The purpose of this study was to examine differences in motor competence, perceived motor competence (PMC), body mass index, and physical activity (PA) and to assess factors that predict PA behaviors of preschool children with and without disabilities. A total of 59 children with (n = 28) and without (n = 31) disabilities participated in the study. Results revealed that children with disabilities had significantly greater amounts of PA than peers without disabilities. There were no significant differences for motor competence, PMC, and body mass index for children with or without a disability. Although age and body mass index were controlled, both disability and PMC significantly predicted PA. Future intervention studies should consider maintaining high levels of PMC, as it is a significant predictor of PA.
Ali Brian, Sally Taunton, Chelsee Shortt, Adam Pennell and Ryan Sacko
Ali Brian, Adam Pennell, Ryan Sacko and Michaela Schenkelburg
Most early childhood centers charge preschool teachers with delivering gross motor skill content and providing physical activity (PA) opportunities to children. Little is known regarding preschool teachers’ background and confidence and the extent to which centers meet the Active Start Guidelines (ASGs) for PA. Preschool teachers (N = 102) completed an exploratory survey and the Self-Perception Profile for Adults Athletic Competence subscale. Eighty-eight percent possessed no formal background in physical education (PE)/PA, while most teachers (77%) were not aware of the ASGs. Most participants (92%) reported that they do not provide daily, teacher-led PE/PA programming, and less than half (47%) provided at least 60 min of daily free play. Preschool teachers were found to have below average perceived motor competence. Recommendations are provided for preservice teacher training programs, policymakers, as well as professional development of in-service teachers.
Kelly Lynn Mulvey, Sally Taunton, Adam Pennell and Ali Brian
Executive function skills play a critical role in school readiness for young children and can be improved through targeted intervention. However, children in preschool often experience deficits in multiple developmental domains. Thus, there is a need for integrated interventions that target multiple domains in concert. This study tested whether a proven gross motor skill intervention, Successful Kinesthetic Instruction for Preschoolers (SKIP), also improves preschoolers’ executive function. Participants were randomly assigned to either intervention (n = 50) or control (n = 57) conditions. Prior to intervention, executive function and gross motor skills were tested. Intervention occurred for 6 weeks with 30-min sessions twice weekly (dose = 360 min). At posttest, participants in the SKIP condition showed significantly better gross motor and executive function skills than control participants. Results are the first to document the effectiveness of the SKIP intervention in also improving children’s executive function.
Ali Brian, An De Meester, Aija Klavina, J. Megan Irwin, Sally Taunton, Adam Pennell and Lauren J. Lieberman
Physical literacy refers to the confidence, competence, motivation, knowledge, and understanding to value and take responsibility for engagement in physical activities throughout the lifespan. Little is known regarding the physical literacy of children/adolescents with visual impairments (VIs). Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine predictors of autonomous motivation in children/adolescents with VI (N = 41) from Latvia and the United States. A secondary aim was to explore differential effects of the country regarding all variables of interest. Methods: Within this preliminary investigation, levels of perceived motor competence, competence satisfaction, and autonomous motivation were captured in children/adolescents with VI located in Latvia and the United States. Results: Competence satisfaction and perceived motor competence significantly predicted autonomous motivation regardless of location. Significant differences regarding country occurred for competence satisfaction and autonomous motivation. Discussion/Conclusion: Implications for cultivating physical literacy for children/adolescents with VI involve strategies for physical educators focusing on fostering motivation.