With studies of motor behavior that feature manual control, it is suggested that the methodology used to select subjects in reference to handedness be reviewed. This suggestion is in view of the recommendation that simply asking subjects to identify their writing hand is inadequate to define handedness. Complementing this are recent findings in neuroscience indicating differences, at times significant, in information-processing behavior based on handedness classification. A brief review of recently published studies in two prominent outlets for motor behavior research confirms that most reports provide minimal (and sometimes no) information regarding handedness and the method used for assessment. Recommendations for addressing the problem include using an acceptable preference inventory, selecting only those subjects with strong lateral characteristics, and briefly describing the methodology used for the reviewing audience.
Carl Gabbard and Glenn Miller
A survey was conducted of 163 colleges and universities to determine course offerings and diversity related to physical education for children. Information was derived from each institution through an analysis of the course description section of the institution’s latest catalog, or related materials. Data were collected through library (microfiche), interuniversity loan systems, or direct mail. Data collection and analyses included course title, description, and units of credit hours. The characteristics of each course were determined and categorized into one of the following areas: elementary physical education methods, motor development, games/sport, dance/rhythms, gymnastics, and other. Analyses related to each category and the total were reported. In summary, 63% of the sample offered a basic elementary methods class while 72% provided at least 2 credit hours of related course work. The average total credit hours offered was 6.3 units, with a range of 0 to 32. When the analyses included only those institutions offering related course work, the average was 8.9 units (which was interpreted as three or perhaps four courses). The diversity of course titles other than those generally recognized was also reported.
Judith Jiménez, Maria Morera, Walter Salazar and Carl Gabbard
Motor skill competence has been associated with physical activity level, fitness, and other relevant health-related characteristics. Recent research has focused on understanding these relationships in children and adolescents, but little is known about subsequent years. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between fundamental motor skill (FMS) ability and body mass index (BMI) in young adults.
Participants, 40 men and 40 women (M age = 19.25 yr, SD = 2.48), were assessed for BMI and motor competence with 10 fundamental motor skills (FMSs) using the Test for Fundamental Motor Skills in Adults (TFMSA).
BMI was negatively associated with total motor ability (r = –.257; p = .02) and object control skills (r = –.251; p = .02); the relationship with locomotor skills was marginally insignificant (r = –.204; p = .07). In regard to individual skills, a significant negative association was found for running, jumping, striking, and kicking (ps < .05). Multiple regression analysis indicated that BMI and gender predicted 42% of the variance in total FMS score; gender was the only significant predictor.
Overall, these preliminary findings suggest that young adults with higher FMS ability are more likely to have lower BMI scores.
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.