Perceptions of Ability Mediate the Effect of Motor Coordination on Aerobic and Musculoskeletal Exercise Performance in Young Children at Risk for Developmental Coordination Disorder

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 McMaster University
  • 2 Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • 3 The University of Queensland
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This study examined the effects of perceptions of motor abilities on aerobic and musculoskeletal exercise performance in young children at risk for developmental coordination disorder (rDCD). The participants (N = 539) were part of a larger cohort study, the Coordination and Activity Tracking in Children (CATCH) study. The Movement Assessment Battery for Children (2nd Edition) was used to determine rDCD children. Perceptions of motor abilities were measured by the Perceived Efficacy and Goals Setting system. Aerobic exercise performance was measured using the Bruce Protocol treadmill test, and musculoskeletal exercise performance was assessed using the standing long jump and the Wingate Anaerobic test. The rDCD children reported lower Perceived Efficacy and Goals Setting scores and performed worse on all exercise performance measures. Perceptions of ability also mediated the relationship between developmental coordination disorder and each exercise performance test. It is concerning that children with low motor coordination report lower perceptions of ability even at a very young age.

Le is with the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Graham is with the Department of Family Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. King-Dowling is with the Division of Oncology, The Childern’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA. Cairney is with the School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Cairney (j.cairney@uq.edu.au) is corresponding author.
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