Motor Development Research: Designs, Analyses, and Future Directions

in Journal of Motor Learning and Development
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Throughout this special issue, different authors have discussed diverse aspects of past, present, and future motor development research. In such research, understanding how people move involves much more than studying motor behavior in individuals of different ages. Rather, empirical designs should embed some element of past, present, and future motor behavior into research questions, designs, methodologies, and interpretations. In this article, we provide an overview on the process of asking movement-related developmental questions and designing appropriate research studies that will answer them to provide a foundation for both new and returning investigators interested in studying human motor development. We compare descriptive and experimental approaches as well as longitudinal, cross-sectional, and alternative research designs, followed by a discussion of common statistical analyses suited for these designs. Through this discussion, we offer suggestions for the most appropriate ways in which to study developmental change. We finish with our thoughts on future directions for investigational methods within motor development research.

Getchell is with the Department of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology, University of Delaware, Newark, DE. Schott is with the Department of Sport and Exercise Science, University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany. Brian is with the Department of Physical Education, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC.

Getchell (getchell@udel.edu) is corresponding author.
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