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Fundamental Movement Skills in Children With and Without Movement Difficulties

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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A Test of the Activity Deficit Hypothesis with Children With Movement Difficulties

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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Goal Orientations, Perceptions of the Motivational Climate, and Perceived Competence of Children with Movement Difficulties

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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The Developmental Skill-Learning Gap Hypothesis: Implications for Children with Movement Difficulties

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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Perceptions of the Motivational Climate, Perceived Competence, and Participation Behaviors of Children with Movement Difficulties in Physical Education

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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The Physiotherapy in Preschools Program: Describing a Student-Led Assessment Service for Children With Possible Motor Skill Difficulties

Margarita D. Tsiros, Emily J. Ward, Sophie Lefmann, and Susan Hillier

percentile indicates a child is “at risk” of a movement difficulty (“amber zone”), and ≤5th percentile indicates a definite motor impairment (“red zone”) ( Henderson et al., 2007 ). As the MABC-2 examines specific skills, providing predominantly quantitative information about task performance, with less

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Movement Difficulty and Learning Disabled Children

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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An Exploratory Study of Teachers’ Experiences in Physical Education With Children Thought to Have Developmental Coordination Disorder

Chantelle Zimmer and Janice Causgrove Dunn

education? During discussions with teachers, children were referred to as having movement difficulties (MD) since the term reflects functional problems with fine and gross motor skills that are readily observable. The term DCD was avoided as research suggests it is unfamiliar to many teachers ( Wilson et

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Erratum: Zimmer et al. (2016)

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 The online version of this article has been corrected.

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Developmental Coordination Disorder, Age and Play: A Test of the Divergence in Activity-Deficit with Age Hypothesis

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