Fundamental motor skills (FMS) are an underlying mechanism driving physical activity behavior and promoting positive developmental trajectories for health. However, little is known about FMS of preschool-aged children with visual impairments (VI). The purpose of this study was to examine the FMS of preschool-aged children (N = 25) with (n = 10) and without (n = 15) VI as measured using the Test of Gross Motor Development-3. Children without VI performed significantly higher than their peers for locomotor (M = +11.87, p = .014, η2 = .31) and ball skills (M = +13.69, p < .001, η2 = .56). Regardless of the presence of a VI, many participants struggled with developing FMS, with the greatest disparity resting within ball skills. These findings help to clarify the FMS levels of preschool-aged children with VI. Thus, there is a need for both further inquiry and intervention for all children.
Ali Brian, Sally Taunton Miedema, Jerraco L. Johnson, and Isabel Chica
Ali Brian, Sally Taunton, Chelsee Shortt, Adam Pennell, and Ryan Sacko
The purpose of this study was to examine differences in motor competence, perceived motor competence (PMC), body mass index, and physical activity (PA) and to assess factors that predict PA behaviors of preschool children with and without disabilities. A total of 59 children with (n = 28) and without (n = 31) disabilities participated in the study. Results revealed that children with disabilities had significantly greater amounts of PA than peers without disabilities. There were no significant differences for motor competence, PMC, and body mass index for children with or without a disability. Although age and body mass index were controlled, both disability and PMC significantly predicted PA. Future intervention studies should consider maintaining high levels of PMC, as it is a significant predictor of PA.
Kelly Lynn Mulvey, Sally Taunton, Adam Pennell, and Ali Brian
Executive function skills play a critical role in school readiness for young children and can be improved through targeted intervention. However, children in preschool often experience deficits in multiple developmental domains. Thus, there is a need for integrated interventions that target multiple domains in concert. This study tested whether a proven gross motor skill intervention, Successful Kinesthetic Instruction for Preschoolers (SKIP), also improves preschoolers’ executive function. Participants were randomly assigned to either intervention (n = 50) or control (n = 57) conditions. Prior to intervention, executive function and gross motor skills were tested. Intervention occurred for 6 weeks with 30-min sessions twice weekly (dose = 360 min). At posttest, participants in the SKIP condition showed significantly better gross motor and executive function skills than control participants. Results are the first to document the effectiveness of the SKIP intervention in also improving children’s executive function.
Sally Taunton Miedema, Ali Brian, Adam Pennell, Lauren Lieberman, Larissa True, Collin Webster, and David Stodden
Many interventions feature a singular component approach to targeting children’s motor competency and proficiency. Yet, little is known about the use of integrative interventions to meet the complex developmental needs of children aged 3–6 years. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of an integrative universally designed intervention on children with and without disabilities’ motor competency and proficiency. We selected children (N = 111; disability = 24; no disability = 87) to participate in either a school-based integrative motor intervention (n = 53) or a control condition (n = 58). Children in the integrative motor intervention both with and without disabilities showed significant improvement in motor competency and proficiency (p < .001) as compared with peers with and without disabilities in a control condition. Early childhood center directors (e.g., preschool and kindergarten) should consider implementing integrative universally designed interventions targeting multiple aspects of motor development to remediate delays in children with and without disabilities.
Collin A. Webster, Diana Mîndrilă, Chanta Moore, Gregory Stewart, Karie Orendorff, and Sally Taunton
Purpose: Drawing from the diffusion of innovations theory, this study aimed to develop a survey to measure physical education teachers’ perceived attributes of comprehensive school physical activity programs (CSPAPs) and examine the differences between adopters’ and potential adopters’ perceived attributes. Method: The authors created an electronic survey and e-mailed it to 2,955 physical education teachers identified from a random sample of all public schools in the United States. The participants’ (N = 407) responses were analyzed using the exploratory structural equation modeling framework. Results: The exploratory structural equation modeling yielded five factors: (a) compatibility, (b) relative advantage, (c) observability, (d) simplicity, and (e) trialability (χ2/df = 3.2; root mean square error of approximation = .074; comparative-fit index = .983; Tucker–Lewis index = .971; weighted root mean residual = .668). Compared with potential adopters, teachers who had already adopted a CSPAP perceived CSPAPs as simpler to implement but less trialable. Discussion/Conclusion: This study advances the measurement for CSPAP implementation and offers insight into program attributes that merit a targeted focus in efforts to increase CSPAP adoption.
Ali Brian, Sally Taunton, Lauren J. Lieberman, Pamela Haibach-Beach, John Foley, and Sara Santarossa
Results of the Test of Gross Motor Development-2 (TGMD-2) consistently show acceptable validity and reliability for children/adolescents who are sighted and those who have visual impairments. Results of the Test of Gross Motor Development-3 (TGMD-3) are often valid and reliable for children who are sighted, but its psychometric properties are unknown for children with visual impairments. Participants (N = 66; M age = 12.93, SD = 2.40) with visual impairments completed the TGMD-2 and TGMD-3. The TGMD-3 results from this sample revealed high internal consistency (ω = .89–.95), strong interrater reliability (ICC = .91–.92), convergence with the TGMD-2 (r = .96), and good model fit, χ2(63) = 80.10, p = .072, χ2/df ratio = 1.27, RMSEA = .06, CFI = .97. Researchers and practitioners can use the TGMD-3 to assess the motor skill performance for children/adolescents with visual impairments and most likely produce results that are valid and reliable.
Collin A. Webster, Diana Mindrila, Chanta Moore, Gregory Stewart, Karie Orendorff, and Sally Taunton
Purpose: A comprehensive school physical activity program (CSPAP) is designed to help school-aged youth meet physical activity guidelines as well as develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that foster meaningful lifelong physical activity participation. In this study, we employed a “diffusion of innovations theory” perspective to examine the adoption of CSPAPs in relation to physical education teachers’ domain-specific innovativeness, educational background, demographics, and perceived school support. Methods: Physical education teachers (N = 407) responded to an electronic survey with validated measures for each of the above-mentioned variables. Results: Latent profile analysis classified teachers into three domain-specific innovativeness levels (high, average, and low). CSPAP-related professional training, knowledge, and perceived school support were found to be significant factors in domain-specific innovativeness and CSPAP adoption. Discussion/Conclusion: This study provides novel evidence to inform professional development initiatives so that they can be tailored to physical education teachers who may be less likely to adopt a CSPAP.
Ali Brian, An De Meester, Aija Klavina, J. Megan Irwin, Sally Taunton, Adam Pennell, and Lauren J. Lieberman
Physical literacy refers to the confidence, competence, motivation, knowledge, and understanding to value and take responsibility for engagement in physical activities throughout the lifespan. Little is known regarding the physical literacy of children/adolescents with visual impairments (VIs). Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine predictors of autonomous motivation in children/adolescents with VI (N = 41) from Latvia and the United States. A secondary aim was to explore differential effects of the country regarding all variables of interest. Methods: Within this preliminary investigation, levels of perceived motor competence, competence satisfaction, and autonomous motivation were captured in children/adolescents with VI located in Latvia and the United States. Results: Competence satisfaction and perceived motor competence significantly predicted autonomous motivation regardless of location. Significant differences regarding country occurred for competence satisfaction and autonomous motivation. Discussion/Conclusion: Implications for cultivating physical literacy for children/adolescents with VI involve strategies for physical educators focusing on fostering motivation.
Ali Brian, Angela Starrett, Adam Pennell, Pamela Haibach-Beach, Emily Gilbert, Alexandra Stribing, Sally Taunton Miedema, and Lauren Lieberman
Youth with visual impairments are more likely to be overweight than peers without visual impairments and often struggle with their locomotor skills. Locomotor development can combat unhealthy body weight statuses by supporting physical activity behaviors. There are no longitudinal investigations concerning the locomotor skill and body mass index (BMI) developmental trajectories of youth with visual impairments. The purpose of this study was to examine the 3-year developmental trajectory of the locomotor skills and BMI of youth with visual impairments including differential effects of self-reported gender and degree of vision. Participants (N = 34, M age = 11.75 years, 47% female) showed severely delayed and arrested locomotor development with increases in BMI across 3 years regardless of self-reported gender or degree of vision. Participants failed to breech a proficiency barrier of motor competence to combat against increases in BMI across time. Additional longitudinal inquiries are needed.
Ali Brian, Laura Bostick, Angela Starrett, Aija Klavina, Sally Taunton Miedema, Adam Pennell, Alex Stribing, Emily Gilbert, and Lauren J. Lieberman
Children with visual impairments often exhibit difficulties with locomotor skills (e.g., the ability to move one’s body from one place to another), warranting the need for ecologically valid interventions with conditions that attempt to match the real world in a variety of settings. Parents and physical education teachers are the ones choosing to provide movement opportunities for children with visual impairments and must be included in any ecologically valid intervention strategy. This was a descriptive-analytic study. To support the greatest diversity in settings, the authors recruited 94 participants (blind = 44 and low vision = 50; M age = 13.01 years, SD = 3.26) from schools for the deaf and blind in the United States (teacher led, n = 17) or Latvia (teacher led, n = 57), through an online LISTSERV throughout the United States (parent led, n = 10), and a control subgroup (n = 10). At the pretest, no participant’s motor development met age expectations. Children with visual impairments from multiple locations and cultures significantly improved compared with controls who did not. Results were most favorable when the physical educator was the interventionist. However, further research is needed to replicate these findings.