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Stephanie Field, Jeff Crane, Patti-Jean Naylor and Viviene Temple

Developmental experts have theorized that during the transition from early to middle childhood, perceptions of physical competence will become more accurate ( Harter, 2012b ; Robinson, Stodden, Barnett, & Lopes, 2015 ; Stodden et al., 2008 ). Understanding this process is important because boys

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Xavier García-Massó, Adrià Marco-Ahulló, Israel Villarrasa-Sapiña, Julio Álvarez-Pitti and Jose-Luis Bermejo

body mass, the greater the muscle strength and contraction speed needed to maintain balance ( Corbeil, Simoneau, Rancourt, Tremblay, & Teasdale, 2000 ). Considering that the percentage of fat mass in obese children is higher in middle childhood and adolescence than in early childhood ( McCarthy, Cole

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

within-individual change in the expected direction for both locomotor and ball skills during middle childhood. This longitudinal finding is consistent with findings from cross-sectional research demonstrating that age is highly and positively correlated with TGMD-3 scores ( Mohammadi et al., 2017

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Xiangli Gu, Katherine Thomas Thomas and Yu-Lin Chen

Purpose:

Guided by Stodden et al.’s (2008) conceptual model, the purpose of this study was to examine the associations among perceived competence, actual motor competence (MC), physical activity (PA), and cardiorespiratory fitness in elementary children. The group differences were also investigated as a function of MC levels.

Methods:

A correlational research design was used in this study. There were 262 children (Mage = 10.87, SD = .77) recruited from three schools in the southern U.S. Students’ MC was objectively measured based on a process-oriented assessment (PE Metrics, NASPE, 2010). Students self-reported perceived competence and leisure-time PA. Then, the Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) and pedometers were used to measure students’ cardiorespiratory fitness and in-class PA, respectively.

Results:

The structural equation modeling analysis supported the significant indirect effect of the MC on cardiorespiratory fitness and PA through perceived competence. The MANCOVA yielded a significant main effect for MC groups after controlling for sex [Wilks’s Lambda = .838, F = 12.15 (4, 251), p < .001, η2 = .16]. Regardless of sex, children with low MC demonstrated lower perceived competence, PA, and cardiorespiratory fitness compared with children with higher MC (p < .001).

Discussion:

Development of students’ competence beliefs in PE and certain movement patterns should be emphasized, especially during middle childhood. High quality PE programs must be aligned with national standards, with particular attention to enhancing skill acquisition (standard 1) and PE-motivation (i.e., perceived competence; standard 5).

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Viviene A. Temple and John T. Foley

The development of motor skill proficiency during childhood is cumulative and influenced by physical growth and maturation, genetic potential, affordances in the physical and social environment, and the interactions between these factors. Therefore, typically during childhood, the trajectory of change in motor proficiency is positive. To lend developmental validity to the revision of the Test of Gross Motor Development—3rd edition (TGMD-3), this longitudinal study examined whether the skills and subtests of the TGMD-3 changed as might be expected from grade 3 to grade 4 among 277 children. The findings of this study lend support to the developmental validity of the TGMD-3 in that (1) there was within-individual change in the expected direction for both locomotor and ball skills, (2) consistent with the majority of research, boys had significantly higher ball skills scores than girls in both grade 3 and grade 4, and (3) the mean percent of maximum possible scores were in the range of approximately 60–75, which demonstrates that the majority of 8- and 9-year-old children had not reached a ceiling on this test.

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Jason N. Bocarro, Myron Floyd, Robin Moore, Perver Baran, Tom Danninger, William Smith and Nilda Cosco

Background:

To better measure physical activity (PA) in outdoor environments, McKenzie and colleagues developed the System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities (SOPARC). However, previous SOPARC research has focused on adults, seniors, teens and children. One avenue for extending this work is to expand the child age group code to capture important nuances that can influence children's PA and their environments. This study reports on the reliability of a measure designed to account for PA in parks among children in different childhood age groups.

Methods:

Three groups were developed: 0 to 5 years old (Young Children); 6 to 12 (Middle Childhood) and 13 to 18 (Older Children) based on Erikson's stages of child development. Data were obtained by direct observation in 3 neighborhood parks in Raleigh, NC and 20 neighborhood parks in Durham, NC.

Results:

Kappa coefficients showed high agreement for all age group, gender, and PA codes. For the 3 assessments, the results show that the 3 age group category exhibit acceptable reliability for measuring PA in parks among children.

Conclusions:

The reliability of measuring PA among children by segmenting children by 3 age groups was established. This approach is recommended for future studies of PA among children in parks and other outdoor environments.

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Leanne C. Findlay, Rochelle E. Garner and Dafna E. Kohen

Background:

Few longitudinal studies of physical activity have included young children or used nationally representative datasets. The purpose of the current study was to explore patterns of organized physical activity for Canadian children aged 4 through 17 years.

Methods:

Data from 5 cycles of the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth were analyzed separately for boys (n = 4463) and girls (n = 4354) using multiple trajectory modeling.

Results:

Boys' and girls' organized physical activity was best represented by 3 trajectory groups. For boys, these groups were labeled: high stable, high decreasing, and low decreasing participation. For girls, these groups were labeled: high decreasing, moderate stable, and low decreasing participation. Risk factors (parental education, household income, urban/rural dwelling, and single/dual parent) were explored. For boys and girls, having a parent with postsecondary education and living in a higher income household were associated with a greater likelihood of weekly participation in organized physical activity. Living in an urban area was also significantly associated with a greater likelihood of weekly participation for girls.

Conclusions:

Results suggest that Canadian children's organized physical activity is best represented by multiple patterns of participation that tend to peak in middle childhood and decline into adolescence.

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

perceived motor competence than children with higher motor competence. Barnett, Ridgers, and Salmon ( 2015 ) as well as Liong, Ridgers, and Barnett ( 2015 ) found a positive association between perceived and actual motor competence in early and middle childhood. In middle childhood ( De Meester, Stodden, et

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Thelma S. Horn

. Another important point to make is that the measurement tools tested across many articles in this set convey a developmentally based approach in that the research teams either focused on motor skills as they are acquired and exhibited during the early to middle childhood years or those that are relevant

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MinKyoung Song, Robert F. Corwyn, Robert H. Bradley and Julie C. Lumeng

decline in MVPA that begins during middle childhood and often continues into adolescence. 11 , 12 Not all children are equally prone to engage in physical activity. One factor that may predispose to low levels of MVPA is “temperament activity level.” Temperament activity level refers to the level of a