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Vítor Pires Lopes, Linda Saraiva, Celina Gonçalves and Luis P. Rodrigues

The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between actual (AMC) and perceived (PMC) motor competence in Portuguese children. A total of 200 children (111 [0.55%] girls) aged 5–9 years old participated in the study. The Pictorial Scale of Perceived Movement Skill Competence (PMSC) and the Test of Gross Motor Development-2 (TGMD2) were used to assess PMC and AMC, respectively. Mann-Whiney U was used to test the differences between sexes and age groups. The association between TGMD2 and PMSC scores was analyzed through Spearman correlation. Boys and girls of all ages showed to have high PMC. Independent of sex, mean values for each TGMD2 subtest increased throughout the age groups with older children having significantly higher mean scores than younger ones. In general, boys and girls showed similar PMC and AMC, independent of age. Weak to moderate and some negative correlations (0.24 < r < −0.40) were found between PMC and AMC scores for all age and sex groups. In conclusion, there appears to be little relationship between actual and perceived motor competence in Portuguese young children.

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Dartagnan P. Guedes, Jaime Miranda Neto, Vitor Pires Lopes and António José Silva


This study investigated the association between sociodemographic and behavioral factors and health standards based on physical fitness component scores in a sample of Brazilian schoolchildren.


A sample of 1457 girls and 1392 boys aged 6 to 18 years performed a test battery of 5 items: 1) sit-and-reach, 2) curl-up, 3) trunk-lift, 4) push-up, and 5) progressive endurance run (PACER). The cut-off scores for gender and age suggested by the FitnessGram were adopted.


The findings showed that the sociodemographic and behavioral factors significantly associated with the ability of schoolchildren of meeting the health standards varied according to the fitness test. In the 5 tests used girls presented lower chance of meeting the health standards. Age and socioeconomic class were negatively associated with the performance in all physical tests. Schoolchildren aged ≤ 9 years or from families of lowest socioeconomic class presented approximately twice the chance of meeting the health standards than those aged ≥ 15 years and from more privileged families, specifically in the push-up (OR = 2.40; 95% CI 2.01–2.82) and PACER (OR = 2.18; 95% CI 1.84–2.54) tests.


Interventions to promote health-related physical fitness should not only consider gender and age of schoolchildren, but also selected sociodemographic and behavioral factors, especially socioeconomic class and leisure activities.

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Jorge E. Morais, António J. Silva, Daniel A. Marinho, Vítor P. Lopes and Tiago M. Barbosa


To develop a performance predictor model based on swimmers’ biomechanical profile, relate the partial contribution of the main predictors with the training program, and analyze the time effect, sex effect, and time × sex interaction.


91 swimmers (44 boys, 12.04 ± 0.81 y; 47 girls, 11.22 ± 0.98 y) evaluated during a 3-y period. The decimal age and anthropometric, kinematic, and efficiency features were collected 10 different times over 3 seasons (ie, longitudinal research). Hierarchical linear modeling was the procedure used to estimate the performance predictors.


Performance improved between season 1 early and season 3 late for both sexes (boys 26.9% [20.88;32.96], girls 16.1% [10.34;22.54]). Decimal age (estimate [EST] –2.05, P < .001), arm span (EST –0.59, P < .001), stroke length (EST 3.82; P = .002), and propelling efficiency (EST –0.17, P = .001) were entered in the final model.


Over 3 consecutive seasons young swimmers’ performance improved. Performance is a multifactorial phenomenon where anthropometrics, kinematics, and efficiency were the main determinants. The change of these factors over time was coupled with the training plans of this talent identification and development program.