Sex-Related Differences in the Association of Fundamental Movement Skills and Health and Behavioral Outcomes in Children

in Journal of Motor Learning and Development
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  • 1 Applied Sports, Technology, Exercise and Medicine Research Centre, Swansea University, Swansea, United Kingdom
  • | 2 School of Human Sciences, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  • | 3 The Physical Activity Exchange, Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • | 4 Movement Behaviors, Health and Wellbeing Research Group, Department of Sport and Physical Activity, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, United Kingdom
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This study aimed to assess whether sex moderates the association of fundamental movement skills and health and behavioral outcomes. In 170 children (10.6 ±0.3 years; 98 girls), path analysis was used to assess the associations of fundamental movement skills (Get Skilled, Get Active) with perceived sports competence (Children and Youth—Physical Self-Perception Profile), time spent in vigorous-intensity physical activity, sedentary time, and body mass index z score. For boys, object control skill competence had a direct association with perceived sports competence (β = 0.39; 95% confidence interval, CI [0.21, 0.57]) and an indirect association with sedentary time, through perceived sports competence (β = −0.19; 95% CI [−0.09, −0.32]). No significant association was observed between fundamental movement skills and perceived sports competence for girls, although locomotor skills were found to predict vigorous-intensity physical activity (β = 0.18; 95% CI [0.08, 0.27]). Perceived sports competence was associated with sedentary time, with this being stronger for boys (β = −0.48; 95% CI [−0.64, −0.31]) than girls (β = −0.29; 95% CI [−0.39, −0.19]). The study supports a holistic approach to health-related interventions and highlights a key association of perceived sports competence and the time children spend sedentary.

Fairclough and Mackintosh are joint last authors. Mackintosh (k.mackintosh@swansea.ac.uk) is corresponding author, https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0355-6357

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