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Ali Brian, Farid Bardid, Lisa M. Barnett, Frederik J.A. Deconinck, Matthieu Lenoir, and Jacqueline D. Goodway

Purpose: The present study examined the motor competence of preschool children from Belgium and the United States (US), and the influence of perceived motor competence on actual motor competence. A secondary objective was to compare the levels of motor competence of Belgian and US children using the US norms of the Test of Gross Motor Development, Second Edition (TGMD-2). Methods : All participants (N = 326; ages 4–5 years) completed the TGMD-2 and the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Movement Skill Competence for Young Children. Results : Belgian children performed significantly higher on actual object control and locomotor skills than US children. However, both Belgian and US children scored significantly worse on the TGMD-2 when compared to the US norm group from 1997–1998. Furthermore, perceived motor competence was significantly related to actual object control skills but not locomotor skills. Conclusion : The present study showed cross-cultural differences in actual motor competence in young children. The findings also indicate a secular downward trend in childhood competence levels, possibly due to a decrease in physical activity and increase in sedentary behavior. Future research should consider conducting an in-depth exploration of physical activity contexts such as physical education to better understand cross-cultural differences in motor competence.

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Lisa M. Barnett, Avigdor Zask, Lauren Rose, Denise Hughes, and Jillian Adams


Fundamental movement skills are a correlate of physical activity and weight status. Children who participated in a preschool intervention had greater movement skill proficiency and improved anthropometric measures (waist circumference and BMI z scores) post intervention. Three years later, intervention girls had retained their object control skill advantage. The study purpose was to assess whether at 3-year follow up a) intervention children were more physically active than controls and b) the intervention effect on anthropometrics was still present.


Children were assessed at ages 4, 5, and 8 years for anthropometric measures and locomotor and object control proficiency (Test of Gross Motor Development-2). At age 8, children were also assessed for moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) (using accelerometry). Several general linear models were run, the first with MVPA as the outcome, intervention/control, anthropometrics, object control and locomotor scores as predictors, and age and sex as covariates. The second and third models were similar, except baseline to follow-up anthropometric differences were the outcome.


Overall follow-up rate was 29% (163/560), with 111 children having complete data. There were no intervention control differences in either MVPA or anthropometrics.


Increased skill competence did not translate to increased physical activity.

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Nadia C. Valentini, Lisa M. Barnett, Paulo Felipe Ribeiro Bandeira, Glauber Carvalho Nobre, Larissa Wagner Zanella, and Rodrigo Flores Sartori

The pictorial scale of Perceived Movement Skill Competence (PMSC) was developed to assess young children’s perceptions of competence in fundamental motor skills (FMS) and in active play (AP). The objectives of the present study were to assess validity and reliability with Brazilian children. Nineteen health-related professionals and 331 children (4 to 8 years old) were enrolled in the study. Kappa concordance coefficient, intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC), polychoric correlations, and confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) were used. The back-reverse translation prevents the bias of a single translation. Experts and professionals confirmed the clarity and pertinence of the items with high agreement scores (values > .90). Test-retest reliability results showed strong ICC (values > .90). The Cronbach’s alpha coefficient showed good internal consistency (α values from .70–.85). The CFA showed appropriate fit indexes for a three-factor model (i.e., six object control, six locomotion, and six AP items) and a two-factor model (i.e., 12 FMS and six AP items). However, the two-factor model showed superior indexes (χ2/df = 3.1; Root Mean Square Error of Approximation = .06; Goodness-Of-Fit Index = .90; Comparative Fit Index = .91; Akaike Information Criterion = 485.8). The PMSC is a valid and reliable assessment to use in Brazil.

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Ryan M. Hulteen, Lisa M. Barnett, Philip J. Morgan, Leah E. Robinson, Christian J. Barton, Brian H. Wrotniak, and David R. Lubans

Participation in lifelong physical activities, such as yoga, golf, tennis, or running, are common endeavors in adolescence and adulthood. However, there is a lack of understanding of how competent individuals are in the skills needed for these activities and how competency in these skills relates to physical activity and fitness. This study aimed to determine the initial predictive validity of the Lifelong Physical Activity Skills Battery related to physical activity and health-related fitness. One-hundred and nine adolescents from four schools (55 males, 54 females; Mage = 15.82 years, SD = 0.37 years) completed: demographic information (survey), height (stadiometer), weight (digital scale), motor skill assessment (jog, grapevine, squat, push-up, upward dog, warrior one, tennis forehand, golf swing), health-related fitness (standing long jump, back-saver sit and reach, 3-min submaximal step test, 90° push-up test), and physical activity (GENEActiv accelerometers). Correlations and multiple regression models were conducted in SPSS version 24.0. Motor competence was associated with muscular fitness (standing long jump, β = 0.24, p = .002; push-ups, β = 0.42, p < .001), cardiorespiratory fitness (β = 0.21, p = .031), and flexibility (β = 0.23, p = .025), but not physical activity (β = 0.17, p = .154) or body mass index (β = −0.05, p = .622). Motor competence has a stronger association with health-related fitness parameters rather than physical activity.

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Lisa M. Barnett, David Stodden, Kristen E. Cohen, Jordan J. Smith, David Revalds Lubans, Matthieu Lenoir, Susanna Iivonen, Andrew D. Miller, Arto Laukkanen, Dean Dudley, Natalie J. Lander, Helen Brown, and Philip J. Morgan


Recent international conference presentations have critiqued the promotion of fundamental movement skills (FMS) as a primary pedagogical focus. Presenters have called for a debate about the importance of, and rationale for teaching FMS, and this letter is a response to that call. The authors of this letter are academics who actively engage in FMS research.


We have answered a series of contentions about the promotion of FMS using the peer reviewed literature to support our perspective.


We define what we mean by FMS, discuss the context of what skills can be considered fundamental, discuss how the development of these skills is related to broader developmental health contexts, and recommend the use of different pedagogical approaches when teaching FMS.


We conclude the promotion of FMS is an important focus in Physical Education (PE) and sport and provide future research questions for investigation.

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Anderson Henry Pereira Feitoza, Rafael dos Santos Henrique, Lisa M. Barnett, Alessandro Hervaldo Nicolai Ré, Vítor Pires Lopes, E. Kipling Webster, Leah E. Robinson, Wivianne A. Cavalcante, and Maria Teresa Cattuzzo

Perceived motor competence (PMC) is a psychological construct that may be influenced by various environmental factors. This study aimed to analyze differences in PMC of children from four diverse countries. The sample was comprised of 231 Brazilian, 129 Australian, 140 Portuguese, and 114 American children, aged 5–8 years. The PMC was assessed using the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Movement Skill Competence for Young Children. Differences in PMC among countries were verified using Kruskal-Wallis tests, separately by age and gender. For girls (from the age of six), differences were found in the leap, slide, hit, and catch, as well as the sum of object control skills and total score. For boys, differences were found among countries in the gallop, jump, slide, hit, catch, and roll, as well as the sum of locomotor and object control skills, and the total skill score. Overall, American children seem to perceive themselves more competent compared to children from other countries. Leisure and sport activities in each country may influence the construction of PMC.

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Lisa M. Barnett, Dean A. Dudley, Richard D. Telford, David R. Lubans, Anna S. Bryant, William M. Roberts, Philip J. Morgan, Natasha K. Schranz, Juanita R. Weissensteiner, Stewart A. Vella, Jo Salmon, Jenny Ziviani, Anthony D. Okely, Nalda Wainwright, John R. Evans, and Richard J. Keegan

Assessment of physical literacy poses a dilemma of what instrument to use. There is currently no guide regarding the suitability of common assessment approaches. The purpose of this brief communication is to provide a user’s guide for selecting physical literacy assessment instruments appropriate for use in school physical education and sport settings. Although recommendations regarding specific instruments are not provided, the guide offers information about key attributes and considerations for the use. A decision flow chart has been developed to assist teachers and affiliated school practitioners to select appropriate methods of assessing physical literacy. School physical education and sport scenarios are presented to illustrate this process. It is important that practitioners are empowered to select the most appropriate instrument/s to suit their needs.

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Richard J. Keegan, Lisa M. Barnett, Dean A. Dudley, Richard D. Telford, David R. Lubans, Anna S. Bryant, William M. Roberts, Philip J. Morgan, Natasha K. Schranz, Juanita R. Weissensteiner, Stewart A. Vella, Jo Salmon, Jenny Ziviani, Anthony D. Okely, Nalda Wainwright, and John R. Evans

Purpose: The development of a physical literacy definition and standards framework suitable for implementation in Australia. Method: Modified Delphi methodology. Results: Consensus was established on four defining statements: Core—Physical literacy is lifelong holistic learning acquired and applied in movement and physical activity contexts; Composition—Physical literacy reflects ongoing changes integrating physical, psychological, cognitive, and social capabilities; Importance—Physical literacy is vital in helping us lead healthy and fulfilling lives through movement and physical activity; and Aspiration—A physically literate person is able to draw on his/her integrated physical, psychological, cognitive, and social capacities to support health promoting and fulfilling movement and physical activity, relative to the situation and context, throughout the lifespan. The standards framework addressed four learning domains (physical, psychological, cognitive, and social), spanning five learning configurations/levels. Conclusion: The development of a bespoke program for a new context has important implications for both existing and future programs.