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Chantelle Zimmer, Kerri L. Staples and William James Harvey

The performance of various fundamental movement skills is important for children with movement difficulties (MD) to be successful in physical education and play. The current study aimed to provide a detailed understanding of the aspects impaired in the performance of static and dynamic locomotor and object control skills among children with MD, identified with the Movement Assessment Battery for Children, relative to their same-aged peers without MD. Children, 7–10 years, were recruited from three elementary schools. Eighteen children with MD (mean age = 9.14 years, SD = 0.97) and 18 without MD (mean age = 9.12 years, SD = 0.97) participated in the study. Quantitative and qualitative aspects of their movement performance were assessed using the Test of Gross Motor Development (TGMD-2) and PE Metrics. Children with MD demonstrated significantly poorer performance than children without MD for locomotor skills on the PE Metrics and object control skills on both the TGMD-2 and PE Metrics. The findings of this study suggest that children with MD primarily demonstrate immature movement patterns, inefficient movement strategies, and impaired aspects of movement that impact their performance for dynamic object control skills.

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Marcel Bouffard, E. Jane Watkinson, Linda P. Thompson, Janice L. Causgrove Dunn and Sandy K.E. Romanow

An activity deficit hypothesis was posited that children with movement difficulties are less physically active during recess than age- and gender-matched controls without movement difficulties. Criteria used in identifying children with movement difficulties were (a) a score of at least 4 on the Test of Motor Impairment, (b) regular physical education student, and (c) age 80 to 109 months. An observational study was conducted over a 2-month period in recess settings with 52 subjects. Findings revealed that during recess time, children with movement difficulties were vigorously active less often, played less often with large playground equipment, were not observable for significantly more time, and spent less time in positive social interactions with others of their own gender. Accordingly, it was concluded that the data support the activity deficit hypothesis.

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Janice Causgrove Dunn

This study examined the relationships among goal orientations, perceptions of the motivational climate, and perceived competence of children with movement difficulties in Grades 4 to 6. Participants were 65 children (23 boys and 42 girls) with movement difficulties and 111 children (45 boys and 66 girls) without movement difficulties. The latter group was used only in the preliminary analyses investigating validity and reliability of instruments for use in this study. Instruments included a measure of situationally specific perceived competence, a modified version of the Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire (Duda, 1989), and a modified version of the Perceived Motivational Climate in Sport Questionnaire (Seifriz, Duda, & Chi, 1992). Results of structural equation modeling analysis generally supported the hypothesized model of relationships, based on Nicholls’ (1989) achievement goal theory. The findings suggest that physical education classes emphasizing a mastery motivational climate may result in higher perceived competence in children with movement difficulties.

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A.E. Ted Wall

Selected research on the learning and performance of physical skills from a knowledge-based perspective provides the introduction for a discussion of the importance of practice in the developmental skill learning process. Recent evidence on the activity deficit hypothesis as well as knowledge-base differences as they relate to children with movement difficulties in physical activity settings provides the basis from which to present the developmental skill-learning gap hypothesis, which contends that as children with movement difficulties grow older, the skill-learning gap between them and their more physically proficient peers widens across instructional, practice, and competitive settings. Implications and suggestions for the learning and instruction of children with movement difficulties conclude the paper.

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Janice Causgrove Dunn and John G.H. Dunn

The main purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among perceived competence, perceived motivational climate, and participation behaviors of children with movement difficulties (MD) in physical education. Behaviors of 65 children with MD and 65 matched peers without MD from Grades 4-6 were observed and coded. A MANOVA revealed significant differences between the two groups in the proportions of adaptive and maladaptive behaviors. Hierarchical regression analyses indicated a tendency for participants with MD with higher self-reported perceptions of competence to spend proportionally more time engaged in adaptive behaviors and less time engaged in maladaptive behaviors. Significant interactions revealed that the effect of self-reported perceptions of a performance climate on participation was conditional upon perceived competence levels.

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Robert Kerr and Kathy Hughes

Results of recent research have implicated information processing deficits in explaining the poor academic performance of learning disabled children. However, the motor difficulties of these children have not been extensively studied from a processing framework, yet cognitive skills are inherent to the successful performance of motor skills. Sixteen learning disabled and sixteen control subjects ranging in age from 6 to 8 years were tested on a Fitts’ reciprocal tapping task using 16 different target combinations with the ID ranging from 1.50 to 6.64 bits. Analysis of the slope and intercept coefficients showed a significant difference for intercept but not for slope. These data suggest that the problem may not be a major processing deficit, as the learning disabled children were able to handle the increased task difficulty in the same manner as the controls. Instead the problem may exist at the very early input stage of the processing mechanism: getting the information into the system.

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Sarah Astill and Andrea Utley

This study investigated the nature and extent of inter and intralimb coupling of the upper limbs in children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) and their age-matched controls (AMC) when catching a ball two-handed. Sixteen children (8 DCD, 8 AMC) volunteered for the study; parental consent was gained for each child. Using standard video analysis and 3D kinematic analysis, all children were examined performing 30 two-handed catches. Video analysis showed that the AMC children caught more balls than the DCD children (p ≤ .005). Analyses of the kinematic data showed DCD participants exhibit a greater degree of linkage both between and within limb than the AMC participants (p ≤ .01), but the AMC participants demonstrate more intra individual variability in these linkages (p ≤ .01). The data shows that both DCD and AMC children couple their limbs to exert control over redundant degrees of freedom when catching a ball two-handed. However, DCD children show little capacity to vary their motor behavior exhibiting a less adaptable movement system, which in turn affects their success at the task.

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Meghann Lloyd, Travis J. Saunders, Emily Bremer and Mark S. Tremblay

The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential long-term association of motor skill proficiency at 6 years of age and self-reported physical activity (PA) at age 26. Direct motor performance data were collected in 1991 with a follow-up study occurring in 1996, and then indirect questionnaires (self-report) administered in 2001 and 2011. In 2011, 17 participants who were identified as either having high motor proficiency (HMP) or low motor proficiency (LMP) in 1991 completed a series of 4 questionnaires. Analyses were conducted to determine whether there were differences between groups for motor skill proficiency, PA, or sedentary behavior, and whether these outcomes were related across ages. Motor skill proficiency at age 6 was related to self-reported proficiency at age 16 (r = .77, p = .006), and self-reported proficiency between 16 and 26 years (r = .85, p = .001). Motor skill proficiency at age 6 was positively associated with leisure time PA at age 26 in females and participants in the HMP group. The results may provide preliminary evidence about the importance of how early motor skill proficiency relates to long-term PA. More research with larger sample sizes is needed to investigate the importance of motor skills over time.

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The DOI for the article “Fundamental Movement Skills in Children With and Without Movement Difficulties, by Chantelle Zimmer, Kerri L. Staples, and William James Harvey, in the Journal of Motor Learning and Development 4(2), was incorrectly printed. The correct DOI for this article is http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/jmld.2016-0001. The online version of this article has been corrected.

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John Cairney, John Hay, Brent E. Faught, Laurie M. Corna and Andreas D. Flouris

The purpose of this study is to test whether the activity-deficit experienced by children with probable Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) increases with age by comparing activity levels of children with movement difficulties to those of peers without movement difficulties. Using a sample of children ages 9 to 14 (N = 581), we examined whether age influences the relationship between DCD and participation in vigorous play activities and whether the impact of age in this relationship is the same for free play versus organized activities. Consistent with previous work (Bouffard et al. 1996), we found no evidence to support the hypothesis that children with DCD become more inactive compared to their peers as they age; however, we do discuss the limitations in our sample and how some differences in the level of organized and free play are evident among cohorts of different ages. Directions for future research in this area are also discussed. $$ 152 words