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Viviene A. Temple and John T. Foley

The development of motor skill proficiency during childhood is cumulative and influenced by physical growth and maturation, genetic potential, affordances in the physical and social environment, and the interactions between these factors. Therefore, typically during childhood, the trajectory of change in motor proficiency is positive. To lend developmental validity to the revision of the Test of Gross Motor Development—3rd edition (TGMD-3), this longitudinal study examined whether the skills and subtests of the TGMD-3 changed as might be expected from grade 3 to grade 4 among 277 children. The findings of this study lend support to the developmental validity of the TGMD-3 in that (1) there was within-individual change in the expected direction for both locomotor and ball skills, (2) consistent with the majority of research, boys had significantly higher ball skills scores than girls in both grade 3 and grade 4, and (3) the mean percent of maximum possible scores were in the range of approximately 60–75, which demonstrates that the majority of 8- and 9-year-old children had not reached a ceiling on this test.

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Michael W. Beets and John T. Foley

Background:

Much of the research conducted to date implies overweight youth exhibit uniform active and sedentary behavioral patterns. This approach negates the possibility that multiple co-occurring, and seemingly contrasting, behaviors may manifest within the same individual. We present a substantive dialogue on alternative analytical approaches to identifying risk-related active/sedentary behavioral patterns associated with overweight in adolescents.

Methods:

Comparisons were made among latent profile analysis (LPA), cluster analysis (CA), and multinomial logistic regression (MLR). A cross sectional sample of youth (N = 6603; 12−18 yrs) completed a questionnaire assessing: physical activity (PA); competing activities (COMP); and sedentary activities (SED). Demographics associated with PA (age, sex, BMI) were used as covariates/predictors.

Results:

Comparisons among methods revealed that LPA and CA detected subgroupings of behavioral patterns associated with overweight, each unique in regards to behaviors and demographic characteristics, whereas MLR results followed established associations of low PA and high SED without subgroup separation.

Conclusions:

Use of LPA and CA provides a rich understanding of behavioral patterns and the related demographic characteristics. Decisions guiding the selection of analytical techniques are discussed.