Goal-directed behavior in children with spina bifida

Susan H. Landry, Dru Copeland, Anjanette Lee, Sally Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


A group of school-age children with spina bifida (n = 15) between the ages of 6 and 12 years were compared with an age- and IQ-matched control group of normal children (n = 15). Goal-directed behavior in these two groups was measured by videotaped observational measures of the number of different taskoriented play activities the children performed and the amount of time they spent in independent task-oriented activities. Measures of time spent off-task and in simple manipulation of the play materials were taken, as well as the number of social initiations the child directed to the examiner. The children with spina bifida spent less time in task-oriented activities than the control group, even though there were no group differences in the number of activities performed. The differences could not be explained by cognitive impairments or socioeconomic factors. These results suggest that children with spina bifida may have specific problems with sustaining goal-directed behavior, and need assistance in formulating and implementing a sequence of actions in order to achieve concrete, short-term goals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)306-311
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Goal-directed behavior in children with spina bifida'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this