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

their associated protocols have established validity and reliability in children, and are designed to give an objective measurement of gross motor skill proficiency. The four locomotor skills (run, skip, vertical jump, and balance) and three object-control skills (stationary bounce, kick, and catch

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Maike Tietjens, Dennis Dreiskaemper, Till Utesch, Nadja Schott, Lisa M. Barnett and Trina Hinkley

locomotor) and any of the perception factors (see Table  3 ). Table 3 Spearman Rho’s Correlation between Perceived Physical Fitness and Perceived Locomotion, Perceived Object Control, Actual Motor Performance, Physical Appearance, and Enjoyment in Sports ( N  = 27) P-LO P-OC PPF A-LO A-OC PA EA P-LO   .740

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Jacqueline D. Goodway, Heather Crowe and Phillip Ward

The influence of a 9-week instructional program on locomotor and object control skill development of preschoolers who are at risk of developmental delay was investigated. The motor skill instruction group (n = 33) received 18, 35-min lessons; the comparison group (n = 30) received the regular prekindergarten program. Pre and posttest scores on the locomotor and object control subscales of the Test of Gross Motor Development (Ulrich, 1985) were obtained. A Group by Gender MANOVA with repeated measures yielded a significant Group by Time interaction. The intervention group performed significantly better than the comparison group from pre to posttest for both locomotor and object control skills. Additionally, this group had significantly higher posttest scores than the comparison group.

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J. Dru Marshall and Marcel Bouffard

The primary purpose of this study was to document the actual gross movement competencies, as measured by the Test of Gross Motor Development, in obese versus nonobese children. A 2 Gender (male, female) × 2 Groups (obese, nonobese) × 2 Age Categories (Grade 1, Grade 4) × 2 Programs (quality daily physical education [QDPE], non-QDPE) completely randomized factorial design was used. A significant three-way interaction effect (Group × Age × Program) was found for the Locomotor Skills subscale, such that the difference in movement competency in locomotor skills between obese and nonobese children increased as children got older if they did not receive QPDE. A significant main program effect was also found for the Object Control Skills subscale, with the QDPE children scoring higher than the non-QDPE children. It appears, then, that QDPE programs offer a “protective” effect for the development of locomotor skills in obese children. Implications of these findings are discussed.

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Jin H. Yan

Empirical evidence from this study supports the hypothesis that Tai Chi practice can improve senior citizens’ dynamic balance control and rapid-aiming arm movement performance. Of 38 senior citizens, 28 (M = 78.8 years. SD = 2.1) chose to practice the 24-form simplified Tai Chi. The remaining 10 seniors (M = 79.2 years. SD = 1.9) selected a locomotor activity (walking or jogging). Dynamic balance tests and ballistic-aiming arm movements were conducted for all participants at the beginning, middle (4th week), and end of the 8-week exercise program. The Tai Chi participants improved their time on balance more than did their counterparts who performed locomotor activities. In addition, Tai Chi practice improved arm movement smoothness to a greater extent than the locomotor activities. However, no changes in arm movement speed were observed in either group. The results suggest that Tai Chi practice may help senior citizens improve dynamic balance control and gain smoothness in rapid-aiming arm movements.

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Nadia C. Valentini and Mary E. Rudisill

Two studies were conducted to examine the effects of motivational climate on motor-skill development and perceived physical competence in kindergarten children with developmental delays. In Experiment 1, two intervention groups were exposed to environments with either high (mastery climate) or low autonomy for 12 weeks. Results showed that the mastery-climate group demonstrated significantly better locomotor performance and higher perceived physical competence postintervention than did the low-autonomy group, although both groups improved in locomotor and object-control skill performance. The second investigation extended the findings of the first by determining that the intervention effects were present 6 months later. In summary, the mastery-climate group showed positive changes in skill development and perceived physical competence, and this positive pattern of change was maintained over time.

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Roya Khanmohammadi, Saeed Talebian, Mohammad Reza Hadian, Gholamreza Olyaei and Hossein Bagheri

The purpose of study was to demonstrate age-related changes during gait initiation (GI). Therefore, displacement, velocity, total power, mean and median frequency of COP trajectories were measured during phases of GI in anteroposterior (AP) and mediolateral (ML) directions. The older group demonstrated the slower and lesser displacement in comparison with the younger group during anticipatory phase in AP direction and during locomotor phase in AP and ML directions. In addition, the median and mean frequency were greater in the older relative to the younger group during anticipatory phase in AP direction, while these were lesser in older than younger group during locomotor phase in AP and ML directions. Moreover, total power was greater among older than younger adults during the anticipatory phase in ML direction and during all phases in AP direction. This study suggests that COP-related parameters extracted from time and frequency domains have the ability to demonstrate age-related changes.

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Christina Evaggelinou, Nikolaos Tsigilis and Areti Papa

This study was designed to examine the underlying structure of the Test of Gross Motor Development (TGMD) in Ulrich (1985). The TGMD was administered to 644 children who were randomly divided into two groups (calibration group and validation group). The calibration group (n = 324) included 150 boys and 174 girls, and the validation group included 160 boys and 160 girls, ranging from 3 to 10 years. A two-factor model was postulated and supported. According to the model, seven variables measuring children’s ability for moving into space loaded on one factor (locomotor skills), while five variables measuring children’s ability for controlling objects loaded on the other factor (object control skills). In addition, the proposed model was found to be invariant across the two groups. Good cross-generalizability of the TGMD appears to support its validity. Physical educators working with young children may use it with confidence when assessing and planning physical education programs involving locomotor and object control skills.

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Paul S. Bradley and Jason D. Vescovi

There is no methodological standardization of velocity thresholds for the quantification of distances covered in various locomotor activities for women’s soccer matches, especially for high-speed running and sprinting. Applying velocity thresholds used for motion analysis of men’s soccer has likely created skewed observations about high-intensity movement demands for the women’s game because these thresholds do not accurately reflect the capabilities of elite female players. Subsequently, a cohesive view of the locomotor characteristics of women’s soccer does not yet exist. The aim of this commentary is to provide suggestions for standardizing high-speed running and sprint velocity thresholds specific to women’s soccer. The authors also comment on using generic vs individualized thresholds, as well as age-related considerations, to establish velocity thresholds.

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Jacqueline D. Goodway and Mary E. Rudisill

This study examined the relationship between perceived physical competence and actual motor skill competence in African American preschool children at risk of school failure and/or developmental delay (N = 59). A secondary purpose was to determine gender differences and the accuracy of self-perceptions. All children completed a perceived physical competence subscale (Harter & Pike, 1984). Actual motor skill competence was measured by Ulrich’s (1985) Test of Gross Motor Development (TGMD), resulting in three scores (locomotor, object-control, and TGMD-Total). Stepwise regression analysis revealed that locomotor competence (p = .99) and gender (p = .81) did not predict perceived physical competence, but object-control competence (p = .01) did significantly predict perceived physical competence. Adding gender to this regression model did not significantly predict perceived physical competence (p = .69). These findings showed that these children are not accurate at perceiving their physical competence.