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Jacqueline D. Goodway and Mary E. Rudisill

This study examined the relationship between perceived physical competence and actual motor skill competence in African American preschool children at risk of school failure and/or developmental delay (N = 59). A secondary purpose was to determine gender differences and the accuracy of self-perceptions. All children completed a perceived physical competence subscale (Harter & Pike, 1984). Actual motor skill competence was measured by Ulrich’s (1985) Test of Gross Motor Development (TGMD), resulting in three scores (locomotor, object-control, and TGMD-Total). Stepwise regression analysis revealed that locomotor competence (p = .99) and gender (p = .81) did not predict perceived physical competence, but object-control competence (p = .01) did significantly predict perceived physical competence. Adding gender to this regression model did not significantly predict perceived physical competence (p = .69). These findings showed that these children are not accurate at perceiving their physical competence.

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Jacqueline D. Goodway and Mary E. Rudisill

This study was conducted to determine the influence of a motor skill intervention (MSI) program on the perceived competence and social acceptance of African American preschoolers who are at risk of school failure/developmental delay. Two groups of preschoolers enrolled in a compensatory prekindergarten program participated in a 12-week intervention. The motor skill intervention (MSI) group received an MSI program, while the control group (C) received the regular prekindergarten program. All children completed Harter’s Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Social Acceptance prior to and following the 12-week program. The results indicated that all children, regardless of group, reported high perceived physical and cognitive competence and high perceived maternal and peer acceptance. Additionally, the MSI group reported significantly higher perceived physical competence scores after receiving the MSI program. The MSI group also reported higher perceived physical competence than the C group on postintervention scores. No gender differences were found. It was concluded that perceived competence and social acceptance were enhanced by participation in an MSI program.

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Jacqueline D. Goodway, Heather Crowe and Phillip Ward

The influence of a 9-week instructional program on locomotor and object control skill development of preschoolers who are at risk of developmental delay was investigated. The motor skill instruction group (n = 33) received 18, 35-min lessons; the comparison group (n = 30) received the regular prekindergarten program. Pre and posttest scores on the locomotor and object control subscales of the Test of Gross Motor Development (Ulrich, 1985) were obtained. A Group by Gender MANOVA with repeated measures yielded a significant Group by Time interaction. The intervention group performed significantly better than the comparison group from pre to posttest for both locomotor and object control skills. Additionally, this group had significantly higher posttest scores than the comparison group.

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Jacqueline D. Goodway and Leah E. Robinson

This commentary examines the argument for early sport specialization versus sport sampling from a physical growth and motor development perspective. Three developmental frameworks are examined (Mountain of Motor Development, Developmental Model of Sport Participation, Spirals of Engagement Trajectory model) to make the case that a broad base of fundamental motor skill competence is necessary in the early years before sport specialization in the adolescent years. Early sport specialization is criticized from the standpoint of increased risk for overuse injury, concerns about long-term growth, and the fact that early and intense practice schedules often do not differentiate elite versus nonelite athletes. A strong argument is made for early sport sampling to acquire a broad base of fundamental motor skills to apply to different sports, and to allow physical maturity to develop before specializing in sport. Such an approach also better equips a child to be active across the lifespan.

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Ruri Famelia, Emi Tsuda, Syahrial Bakhtiar and Jacqueline D. Goodway

This study examined the feasibility of recruiting and collecting data of Indonesian preschooler’s fundamental motor skill (FMS) competence, perceived motor competence, and physical activity in school. A secondary purpose was to explore the relationship among perceived motor competence, FMS competence, school day physical activity behaviors, playground physical activity behaviors, and sex of Indonesian preschoolers from urban and rural environments. Preschoolers (N = 66; n = 35 rural, n = 31 urban) were evaluated on the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Movement Skill Competence (PMSC), Perceived Physical Competence subscale (PPC). FMS competence was evaluated using the Test of Gross Motor Development-3. Three-day accelerometry at school yielded percent of school day and percent of playground time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary behaviors. Children spent 80% of the school day in sedentary behavior and 7% in MVPA. There were sex differences (p < .05) in ball skills favoring boys, and location differences on sedentary playground behaviors (p < .05) with rural children being more sedentary. Children felt “pretty good” about their motor skills (3.29–3.46) on the PPC and PMSC. Regression analyses revealed that location and locomotor skills predicted 13.8% of playground sedentary behaviors; PPC and locomotor skills explained 13.3% of MVPA on the playground; and ball skills predicted 7.7% of PPC. These findings emphasize the need for early motor skill and physical activity interventions and highlight the importance of perceived motor competence.

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Ali Brian, Farid Bardid, Lisa M. Barnett, Frederik J.A. Deconinck, Matthieu Lenoir and Jacqueline D. Goodway

Purpose: The present study examined the motor competence of preschool children from Belgium and the United States (US), and the influence of perceived motor competence on actual motor competence. A secondary objective was to compare the levels of motor competence of Belgian and US children using the US norms of the Test of Gross Motor Development, Second Edition (TGMD-2). Methods : All participants (N = 326; ages 4–5 years) completed the TGMD-2 and the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Movement Skill Competence for Young Children. Results : Belgian children performed significantly higher on actual object control and locomotor skills than US children. However, both Belgian and US children scored significantly worse on the TGMD-2 when compared to the US norm group from 1997–1998. Furthermore, perceived motor competence was significantly related to actual object control skills but not locomotor skills. Conclusion : The present study showed cross-cultural differences in actual motor competence in young children. The findings also indicate a secular downward trend in childhood competence levels, possibly due to a decrease in physical activity and increase in sedentary behavior. Future research should consider conducting an in-depth exploration of physical activity contexts such as physical education to better understand cross-cultural differences in motor competence.

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David F. Stodden, Zan Gao, Jacqueline D. Goodway and Stephen J. Langendorfer

This cross-sectional study examined associations among motor skill competence (MSC) and health-related fitness (HRF) in youth. A convenient sample of 253 boys and 203 girls (aged 4–13 years) participated in the study. Associations among measures of MSC (throwing and kicking speed and standing long jump distance) and a composite measure of HRF (push-ups, curl-ups, grip strength and PACER test) across five age groups (4–5, 6–7, 8–9, 10–11 and 12–13 yrs.) were assessed using hierarchical regression modeling. When including all children, throwing and jumping were significantly associated with the composite HRF factor for both boys and girls (throw, t = 5.33; jump, t = 4.49) beyond the significant age effect (t = 4.98) with kicking approaching significance (t = 1.73, p = .08). Associations between throwing and kicking speed and HRF appeared to increase from early to middle to late childhood age ranges. Associations between jumping and HRF were variable across age groups. These results support the notion that the relationship between MSC and HRF performance are dynamic and may change across childhood. These data suggest that the development of object control skills in childhood may be important for the development and maintenance of HRF across childhood and into adolescence.

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A. Paige Lane, Sergio L. Molina, DaShae A. Tolleson, Stephen J. Langendorfer, Jacqueline D. Goodway and David F. Stodden

Examining the underlying processes that contribute to fundamental movement pattern development and their relationship to performance outcomes is essential to effectively promote competence and mastery. However, few studies have examined the associations between process-oriented movement assessments and performance. The purpose of this study was to hypothesize component developmental sequences for the landing phase of the standing long jump and test them via a pre-longitudinal screen with cross-sectional data from children and young adults. Component levels of the standing long jump landing were identified for shank, foot, and arm action on 347 children ages 4–12 years and 48 adults ages 18–25 years. Modal profile curves were plotted for each component across age groups. In addition, modal sequences, height, and mass were regressed against jump distance as a secondary method of developmental validation. Component level trajectories indicated sufficient evidence for developmental trends of each component. Explained variance in jump distance by sequences, height, and mass varied across age groups and sex. Our findings indicate the proposed component sequences for landing may demonstrate adequate developmental validity; however, longitudinal validation is needed. Landing patterns play an important role in standing long jump performance and warrant more attention in motor development research.