performance of Israeli and Palestinian children, and makes comparisons among these respective populations according to age, place of residence, and parental education. In addition, the study evaluates the validity of standardized assessment tools for use with Palestinian children, with the view of establishing a sound assessment battery for this underserved population.

METHODS. Participants included 101 Israeli and 125 Palestinian children from kindergarten, first grade, and second grade who underwent visual-motor and visual-perceptual tests.

RESULTS. Significant differences were found between the two cultural groups in all assessments. Results also refer to grade, place of residence, and parents’ education variables.

CONCLUSIONS. Although culture influences children’s performance, children from different societies should be screened and, when necessary, evaluated and treated in order to enable their optimal functioning at school. The validity of the assessment tools used, expressed in the ability to differentiate between Israeli and Palestinian children, should be further studied in order to suggest that these assessments may be considered as part of an evaluation battery for determining the school readiness and ability to advance in grade level among Palestinian children.

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