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  • Author: Cian O’ Neill x
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Lisa E. Bolger, Linda A. Bolger, Cian O’Neill, Edward Coughlan, Wesley O’Brien, Seán Lacey and Con Burns

This study examined the effectiveness of a physical activity (Year 1) and a multicomponent fundamental movement skill (FMS) (Year 2) intervention on primary school children’s FMS proficiency. Data were collected from 6- and 10-year-old cohorts from two intervention schools and age-matched groups from one control school, in south Ireland. In Year 1 (N = 187), intervention (n = 96) and control (n = 91) groups were children from senior infant (6-year-old cohort) and 4th class (10-year-old cohort). In Year 2 (N = 357), intervention (n = 195) and control (n = 162) groups were children from senior infant and 1st class (6-year-old cohort) and 4th and 5th classes (10-year-old cohort). FMS assessment was conducted across both academic years, using the Test of Gross Motor Development-2. Linear mixed models were used to investigate the effectiveness of each intervention, adjusting for age group. Following Year 1, the intervention group significantly improved locomotor proficiency (p < .05), with no changes in object-control or overall proficiency. No group-time interactions were found. Following Year 2, the intervention group significantly improved locomotor, object-control, and overall proficiency (p < .001). Group-time interaction effects were found for both subsets and overall FMS in favor of the intervention group (p < .001). FMS proficiency among primary school children was significantly greater following the multicomponent FMS intervention.

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Lisa E. Bolger, Linda A. Bolger, Cian O’ Neill, Edward Coughlan, Wesley O’Brien, Seán Lacey and Con Burns

The purpose of this study was to assess the fundamental movement skill (FMS) proficiency of Irish primary school children relative to age and sex. Data collected were baseline measures for Project Spraoi, a physical activity (PA) and nutrition-based intervention. Participants (N = 203) were senior infant (n = 102, M age: 6.0 ± 0.4 years) and fourth class (n = 101, M age: 9.9 ± 0.4 years) children from three primary schools in the south of Ireland. FMS testing was conducted using the Test of Gross Motor Development-2 (TGMD-2), assessing six locomotor and six object-control skills. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to assess age and sex related differences in FMS proficiency. Older children scored significantly higher than younger children in both locomotor (p < .05) and object-control score (p < .05). Boys scored significantly higher than girls in object-control score (p < .05), while girls scored significantly higher in locomotor score (p < .05). FMS levels among Irish primary school children are similar to children worldwide, with age and sex differences evident. Early interventions, aimed at improving FMS, are warranted among Irish primary school aged children as greater proficiency is related to greater PA participation and numerous health benefits.

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Lisa E. Bolger, Linda A. Bolger, Cian O’Neill, Edward Coughlan, Wesley O’Brien, Seán Lacey and Con Burns

Background: Perceived movement competence is important in the relationship between actual competence and physical activity (PA). This study examines the accuracy of children’s perceptions and investigates the relationship between perceived competence (PC) and PA. Methods: Data collected were part of Project Spraoi, a PA and nutrition-based intervention. Participants (N = 419) were senior infant/first class (n = 202, mean age: 6.5 [0.6] y) and fourth/fifth class (n = 217, mean age: 10.4 [0.6] y) children from 3 schools in Cork, Ireland. The Test of Gross Motor Development-2 and Pictorial Scale of Perceived Movement Skill Competence for Young Children assessed actual and PC in 6 locomotor and 6 object-control fundamental movement skills. Moderate to vigorous PA levels were measured by accelerometry. Wilcoxon signed-rank tests assessed the accuracy of PC. Hierarchical regression analysis investigated relationships between PC and both actual competence and moderate to vigorous PA. Results: Children had greater perceived overall and object-control competence than actual. Among younger children, there was no difference between perceived locomotor and actual, while older children had lower perceived locomotor competence than actual. PC did not predict actual competence. Perceived object-control and total PC were significant predictors of moderate to vigorous PA. Conclusions: Children have inflated perceptions of their overall and object-control movement skill competency. Perceived object-control and total FMS is associated with PA and thus, interventions aimed at increasing PA among children should target PC.