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  • Author: Nadia C. Valentini x
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Nadia C. Valentini and Mary E. Rudisill

Two studies were conducted to examine the effects of motivational climate on motor-skill development and perceived physical competence in kindergarten children with developmental delays. In Experiment 1, two intervention groups were exposed to environments with either high (mastery climate) or low autonomy for 12 weeks. Results showed that the mastery-climate group demonstrated significantly better locomotor performance and higher perceived physical competence postintervention than did the low-autonomy group, although both groups improved in locomotor and object-control skill performance. The second investigation extended the findings of the first by determining that the intervention effects were present 6 months later. In summary, the mastery-climate group showed positive changes in skill development and perceived physical competence, and this positive pattern of change was maintained over time.

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Barbara Coiro Spessato, Carl Gabbard, and Nadia C. Valentini

Our goal was to investigate the role of body mass index (BMI) and motor competence (MC) in children’s physical activity (PA) levels during physical education (PE) classes. We assessed PA levels of 5-to-10-year old children (n = 264) with pedometers in four PE classes. MC was assessed using the TGMD-2 and BMI values were classified according to CDC guidelines. We found small-to-moderate positive correlations between MC and PA; BMI was not significantly correlated with MC and PA. The linear regression model indicated that overall MC was a better predictor of PA than BMI. Our results suggest that children with higher MC find a way to be more active even in a structured setting such as a PE class. Our findings draw attention to the importance of promoting MC, especially for children with high BMI.