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Vanesa España-Romero, Jonathan A. Mitchell, Marsha Dowda, Jennifer R. O’Neill and Russell R. Pate

The purpose of this study was to examine the associations between sedentary behavior and moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), measured by accelerometry, with body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference in 357 preschool children. Linear mixed models were used adjusting for race/ethnicity, parental education, and preschool. Follow-up analyses were performed using quantile regression. Among boys, MVPA was positively associated with BMI z-score (b = 0.080, p = .04) but not with waist circumference; quantile regression showed that MVPA was positively associated with BMI z-score at the 50th percentile (b = 0.097, p < .05). Among girls, no associations were observed between sedentary behavior and MVPA in relation to mean BMI z-score and mean waist circumference. Quantile regression indicated that, among girls at the 90th waist circumference percentile, a positive association was found with sedentary behavior (b = 0.441, p < .05), and a negative association was observed with MVPA (b = −0.599, p < .05); no associations were found with BMI z-score. In conclusion, MVPA was positively associated with BMI z-score among boys, and MVPA was negatively associated and sedentary behavior was positively associated with waist circumference among girls at the 90th percentile.

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Camille Gagné and Isabelle Harnois

Background:

Data available indicate that numerous childcare workers are not strongly motivated to engage children aged 3–5 in physical activity. Using the theory of planned behavior as the main theoretical framework, this study has 2 objectives: to identify the determinants of the intention of childcare workers to engage preschoolers in physical activity and to identify the variables that could be used to develop an intervention to motivate childcare workers to support preschoolers’ physical activity.

Methods:

174 childcare workers from 60 childcare centers selected at random in 2 regions of Quebec completed a self-administered questionnaire assessing the constructs of the theory of planned behavior as well as past behavior, descriptive norm and moral norm.

Results:

Moral norm, perceived behavioral control and subjective norm explained 85% of the variance in intention to engage the children in physical activity.

Conclusions:

To motivate childcare workers, it is necessary that they perceive that directors, children’s parents and coworkers approve of their involvement in children’s physical activity. In addition, their ability to overcome perceived barriers (lack of time, loaded schedule, inclement weather) should be developed. Access to a large outdoor yard might also help motivate childcare workers.

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Jacqueline D. Goodway and Mary E. Rudisill

This study was conducted to determine the influence of a motor skill intervention (MSI) program on the perceived competence and social acceptance of African American preschoolers who are at risk of school failure/developmental delay. Two groups of preschoolers enrolled in a compensatory prekindergarten program participated in a 12-week intervention. The motor skill intervention (MSI) group received an MSI program, while the control group (C) received the regular prekindergarten program. All children completed Harter’s Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Social Acceptance prior to and following the 12-week program. The results indicated that all children, regardless of group, reported high perceived physical and cognitive competence and high perceived maternal and peer acceptance. Additionally, the MSI group reported significantly higher perceived physical competence scores after receiving the MSI program. The MSI group also reported higher perceived physical competence than the C group on postintervention scores. No gender differences were found. It was concluded that perceived competence and social acceptance were enhanced by participation in an MSI program.

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Fotini Venetsanou and Antonis Kambas

Background:

This study investigated if motor proficiency (MP) in preschool age associate with physical activity (PA) in adolescence.

Methods:

In 2004, the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency-Short Form (BOTMP-SF) (7) was administered to 413 children, aged 4–6 years, who were classified to MP groups according to their BOTMP-SF total score (TS). In 2014, the PA of 106 former participants (47 boys, 59 girls) was measured with Omron pedometers. MP [three (high; above average; average)] × gender (two) ANOVA and Bonferroni tests were computed on average of steps/week.

Results:

A significant interaction between the two factors was revealed (F = 15.27, p < .001, η2=.153), indicating that MP influenced male and female PA differently. Only in average MP group, males presented higher PA than females, whereas there were no differences between the two genders in the higher MP groups. Moreover, the only significant difference in PA among male groups was that between high and above average MP groups, while in females there were significant differences among all groups.

Conclusion:

High MP at preschool age positively associated with the PA in adolescence, especially in females. Emphasis on the development of proficient young movers might be beneficial for lifelong PA.

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Gavin Abbott, Jill Hnatiuk, Anna Timperio, Jo Salmon, Keren Best and Kylie D. Hesketh

Background:

Parental modeling has been shown to be important for school-aged children’s physical activity (PA) and television (TV) viewing, yet little is known about its impact for younger children. This study examined cross-sectional and 3-year longitudinal associations between PA and TV viewing behaviors of parents and their preschool children.

Methods:

In 2008–2009 (T1), parents in the Healthy Active Preschool and Primary Years (HAPPY) cohort study (n = 450) in Melbourne, Australia, self-reported their weekly PA and TV viewing and proxy-reported their partner’s PA and TV viewing and their 3- to 5-year-old preschool child’s TV viewing. Children’s PA was assessed via accelerometers. Repeat data collection occurred in 2011–2012 (T2).

Results:

Mothers’ and fathers’ PAs were associated with PA among preschool girls at T1, but not boys. Parents’ TV viewing times were significant correlates of girls’ and boys’ TV viewing at T1. Longitudinally, mothers’ PA at baseline predicted boys’ PA at T2, whereas sex-specific associations were found for TV viewing, with mothers’ and fathers’ TV viewing at T1 associated with girls’ and boys’ TV viewing respectively at T2.

Conclusions:

The PA and TV viewing of both parents are significantly associated with these behaviors in preschool children. The influence of the sex-matched parent appears to be important longitudinally for children’s TV viewing.

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Lauriece L. Zittel and Jeffrey A. McCubbin

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of an integrated physical education setting on the motor performance of preschool children with developmental delays. Subjects participated in segregated and integrated physical education classes and were observed practicing locomotor and object control skills. The quality of performance was analyzed to determine the number of critical elements present and the level of teacher or peer prompt required to initiate and complete each performance. A single-subject reversal design (A-B-A-B) was used. Four children with developmental delays were filmed within an 8-week school schedule while practicing two fundamental gross motor skills during segregated and integrated conditions. The results provide evidence that children with developmental delays are able to maintain their level of gross motor skill and independence within an integrated physical education setting. Although day-to-day variability was calculated for each subject, overall skill level remained stable and level of independence was not compromised in the integrated setting.

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Anne Martin, Mhairi McNeill, Victoria Penpraze, Philippa Dall, Malcolm Granat, James Y. Paton and John J. Reilly

The Actigraph is well established for measurement of both physical activity and sedentary behavior in children. The activPAL is being used increasingly in children, though with no published evidence on its use in free-living children to date. The present study compared the two monitors in preschool children. Children (n 23) wore both monitors simultaneously during waking hours for 5.6d and 10h/d. Daily mean percentage of time sedentary (nontranslocation of the trunk) was 74.6 (SD for the Actigraph and 78.9 (SD 4.3) for activPAL. Daily mean percentage of time physically active (light intensity physical activity plus MVPA) was 25.4 (SD for the Actigraph and 21.1 (SD 4.3) for the activPAL. Bland-Altman tests and paired t tests suggested small but statistically significant differences between the two monitors. Actigraph and activPAL estimates of sedentary behavior and physical activity in young children are similar at a group level.

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William J. Merriman, Beth E. Barnett and Joan B. Kofka

This study was undertaken to investigate quantitative and qualitative differences in the standing long jump as performed by preschool children with speech impairments and those with normal speech. The subjects were 15 children with speech impairments and 15 children with normal speech, 3 to 5 years of age. The qualitative movement components of the standing long jump were measured with the Developmental Sequence of the Standing Long Jump (Van Sant, 1983). Subjects were videotaped while performing the standing long jump, and each jump was rated according to the Developmental Sequence. The quantitative variable of distance jumped was also measured. The analysis of data revealed no significant differences between the mean distance scores of the speech-impaired and normal-speech groups. However, data analysis did reveal a significant difference between the mean movement component rating scores of the two groups.

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Jo E. Cowden and Carol C. Torrey

This study set out to determine toy preference and use of isolate versus social toys in specific play categories. The relationship of children’s gross motor abilities to their preference for gross motor toys and of fine motor abilities to preference for fine motor toys was also examined. Additionally, the study examined the level of social versus nonsocial play behavior according to the Parten Scale of Social Participation. Twenty-four handicapped preschool children in groups of four to six were involved in three 20-min free-play sessions. Spontaneous interactions with the toys as well as among children were videotaped. Results indicated that the children did prefer to play with social toys rather than isolate toys, but play was nonsocial rather than social and occurred during 83% of the free unstructured play intervals. The children did not demonstrate a distinct relationship between gross or fine motor ability and toy preference. However, environmental or ecological variables appeared to influence their social play behaviors.

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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.