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Longitudinal Change in Active and Sedentary Behavior During the After-School Hours

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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Investigation Into the Relationship Between Adolescents’ Perceived and Actual Fundamental Movement Skills and Physical Activity

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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Moving Well-Being Well: Evaluating the Efficacy, Impact on Gender, and Role of Teacher Fidelity of a Fundamental Movement Skill-Based Intervention in Irish Primary School Children

Nathan Gavigan, Johann Issartel, Cameron Peers, and Sarahjane Belton

Purpose: Competence in fundamental movement skills (FMS) is purported to be linked with increased physical activity participation. Yet, recent research suggests a low level of FMS proficiency in children. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy, impact on gender, and influence of teacher fidelity on the Moving Well-Being Well intervention. Method: The intervention was delivered in 18 primary schools (n = 925, M age = 7.55 years). Data were gathered on six FMS and two balance skills pre- and postintervention using the Test of Gross Motor Development—Third Edition and Bruininks–Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency 2. Results: The mean postintervention FMS score was higher than preintervention, with a mean increase of 7.85 (23%). A two-way analysis of covariance found gender was not statistically significant (p = .74), but teacher fidelity was statistically significant (p = .000; moderate effect size). Conclusions: The intervention significantly improved children’s FMS, having a similar effect on boys and girls. Teacher fidelity of implementation had a significant impact on FMS improvement.

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Patterns of Noncompliance in Adolescent Field-Based Accelerometer Research

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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Physical Activity and Fundamental Movement Skills of 3- to 5-Year-Old Children in Irish Preschool Services

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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Kids Active: Evaluation of an Educator-Led Active Play and Fundamental Movement Skill Intervention in the Irish Preschool Setting

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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Outcomes of the Y-PATH Randomized Controlled Trial: Can a School-Based Intervention Improve Fundamental Movement Skill Proficiency in Adolescent Youth?

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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Moving Well-Being Well: Evaluating the Efficacy, Impact on Gender, and Role of Teacher Fidelity of a Fundamental Movement Skill-Based Intervention in Irish Primary School Children

Nathan Gavigan, Johann Issartel, Cameron Peers, and Sarahjane Belton

Purpose: Competence in fundamental movement skills (FMS) is purported to be linked with increased physical activity participation. Yet, recent research suggests a low level of FMS proficiency in children. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy, impact on gender, and influence of teacher fidelity on the Moving Well-Being Well intervention. Method: The intervention was delivered in 18 primary schools (n = 925, M age = 7.55 years). Data were gathered on six FMS and two balance skills pre- and postintervention using the Test of Gross Motor Development—Third Edition and Bruininks–Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency 2. Results: The mean postintervention FMS score was higher than preintervention, with a mean increase of 7.85 (23%). A two-way analysis of covariance found gender was not statistically significant (p = .74), but teacher fidelity was statistically significant (p = .000; moderate effect size). Conclusions: The intervention significantly improved children’s FMS, having a similar effect on boys and girls. Teacher fidelity of implementation had a significant impact on FMS improvement.

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Enhancing the Evidence Base for Irish Female Youth Participation in Physical Activity—The Development of the Gaelic4Girls Program

Orlagh Farmer, Donna Duffy, Kevin Cahill, Diarmuid Lester, Sarahjane Belton, and Wesley O’Brien

The purpose of the current research was to gather baseline data on female youth to inform the development of a targeted physical activity (PA) and sports-based intervention, specifically identified as “Gaelic4Girls”. Cross-sectional data on PA levels, psychological correlates of PA, anthropometric characteristics, and the fundamental movement skill (FMS) proficiency of female youth (n = 331; M age 10.92±1.22) were collected. A subsample (n = 37) participated in focus group (FG) interviews exploring perceptions of health/sport, and identifying barriers/motivators to participation. PA levels were assessed using self-report (PA Questionnaire for Older Children) and classified as low, moderate, and high active. One- and two-way ANOVAs (post hoc Tukey honest significant difference [HSD]) were used to analyze the data. The FGs were transcribed verbatim, coded, and thematically analyzed. Findings indicated that the majority of youth (71.8%) were not meeting the minimum daily PA recommendations for health, and that 98.1% did not achieve the FMS proficiency expected for their age. Low, moderately, and highly active participants differ significantly in terms of overall FMS (p = .03), and locomotor control scores (p = .03). FG findings report fun and friendship as key PA motivators, too much competitiveness as barriers, and positive outside encouragement from family/friends/coaches as facilitators encouraging PA engagement. Findings highlight the need for targeting low levels of PA, FMS proficiency in female youth sport interventions, through addressing self-efficacy levels, inclusive of fun, and socially-stimulating PA environments.

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The Association of Family, Friends, and Teacher Support With Girls’ Sport and Physical Activity on the Island of Ireland

Wesley O’Brien, Tara Coppinger, Irene Hogan, Sarahjane Belton, Marie H. Murphy, Cormac Powell, and Catherine Woods

Background: The current study was the largest physical activity (PA) surveillance assessment of youth undertaken in Ireland in recent years. The purpose of this research was to assess the impact of social support, while controlling for age and screen time, on PA and sport participation, across a representative sample of Irish female youth. Methods: A total of 3503 children (mean age: 13.54 [2.05] y) across the island of Ireland participated. Participants completed a previously validated electronic questionnaire while supervised in a classroom setting, which investigated their (1) levels of PA; (2) screen time; (3) community sport participation; and (4) social support (friend, family, and teacher) to be physically active/partake in sport. Results: There were significant differences, with medium and large effect sizes, for social support from friends and family across types of sports participation. Specifically, girls who participated in the most popular team sports, when compared with the most popular individual sports, reported higher social support scores for friends and family structures. Conclusions: Findings from this study confirm the contributing influence of friends and family as sport and PA support networks for girls. Interventions should consider the importance of culturally relevant team sports for PA engagement in female youth.