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  • Author: Stephen J. Langendorfer x
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David F. Stodden, Zan Gao, Jacqueline D. Goodway and Stephen J. Langendorfer

This cross-sectional study examined associations among motor skill competence (MSC) and health-related fitness (HRF) in youth. A convenient sample of 253 boys and 203 girls (aged 4–13 years) participated in the study. Associations among measures of MSC (throwing and kicking speed and standing long jump distance) and a composite measure of HRF (push-ups, curl-ups, grip strength and PACER test) across five age groups (4–5, 6–7, 8–9, 10–11 and 12–13 yrs.) were assessed using hierarchical regression modeling. When including all children, throwing and jumping were significantly associated with the composite HRF factor for both boys and girls (throw, t = 5.33; jump, t = 4.49) beyond the significant age effect (t = 4.98) with kicking approaching significance (t = 1.73, p = .08). Associations between throwing and kicking speed and HRF appeared to increase from early to middle to late childhood age ranges. Associations between jumping and HRF were variable across age groups. These results support the notion that the relationship between MSC and HRF performance are dynamic and may change across childhood. These data suggest that the development of object control skills in childhood may be important for the development and maintenance of HRF across childhood and into adolescence.

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A. Paige Lane, Sergio L. Molina, DaShae A. Tolleson, Stephen J. Langendorfer, Jacqueline D. Goodway and David F. Stodden

Examining the underlying processes that contribute to fundamental movement pattern development and their relationship to performance outcomes is essential to effectively promote competence and mastery. However, few studies have examined the associations between process-oriented movement assessments and performance. The purpose of this study was to hypothesize component developmental sequences for the landing phase of the standing long jump and test them via a pre-longitudinal screen with cross-sectional data from children and young adults. Component levels of the standing long jump landing were identified for shank, foot, and arm action on 347 children ages 4–12 years and 48 adults ages 18–25 years. Modal profile curves were plotted for each component across age groups. In addition, modal sequences, height, and mass were regressed against jump distance as a secondary method of developmental validation. Component level trajectories indicated sufficient evidence for developmental trends of each component. Explained variance in jump distance by sequences, height, and mass varied across age groups and sex. Our findings indicate the proposed component sequences for landing may demonstrate adequate developmental validity; however, longitudinal validation is needed. Landing patterns play an important role in standing long jump performance and warrant more attention in motor development research.