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Stephanie C. Field, Christina B. Esposito Bosma, and Viviene A. Temple

When a test is revised, it is important that test users are made aware of the comparability of scores of the new and the original test. We examined how scores on the Test of Gross Motor Development–Second Edition (TGMD-2) and Test of Gross Motor Development–Third Edition (TGMD-3) compared among children in middle childhood. Participants were 270 children recruited in grade 3 (54% female; M age = 8 years 6 months) and followed through grade 5. Participants completed the skills of both tests. Subtest scores were converted into percent of maximum possible (POMP) scores to facilitate comparison. Although similar, uniformly the TGMD-3 POMP scores were slightly lower. Repeated measures analyses of variance revealed that locomotor subtest scores derived from both tests improved from grade 3 to grade 5, as did TGMD-3 assessed ball skills. However, there was no difference in TGMD-2 assessed object control skills over time. It appears that under-contribution by the underhand roll suppressed the trajectory of improvement of TGMD-2 assessed object control skills. This finding supports the exclusion of the roll from the TGMD-3. The consistent pattern of sex-based differences in TGMD-2 object control skill and TGMD-3 ball skills reinforces the need for male and female norm-reference data for ball skills.

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Elnaz Emadirad, Brad W.N. Temple, Stephanie C. Field, Patti-Jean Naylor, and Viviene A. Temple

Background: Beyond the often examined perceptions of competence and motor skill proficiency, perceived value and children’s expectations for success are thought to affect engagement in physical activities. We used parallel mediation models to examine the direct effect of motor skill proficiency on participation in physical activities, as well as whether children’s beliefs and value for physical activities mediated this relationship. Methods: The participants in this cross-sectional study were a total of 398 grade 3 children (201 girls) from 8 schools. Motor skills were assessed using the Test of Gross Motor Development-2, the Value Expectancy Questionnaire measured the psychological variables, and the Children’s Assessment of Participation and Enjoyment measured physical activities. Results: Motor skill proficiency predicted all 3 psychological constructs for the boys and the girls, and boys’ participation in physical activities. However, the psychological variables did not mediate the relationship between motor skills and participation among the boys. For the girls, task value mediated the relationship between motor skills and physical activity participation. Conclusion: It is possible that the girls are further along in their ability to reflect on their competence, successes, and failures; it is also possible that the lower motor skill levels of girls had a deleterious effect on their feelings about participating.

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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.