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Eric E. Wickel, Johann Issartel, and Sarahjane Belton

Background:

Relatively little is known regarding after-school behavior. This study examined after-school active and sedentary behaviors among youth participating in the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development.

Methods:

An interview guided time-use approach was used to obtain detailed longitudinal information about after-school (3−6 PM) behavior of a mixed gender cohort (n = 886) at ages 9 and 11 yrs. Responses obtained in 15-min intervals were coded into 29 exclusive behaviors and separated into 3 main categories [moderate-and vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA), light-intensity physical activity, and sedentary]. Sedentary category was further divided into screen and nonscreen categories. A mixed ANOVA design was used to examine gender and age-related differences in MVPA, light-intensity physical activity, sedentary, screen, and nonscreen.

Results:

MVPA was higher among boys compared with girls (P < .001) and decreased from 9 to 11 yrs (P < .001). Overall, total sedentary time was comparable between boys and girls despite a difference in reported screen time (boys > girls; P < .001) and nonscreen time (boys < girls; P < .001). Total sedentary time increased from 9 to 11 yrs (P < .001).

Conclusion:

Engagement in after-school behavior appears to change during preadolescence. Additional research is needed to understand factors associated with the selection of active and sedentary behavior over time.

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Bronagh McGrane, Danielle Powell, Sarahjane Belton, and Johann Issartel

Objectives: To explore the relationship between fundamental movement skill (FMS) competence, perceived FMS competence, and physical activity (PA) in adolescents. Methods: The Test of Gross Motor Development (TGMD), the TGMD 2nd Edition (TGMD-2), and the Victorian Skills manual were used to assess FMS competence (locomotor, object control, and stability). The Physical Self Confidence scale was used to assess perceived FMS competence (locomotor, object control, and stability). Moderate-to-vigorous intensity PA (MVPA) was measured via accelerometry. Multi-level modelling analyses was used to examine (i) actual FMS as the predictor and perceived FMS as the outcome, (ii) perceived FMS as the predictor and MVPA as the outcome, and (iii) actual FMS as the predictor and MVPA as the outcome. All analyses were completed for each subtest of FMS (locomotor, object control, and stability). Results: A total of 584 adolescents (boys n = 278) aged 12.82–15.25 years (M = 13.78, SD = .42) participated in this study. Actual stability was associated with perceived stability (p < .01) and MVPA (p < .05) in boys. This was not found true for girls; however, actual locomotor skills were associated with MVPA (p ≤ .05). Boys scored significantly higher than girls for FMS proficiency, perceived FMS, and MVPA (p < .05). Discussion: Gender differences may exist due to cultural gender differences in sport participation norms. Considering the magnitude of physical and psychological changes occurring during adolescence, it is recommended to track young people over time to better understand the relationship between perceived and actual FMS, as well as PA participation.

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Christina Duff, Johann Issartel, Wesley O’ Brien, and Sarahjane Belton

The Kids Active program was developed with the aim of increasing physical activity (PA) and fundamental movement skill (FMS) levels of children in preschool services in Ireland through training educators to encourage active play opportunities. In this study, the impact of a six-week pilot program on educator confidence, as well as children’s PA levels and FMS proficiency, is evaluated. Educators’ (n = 32) confidence to teach PA was measured through questionnaire, while data (anthropometric data, PA via accelerometry, and proficiency in four FMS; run, vertical jump, overhand throw, and catch) were collected from 141 children in five intervention and four control services. Educators in the intervention group achieved significantly higher confidence scores at post-intervention testing in comparison to the control group. No significant differences between control and intervention groups were found for children’s PA across the three-hour period. Children in the intervention group significantly increased scores in the overhand throw. Small positive changes in educator confidence to teach PA and in children’s performance of the skill of overhand throw indicate potential effects of the Kids Active intervention that warrant further investigation of efficacy over longer periods of time.

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Christina Duff, Johann Issartel, Wesley O’ Brien, and Sarahjane Belton

The aim of this study was to quantify levels of physical activity (PA) and fundamental movement skills (FMS) of children aged 3 to 5 years in Irish preschool services during care hours, and investigate the relationship between these two variables. Data were collected from 141 children (50.3% boys, age M = 3.9 ± 0.5 years) across 9 preschool services. Measurements included PA via accelerometry, and proficiency in four FMS (run, vertical jump, throw and catch). The recommended guideline of 15 minutes of PA per hour (min PA/hour) was met by 35% of children (M = 13.6 min PA/hour). Significant differences in mean PA per hour were found by gender, with boys (14.2 min PA/hour) more active than girls (13.0 min PA/ hour), and age, with younger children (14.2 min PA/hour) more active than older (12.6 minutes PA/hour). Percentage of children proficient in the run was high (88.4%), but low across the other skills (4.9%–18.5%). Significant differences were identified by gender for vertical jump with girls scoring higher than boys. No significant relationship was found between FMS and total PA. Low levels of PA and FMS proficiency highlight need for intervention in early years settings to ensure children develop skills to participate in PA.

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Sarahjane Belton, Wesley O’Brien, Eric E. Wickel, and Johann Issartel

Background:

The primary purpose of this study was to investigate patterns of noncompliance in an adolescent field based accelerometer study. A further purpose was to investigate the effect of a cost efficient strategy (SMS reminder message) on the compliance of adolescents

Method:

The research carried out in 2010 involved 117 second level students (12.41 ± .53 yrs) from 4 schools in a rural Irish town. The Actigraph accelerometer data were processed over 7 days to determine compliance level.

Results:

Students were more likely to remove their monitor in the evening period than at any other time, however if students removed their monitor after school it remained unworn for a significantly longer duration than in any other time period. Students who received a SMS message were significantly more likely (P = .008) to wear their monitor in the morning than those that did not.

Conclusions:

Sending an SMS message each morning is effective for improving the number of students wearing monitors to school. The after school period is a critical period for nonwear time and should be targeted in future studies wishing to improve compliance.

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Bronagh McGrane, Sarahjane Belton, Stuart J. Fairclough, Danielle Powell, and Johann Issartel

Background: Multicomponent, school-based interventions are considered to be an effective method for improving fundamental movement skill (FMS) proficiency levels and physical activity (PA) among youth. This study aimed to evaluate if the youth-physical activity toward health intervention can improve FMS proficiency in a randomized controlled trial among adolescents. Methods: Participants were 482 adolescents aged 12–13 years from 20 schools. For an academic year, participants in 10 schools received the youth-physical activity toward health intervention. The remaining 10 schools received their regular weekly physical education lessons. Fifteen FMS were assessed using validated tools; their PA was assessed using accelerometers; their height, weight, and cardiorespiratory fitness were also recorded. Outcomes were assessed at baseline, postintervention, and 3 months later at retention. Multilevel analysis was performed using MLwiN 2.35 software. Results: Significant intervention effects across time were observed for total object control (P < .0001; β = 2.04; 95% confidence interval, 1.16 to 2.92) and total locomotor (P < .0001; β = 2.13; 95% confidence interval, 1.44 to 2.82), with the greatest improvements evident for total FMS score (P < .0001; β = 4.04; 95% confidence interval, 2.39 to 5.69). The effects of the intervention were significant and positive for all children in the intervention group regardless of gender, weight status, or PA level (P = .03 to < .0001). Conclusions: Youth-physical activity toward health has the potential to improve FMS proficiency among adolescents regardless of gender, weight status, and activity levels.

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David Morley, Andrew Miller, James Rudd, Johann Issartel, Jackie Goodway, Donna O’Connor, Stephen Harvey, Paul Ogilvie, and Thomas van Rossum

Coaches can provide an appropriate environment for children to develop a range of movement skills, but there is a dearth of research exploring the creation of appropriate resources to support the coach in developing and assessing children’s Complex Movement Skills. There is also a lack of research around coaches’ perceived feasibility of the limited resources in this area. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to design and then assess the feasibility of a Movement-Oriented Games-Based Assessment (MOGBA) for children aged 8–12 years, to be used by coaches within “Made to Play” programs. Thirteen coaches from across the United States and the United Kingdom used pilot materials to assess the feasibility of MOGBA over a 9-week period. Individual, paired, and focus group interviews were structured and data were thematically analyzed using Bowen et al.’s feasibility framework. Findings suggested that MOGBA provided a welcomed and much needed enhancement to their programs, with effective use of technology-enhanced coaching. Coaching involved notions of pedagogy and assessment, with issues emerging around class size and complexity of assessment. Coaches often used MOGBA covertly and flavored the resource to the sport being delivered, and this revealed to coaches the capability of children not viewed before.