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Masahiro Yamada, Lauren Q. Higgins, and Louisa D. Raisbeck

Although multiple review studies have supported the superior effects of an external compared with internal focus, these reviews are based on performance outcomes. Currently, the literature lacks knowledge regarding the effects of external/internal foci on individuals’ perceptions, which may provide further explanations for how attentional focus affects performance. Therefore, the present study conducted a systematic review of survey/questionnaire data of participants’ thoughts and emotions from laboratory studies. The authors used ERIC, SPORTDiscus, PsycArticle, CINAHL Plus, Health Source Nursing Academic edition, and PubMed search engines. Literature specific to external/internal focus effects on motor learning or performance were reviewed (N = 37). The results showed that participants generally adhered to the assigned attentional focus instruction and there was a trend that preference may affect the attentional focus effects, but the results were inconsistent regarding if attentional focus cues affected the magnitude of adherence and mental demands. There were substantial differences in methodologies and theoretical issues of measuring these data. Future studies should adopt inferential statistics, choose theoretically relevant questions in a priori manner, or, at minimum, propose a hypothesis for the selected question.

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Ghazala T. Saleem, Jeanne Langan, Jacob I. McPherson, Beth S. Slomine, E. Mark Mahone, Martha Bridge Denckla, and Stacy J. Suskauer

Purpose: To facilitate precise diagnosis and provide tailored treatment of postural anomalies in the pediatric population, appropriate assessments are essential. In light of the multicomponent structure of postural control, understanding underlying constructs of an assessment is valuable in selecting and interpreting assessments. This study investigates the construct validity of the Gaits and Stations variables in the Revised Physical and Neurological Examination of Subtle Signs, a measure used to evaluate standing postural control in youth with mild neurological deficits. Methods: Data were included from 350 healthy participants ages 10–19 years old. An exploratory factor analysis with varimax rotation was performed. Individual loadings of ≥0.4 were used for factor designation. Results: Three latent factors were identified and labeled, based on evidence, as dynamic stability, movement strategies/coordination, and underlying motor systems—musculoskeletal strength. Conclusions: These brief, easily administered Gaits and Stations measures of the Physical and Neurological Examination of Subtle Signs facilitate evaluation of three constructs of standing postural control relevant to youth with mild neuromotor impairments. This information will potentially assist in clinical practice to identify youth with postural control deficits and establish developmentally appropriate interventions and in research to refine understanding of pathology and the impact on components of postural control.

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Sylwia Bartkowiak, Jan M. Konarski, Ryszard Strzelczyk, Jarosław Janowski, Małgorzata Karpowicz, and Robert M. Malina

Background: The objective of the study was to evaluate secular changes in the physical fitness of rural school youth, 7–15 years, in west-central Poland between 1986 and 2016. Methods: The fitness of cross-sectional samples of school youth resident in the same 10 communities was evaluated in 4 decennial surveys: 1986—1417 boys/1326 girls; 1996—979 boys/947 girls; 2006—871 boys/843 girls; and 2016—1189 boys/1105 girls. Five tests evaluated speed (5-m run), agility (figure 8 run), explosive power (vertical jump), flexibility (stand and reach), and cardiovascular fitness (modified Harvard step test). Age- and sex-specific descriptive statistics were calculated by survey, while differences among surveys were compared in 3 broad age groups (7–9, 10–12, and 13–15 y) using analysis of variance with age and age squared as covariates. Results: Speed and flexibility declined, while the jump and step test index changed variably across surveys. Although agility improved across surveys, the major improvement occurred between 1986 and 1996. Conclusions: Performances of rural school youth on 5 tests of physical fitness changed significantly, but, variably, between 1986 and 2016. The results were generally consistent with other studies of Polish school youth that spanned a similar interval.

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Erianne A. Weight, Molly Harry, and Heather Erwin

Background: The Walking Classroom is an education program that provides students with an opportunity to accumulate physical activity without losing instructional time. Method: This research tests Kuczala’s application of kinesthetic learning theory through measuring knowledge retention, postactivity information processing, and mood in students who engage in a short bout of physical activity while listening to Walking Classroom podcasts about language arts, science, and history, and those who remain seated during a podcast, compared with baseline levels. Students from 9 high-poverty fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms (n = 319) in a North Carolina county comprised the sample. Results: Utilizing multivariate analysis of covariance, the results demonstrate significantly higher levels of learning while walking compared with learning while sitting. Measures of mood utilizing the 10-item version of the Positive and Negative Affect Scale also demonstrated a significant effect in predicted directions. Conclusion: The results support that coupling physical activity with instruction leads to increased performance and mood for elementary school students.

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Zeinab Khodaverdi, Abbas Bahram, Hassan Khalaji, Anoshirvan Kazemnejad, Farhad Ghadiri, and Wesley O’Brien

This paper aimed to investigate different dimensions of motor competence (MC) by using four commonly administered MC assessment tools (Test of Gross Motor Development-3, Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency-2 Short Form, Körperkoordinationtest Für Kinder, and Movement Assessment Battery for Children-2) in a sample of 184 girls (M age = 8.61 years; SD = 1.21 years). This is the first study of its kind to shed light on different dimensions of MC, identifying them through rigorous and robust statistical analysis. The Delphi method was used to select the dimensions of MC. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to assess whether the dimensions loaded onto the same construct (i.e., MC). Face and content validity identified three dimensions of MC: fundamental motor skills, gross motor coordination, and motor abilities. Confirmatory factor analysis indicated an adequate fit for the final MC model with three dimensions. In this model, fundamental motor skills, gross motor coordination, and motor abilities loaded on the MC construct. The data reported present a revised definition of holistic MC, which comprises the level of motor abilities (physical proficiency and perceptual motor abilities) as well as gross motor coordination and fundamental motor skills proficiency, which underlie the performance of a wide range of tasks, including fine and gross motor activities in daily life.