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Julián Gandía, Xavier García-Massó, Adrián Marco-Ahulló and Isaac Estevan

Feedback is one of the most influential factors for motor skills learning. Physical Education teachers commonly use verbal cues to provide knowledge of process (KP) when teaching motor skills, but the ideal presentation frequency for KP in adolescents is unclear. The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of the frequency of KP (i.e., 100%, 67%, 0%) on dynamic balance. Thirty adolescents, age 14–15 years, participated in the study. Performance on a stabilometer platform was used to assess dynamic balance. Participants received feedback after each trial (100%), in two out of three trials (67%), or no feedback during 12 30-s trials of practice. Adolescents who received feedback (67% or 100%) required lower mean velocity to maintain similar dynamic balance performance (i.e., root mean square). Moreover, adolescents receiving 100% feedback had a higher α-scaling than those who did not received it. During the post-test and the retention, both 67% and 100% KP frequencies were effective at improving postural control, compared to the no feedback control.

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Isaac Estevan, Javier Molina-García, Ana Queralt, Octavio Álvarez, Isabel Castillo and Lisa Barnett

The Test of Gross Motor Development (TGMD) is a process-oriented scale that provides qualitative information on children’s motor competence. The aim of the current study was to analyze the psychometric properties by examining the internal consistency and construct validity of the Spanish version of the TGMD-3. A sample of 178 typically developing children (47.5% girls) between the ages 3 and 11 years participated in this study. Reliability and the within-network psychometric properties of TGMD-3 were examined by using internal consistency and confirmatory factor analysis. Reliability indexes were excellent (> 0.89). A two-factor structure model was hypothesized and an alternative unifactorial model was also tested. Adequate fit indexes in both a two-factor model [ball skills seven items and locomotor skills six items (χ2 (64) = 139.200, p < .010, RMSEA = 0.073, SRMR = 0.050, NNFI = 0.964, CFI = 0.970)] and a one-factor model [(χ2 (65) = 157.666, p < .010, RMSEA = 0.084, SRMR = 0.055, NNFI = 0.956, CFI = 0.963)] were found. The Spanish version of the TGMD-3 is thus suitable for studying children’s actual motor competence level in terms of locomotor and ball skills and also in terms of fundamental movement skills.

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Xavier García-Massó, Isaac Estevan, Roberto Izquierdo-Herrera, Israel Villarrasa-Sapiña and Luis-Millan Gonzalez

The purposes of the present study were a) to establish postural control profiles for individuals 6–12 years of age, b) to analyze the participants’ characteristics (age, sex, weight, height, and physical activity) in those profiles, and c) to analyze the influence of visual information in the profiles found. Two hundred and eight typically developing children aged 6–12 years performed two trials in bipedal standing position with eyes open and closed. Feature extraction involved time, frequency, and sway-density plot variables using signals from the center of pressure. A Self-Organizing Map was used to classify and visualize the values of the participants in all the postural control variables tested. A k-means cluster analysis was applied to generate a small number of postural control profiles. The results determined six postural control profiles; three with participants denoting high stability and three considered as low stability profiles. Age, sex, and height were related to the postural control profiles. Boys were more frequently allocated in high stability clusters than girls, while the other factors yielded unclear difference between high and low stability profiles. The analysis of children’s profiles reflecting postural stability should therefore involve more than one factor including the individuals’ age, sex, and height.

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Isaac Estevan, Sergio Gandia, Israel Villarrasa-Sapiña, José Luis Bermejo and Xavier García-Massó

This paper describes a study on postural stability and cognitive function according to the difficulty increment of a working memory task (WMT) and age group in adolescents. One hundred and twenty-three participants (13–16 years) performed single and dual tasks in a bipedal standing position while barefoot. Four trials were conducted, consisting of single and dual tasks in three progressively difficult WMT conditions (i.e., 3-, 5-, and 7-digit sequences). Friedman’s analysis of variance and Kruskal–Wallis tests were conducted to test the effect of the WMT and age group, respectively. Both the WMT and age were found to affect performance (p < .01). As the cognitive requirements increased, the adolescents were not able to maintain their performance in both balance and cognition, while postural control and cognition were found to evolve with age.

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Yucui Diao, Cuixiang Dong, Lisa M. Barnett, Isaac Estevan, Jing Li and Liu Ji

The purpose of this study was to determine the validity and reliability of the Pictorial Scale for Perceived Movement Skill Competence (PMSC) in Chinese children. A total of 241 children (girls, n = 119) aged 4 to 9 years old (6.9 ± 1.53) participated. One week later two random subsamples were selected. One (n = 52) was to determine face validity and the other (n = 56) was to determine test-retest reliability. Internal consistency analyses through Cronbach’s alpha and construct validity by confirmatory factor analysis were conducted. Results showed (a) face validity was better for object control skills; (b) internal consistency was adequate for each subscale and all 13 skills (alpha range from .73–.87); (c) Intra-Class Correlations were good for locomotor (.62), object control (.73), and all 13 skills (.78); and (d) the modified two-factor model had a good fit (CFI = .96, TLI = .94, RMSEA = .04, SRMR = .05). The Chinese version of the PMSC is appropriate to use; however, considering the participants were only from Shanghai, results may not be generalizable to all Chinese children.

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Isaac Estevan, Javier Molina-García, Gavin Abbott, Steve J. Bowe, Isabel Castillo and Lisa M. Barnett

Perceived motor competence is a subdomain of perceived physical competence that is related to the practice of physical activity and motor skills. The Pictorial Scale of Perceived Movement Skill Competence (PMSC) assesses perceived motor competence (locomotor, object control, and active play skills) in children. The purpose of the present study was twofold: first, to translate the PMSC into Spanish and to test the reliability (internal consistency and test-retest) and construct validity of the aforementioned scale in a Spanish sample; second, to analyze children’s perception of motor competence according to gender. Two hundred and forty-seven typically developed children (51% boys) between 5 and 11 years old participated in the study. Internal consistency reliability was acceptable. Children’s test-retest reliability was between high and excellent. A Bayesian Structural Equation approach showed the original hypothesized three-factor model was a poor fit, but a two-factor model (i.e., locomotion and object control) was an adequate fit. Boys reported higher perception in the object control and overall motor competence, but similar perception in locomotor skills to girls. The PMSC can provide a useful way to study the nature and impact of motor competence perception in young children of Spanish-speaking communities.