Fundamental Motor Skill Performance of Indigenous and Nonindigenous Children

in Journal of Motor Learning and Development
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  • 1 Federal University of Amazonas
  • 2 Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology
  • 3 Federal University of Pelotas
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Background: Studies related to the motor performance of children have suggested an interaction between organisms and the environment. Although motor development seems to be similar among people, the behavior is specific to the context that people are part of. Thus, the aim of this study was to compare the fundamental motor skill performance between indigenous (IN) and nonindigenous children. Methods: One hundred and thirteen children (43 IN and 70 nonindigenous children) between 8 and 10 years of age underwent the Test of Gross Motor Development—2. Results: A multivariate analysis showed a significant group main effect on both locomotor (p < .01) and object control (p < .01) performance with large and medium effect sizes (ηp2 values = .57–.40, respectively). The IN showed the highest scores for galloping, hopping, leaping, jumping, sliding, striking a stationary ball, stationary dribbling, catching a ball, kicking, and overhand throwing (p < .01) with small to large effect sizes (ηp2 values = .05–.50). Conclusion: The IN presented the highest levels of performance in fundamental motor skills compared with those of nonindigenous children. Most likely, IN have more opportunities for motor development in the environmental context (i.e., villages) where they live.

Duarte is with the Department of Physical Education, Federal University of Amazonas, Parintins, Brazil. Nobre is with the Department of Physical Education, Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology, Fortaleza, Brazil. Gomes and Benda are with the Department of Physical Education, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, Brazil.

Duarte (duartemg83@gmail.com) is corresponding author.
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