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Lisa M. Barnett and Owen Makin

Assessing young children’s perceptions is commonly done one on one with an interviewer. An app enables several children to complete the scale at once. The objective was to describe an app to assess children’s perceptions of movement competence and then present consistency of child responses. The Pictorial Scale of Perceived Movement Skill Competence (PMSC) has fundamental movement skill (FMS; e.g., catch) and play items (e.g., cycling). The PMSC android app has the same items and images but children complete it independently with audio. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) assessed i) test-retest reliability using the PMSC app on 18 items in 42 children (M = 6.8 yrs) and ii) consistency between measures for 13 FMS items in 44 children (M = 8.5 yrs). Over time (M = 6.9 days, SD = 0.35) the full PMSC had good consistency (ICC = 0.79, 95% CI 0.64–0.88) and the FMS items had moderate consistency (ICC = 0.68, 95% CI 0.47–0.81). There was good agreement between the app and interview for FMS items (ICC = 0.86, 95% CI 0.76–0.92). Locomotor items were less consistent. The PMSC app can generally be recommended. Future research could investigate how different forms of digital assessment affect children’s perception.

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Vitor Lopes, Lisa Barnett and Luís Rodrigues

The purpose is to explore relationships among moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), sedentary behavior (SB), and actual gross motor competence (MC) and perceived motor competence (PMC) in young children. Data were collected in 101 children (M age = 4.9 ± 0.93 years). MVPA was measured with accelerometry. Gross MC was assessed with the Portuguese version of the Movement Assessment Battery for Children. PMC was evaluated with the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Social Acceptance for Young Children. Regressions were used to determine predictive relationships related to the following research questions: (a) Can gross MC predict perceived motor competence, (b) can actual and perceived gross MC predict MVPA, and (c) can actual and perceived gross MC predict SB? Results showed no association between gross MC and PMC and between these constructs and MVPA and SB. This lack of association in the early ages is probably due to the young children’s cognitive inability to make accurate self-judgments and evaluations. A child might have low levels of actual gross MC but perceive her- or himself as skillful.

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Vaimanino Rogers, Lisa M. Barnett and Natalie Lander

This study aimed to explore the relationship between fundamental movement skills (FMS) and multiple levels of physical self-perception among early adolescent girls. The Victorian FMS Teachers’ Manual was used to measure actual FMS. Perceptions were measured using the Physical Self-Perception Profile and the Perceived Movement Skill Competence Scale. Pearson’s correlations assessed the association between FMS and each level of physical self-perception. General linear models, adjusting for potential confounders, were conducted to explore the relationship between FMS and multiple levels of physical self-perception. A total of 173 Australian girls (M = 12.48 years, SD = .34) had complete data. Results found positive moderate and significant associations between actual FMS and physical self-perception, perceived sports competence, and, to a lesser degree, perceived FMS. Actual and perceived object control skill were also moderately associated, but there was no association between actual and perceived locomotor skill. After adjusting for potential confounders, FMS remained a significant predictor of each level of perception in each model, except for locomotor skill. These findings are important for future intervention development to improve both actual and perceived FMS, particularly in object control skill, which has been identified as a predictor of subsequent physical activity.

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Natalie Jayne Lander, Lisa Michele Barnett, Helen Brown and Amanda Telford

The purpose of this study was to investigate instruction and assessment of fundamental movement skills (FMSs) by Physical Education (PE) teachers of Year 7 girls. Of 168 secondary school PE teachers, many had received little FMSs professional development, and although most assessed student FMSs proficiency, the quality of assessment was variable. Neither years of experience nor confidence influenced the quality of assessment tools used; however, greater FMSs training improved assessment practice regularity. Teachers more recently out of preservice were more confident in demonstrating FMSs. The results suggest that FMSs education for teachers should be a priority inclusion in both the training of preservice teachers and the ongoing professional development of in-service teachers.

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Natalie J. Lander, Lisa Hanna, Helen Brown, Amanda Telford, Philip J. Morgan, Jo Salmon and Lisa M. Barnett

Purpose:

Competence in fundamental movement skills (FMSs) is positively associated with physical activity, fitness, and healthy weight status. However, adolescent girls exhibit very low levels of fundamental movement skill (FMS) proficiency.

Method:

In the current study, interviews were carried out with physical education teachers to investigate their perspectives of: (i) the importance and relevance of teaching FMSs to Year 7 girls, and (ii) the factors influencing effective FMS instruction.

Results:

There were two major findings in the data: Year 7 was perceived to be a critical period to instruct girls in FMSs; and current teaching practices were perceived to be suboptimal for effective FMS instruction.

Conclusion:

Apparent deficits in current FMS teaching practice may be improved with more comprehensive teacher training (both during physical education teacher education (PETE) and in in-service professional development) in pedagogical strategies, curriculum interpretation, and meaningful assessment.

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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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Tamara May, Nicole Rinehart, Lisa Barnett, Trina Hinkley, Jane McGillivray, Helen Skouteris, Delwyne Stephens and Debra Goldfinch

Numerous barriers exist for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to engage in sporting activities, including behavioral problems and motor deficits. This study explored parent experiences of and influences on child participation in an 11-week Australian Football League (AFL) Auskick football program adapted for children with ASD as well as changes in their motor skills. The program was run in 2014 (Phase 1) and 2015 (Phase 2). In Phase 1 thematic analyses of nine parent interviews and pre-post parent proxy report of children’s motor skills were conducted with 15 parents. In Phase 2 pre-post objective motor skill assessment was undertaken in a separate sample of 13 children. Three key themes were identified: benefit of doing something ‘normal’; simple adaptations work; and, despite barriers, the benefits are worthwhile. Parent-proxy report indicated improvement in child object control skills. Objective assessment showed no change in children’s motor skill. Parental experiences of the program indicated that simple accommodations can engage children with ASD and their families in organized sporting programs. Given potential psychosocial and health benefits of organized sports, further controlled studies of this type of program in children with ASD are warranted.

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Lisa M. Barnett, David R. Lubans, Anna Timperio, Jo Salmon and Nicola D. Ridgers

This study aimed to examine the contribution of objective measures of physical fitness (musculoskeletal and cardiorespiratory), physical activity, and motor skill to motor perception. A total of 122 children (63 boys) aged 8–11 years were assessed. Independent t-tests assessed sex differences in all variables. Two linear mixed models adjusted for sex and age were performed with perceived object control and locomotor skills (Pictorial Scale of the Perceived Movement Skill Competence for Young Children) as outcomes. Aerobic (multi-stage fitness test) and muscular fitness (long jump, grip strength), moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (ActiGraph accelerometry), movement skill (Test of Gross Motor Development-2), age, and sex were predictors. Boys had higher object control skills (actual and perceived) and fitness. Age (decreasing) and long jump distance (positive) explained 16% of locomotor skill perception variance. Sex (boys) explained 13% of object control skill perception variance. Children’s skill self-perception may be influenced by fitness attributes as these are more evident to them. The fact that girls have lower actual object control competence and fitness than boys suggests girls may be an intervention target.

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Maike Tietjens, Dennis Dreiskaemper, Till Utesch, Nadja Schott, Lisa M. Barnett and Trina Hinkley

Children’s self-perception of motor skills and physical fitness is said to be an important mediator between skills and physical fitness on the one hand and physical activity on the other hand. An age-appropriate self-perception scale is needed to understand the development and the differentiation of the physical self-concept of children and its components. Therefore, the objectives of this study were (1) to develop a pictorial scale of physical fitness for pre-school children (3–6 years old), and (2) to describe the face validity and feasibility of the scale. The study sample included 27 kindergarten children. In order to determine the psychometric properties, validity was assessed by administrating the Pictorial Scale for Physical Self-Concept in Kindergarten Children (P-PSC-C) compared with children’s fundamental movement skill competency (Test of Gross Motor Development [TGMD]-3; six locomotor and seven object-control skills), height, weight, and demographics. The face validity was favorable. Expectable negatively skewed response distributions were found in all items. Medium correlations with related constructs and with sport enjoyment were found. The results indicate that the new scale is usable for kindergarten children. Future validation studies are needed so that the new scale can contribute to the research about physical self-concept development in kindergarten children.