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Stephanie Field, Jeff Crane, Patti-Jean Naylor and Viviene Temple

Children who underestimate their physical abilities have lower motivation, higher anxiety, and lack of understanding as to why they may be succeeding or struggling in sports settings, which can result in withdrawal from physical activities. Theoretically, middle childhood is a time when perceptions of physical competence (PPC) become more accurate as children develop the cognitive capacity to interpret new sources of feedback and develop a realistic sense of their physical abilities. The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which accuracy of PPC changed from grade 2 to grade 4. Participants were 238 boys and girls (M age = 7.8 yrs) from eight participating elementary schools in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. The Test of Gross Motor Development–Second Edition was used to assess motor skills. PPC were assessed using the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Social Acceptance for Young Children (for grade 2) and the Self-Perception Profile for Children (for grades 3 and 4). Results revealed that participants who underestimated or overestimated their physical competence in grade 2 saw an improvement in accuracy, and, by grade 4, had similar accuracy scores to their peers who were considered ‘accurate’ estimators. These results reinforce theory that suggests PPC become more accurate in middle childhood.

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Marc S. Mitchell, Catherine A. Gaul, Patti-Jean Naylor and Constadina Panagiotopoulos

The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between insulin resistance (IR) and objectively measured habitual moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in First Nations youth. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 2 rural villages in northern British Columbia, Canada. Thirty-nine healthy youth (16 males and 23 females; age = 11.8yrs ± 2.2; range = 8.8–18.5yrs) participated. PA was measured with ActiGraph GT1M accelerometers. The homeostasis model assessment estimate of IR (HOMA-IR) was used to define IR. Duration of MVPA was inversely related to HOMA-IR (r=−.44, p < .01). From the regression model, 30 min of habitual MVPA corresponded to HOMA-IR levels that were 15% lower. In conclusion, these findings suggest that active First Nations youth have lower HOMA-IR values.

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Viviene A. Temple, Dawn L. Lefebvre, Stephanie C. Field, Jeff R. Crane, Beverly Smith and Patti-Jean Naylor

This study examined the influence of physical health and well-being vulnerability on participation in physical activities, and whether motor skill proficiency mediated this relationship. Kindergarten children (n = 260) completed the Test of Gross Motor Development-2 and the Children’s Assessment of Participation and Enjoyment survey. A multivariate analysis of covariance was used to compare the motor skills and participation in physical activities of children in schools classified as more or less vulnerable. We also examined whether motor skill proficiency mediated the relationship between vulnerability status and participation. Children in neighborhoods with higher vulnerability demonstrated lower motor skill proficiency and participation. Object control skill proficiency mediated the relationship between vulnerability and participation. Children from more vulnerable schools started their school career with less developed motor skills and a narrower array of recreation participation. Children in vulnerable neighborhoods need more opportunities to master object controls skills and access recreational activities. Fortunately, motor skill proficiency among children considered ‘at risk’ is amenable to improvement and intervention early in the children’s school career may have a beneficial impact on children’s physical activity at school and beyond the school environment.