Fundamental Motor Skill Performance of Indigenous and Nonindigenous Children

in Journal of Motor Learning and Development
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  • 1 Federal University of Amazonas
  • 2 Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology
  • 3 Federal University of Pelotas

Background: Studies related to the motor performance of children have suggested an interaction between organisms and the environment. Although motor development seems to be similar among people, the behavior is specific to the context that people are part of. Thus, the aim of this study was to compare the fundamental motor skill performance between indigenous (IN) and nonindigenous children. Methods: One hundred and thirteen children (43 IN and 70 nonindigenous children) between 8 and 10 years of age underwent the Test of Gross Motor Development—2. Results: A multivariate analysis showed a significant group main effect on both locomotor (p < .01) and object control (p < .01) performance with large and medium effect sizes (ηp2 values = .57–.40, respectively). The IN showed the highest scores for galloping, hopping, leaping, jumping, sliding, striking a stationary ball, stationary dribbling, catching a ball, kicking, and overhand throwing (p < .01) with small to large effect sizes (ηp2 values = .05–.50). Conclusion: The IN presented the highest levels of performance in fundamental motor skills compared with those of nonindigenous children. Most likely, IN have more opportunities for motor development in the environmental context (i.e., villages) where they live.

Studies have reported the prevalence of children with lower motor development in motor skills such as jumping, throwing, running, striking, and catching (Bardid, Rudd, Lenoir, Polman, & Barnett, 2015; Brian et al., 2019; Duncan, Jones, O’Brien, Barnett, & Eyre, 2018; Nobre, Valentini, & Nobre, 2018; Valentini et al., 2016). The consequence of a low-proficiency scenario regarding fundamental motor skills is having children who have difficulties related to learning motor tasks, a lack of physical fitness, and little motivation to develop an active and healthy lifestyle (Barnett, Lubans, Salmon, Timperio, & Ridgers, 2017; Robinson et al., 2015; Stodden et al., 2008).

Several factors, such as the environment where children live, their demographics, and their ethnic and cultural origins, might explain low motor skill development (Burns, Brusseau, Fu, & Hannon, 2015; Goodway, Robinson, & Crowe, 2010; Hulteen, Morgan, Barnett, Stodden, & Lubans, 2018; Niemistö et al., 2019a, 2019b). Reported evidence in the literature has shown that children who reside in large urban areas remain, most of the time, engaged in sedentary tasks. As a result, a low level of interaction with other kids and less physically active behavior may contribute to lower performance in fundamental motor skills (Carvalhal et al., 2008; Hofferth & Sandberg, 2001; Neto, Mascarenhas, Nunes, Lepre, & Campos, 2004; Silva, Lopes, & Silva, 2007). Studies have reported that children with sedentary habits will possibly present with lower motor performance in fundamental motor skills (Bürgi et al., 2011; Cliff, Okely, Smith, & McKeen, 2009; Fisher et al., 2005Lubans, Morgan, Cliff, Barnett, & Okely, 2010; Ribeiro-Silva, Marinho, Brito, Costa, & Benda, 2018; Williams et al., 2008).

This less physically active behavior, however, is not seen in some contexts, such as indigenous populations in which the children spend most of their day playing freely in village areas (Cureau et al., 2016; Grosso, 2004; Malta & Szwarcwald, 2017). Indigenous children (IN) are free to join virtually everything that happens around the community with no constraints imposed by adults (Cohn, 2002; Nunes, 2002; Tassinari, 2009; Zoia &Peripolli, 2010). It is important to highlight the spaces that IN visit during the day. A striking feature in the understanding of the uses of spaces in the play of IN is the fact that they play more frequently in the indigenous reserve forest (Cohn, 2002; Nunes, 2002). These children play and live among trees, rivers, vegetable gardens, and animals. Nature is involved in their daily lives and their tasks (Tassinari, 2009; Zoia & Peripolli, 2010). The IN are successfully trained and unrepresentative; they run everywhere, climb trees, and use and abuse the little water that flows through the small water courses that cut through indigenous reserve areas (Cohn, 2002; Nunes, 2002; Tassinari, 2009). Countless observations of experiences recorded by different authors regarding IN learning show a diversity of daily actions in the village by these children. One of the main differences noted between the daily lives of IN and those living in cities is directly linked to the issue of the permissibility offered to children and the security found in villages, whereas in some cities, children are more susceptible to danger and violence (Zoia & Peripolli, 2010). The freedom that IN have to perform dangerous activities that push the boundaries of their well-being, such as swimming in rivers away from the presence of adults, allows them to reach limits by themselves (Zoia & Peripolli, 2010). In this indigenous population, adults do not impose restrictions such as those found in most urban societies, which means that the children will test their skills and gradually increase these skills as they develop. This process can contribute to these children experiencing fewer sedentary effects by increasing their motor repertoire and, thus, influencing their fundamental motor skills.

Currently, there are 5,000 indigenous groups estimated globally. Specifically, in Brazil, the data reveal that there are approximately 240 IN groups with approximately 896,917 inhabitants, and 168,700 of these inhabitants reside in the Brazilian state of Amazonas, which is the state with the highest self-declared indigenous population in Brazil according to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE, 2012). These data justify the importance of researching this population, especially IN. In addition, there is extensive literature about fundamental motor skills in nonindigenous children (NIN) from different countries, for example, England (Adeyemi-Walker, Duncan, Tallis, & Eyre, 2018; Eyre, Walker, & Duncan, 2018), Australia and Belgium (Bardid et al., 2015, 2016), the United States (Goodway et al., 2010), China (Pang & Fong, 2009), and Brazil (Valentini, 2012; Valentini et al., 2016). However, studies that examine IN in villages are scarce. Although evidence suggests that IN present more physically active behavior than NIN do in Brazil (Cureau et al., 2016; Malta & Szwarcwald, 2017), no studies have reported that this behavior is oriented toward better performance in regard to fundamental motor skills. Therefore, this study aims to compare the performance of fundamental motor skills of indigenous boys and girls to those of NIN who live in an urban area.

Method

Participants

This research project was analyzed and approved by the internal review board of the Federal University of Minas Gerais as well as by the National Committee of Ethics in Research (according to Brazilian law, studies with indigenous people have to be evaluated by the National Committee) under protocol number 62705916.1.0000.5149. We initially recruited 136 children; however, after exclusion analysis, 113 children between 8 and 10 years old (M age = 8.30, SD = 0.61) participated according to their ethnic group and place of residence. Seventy of those participants were NIN (54.3% boys) who were residents of an urban area (M age = 8.20, SD = 0.59), and 43 were IN (I; 53.5% boys; M age = 8.41, SD = 0.62) belonging to the Sateré-Mawé ethnic group.

Parents had to declare that their children were healthy, that is, had no disease symptoms, and that they attended school regularly. The exclusion criteria included children’s recovery conditions after accidents or diseases, children with disabilities, children with learning difficulties, and children who did not want to join the study. Twenty-three children were excluded from the experiment. For the NIN group, only those children who lived in the city of Parintins in the state of Amazonas (AM) and were self-declared NIN joined the study. For the IN group, the family and the children had to confirm their Sateré-Mawé group ethnicity through the Indigenous Birth Administrative Registration, and they were self-declared residents of the village as they never had lived in an urban area.

This study embodies two peculiar places in the region known as the Lower Amazon in Brazil, where we have conducted investigations with the NIN population that lives in the urban area of the city of Parintins (AM) and with the Sateré-Mawé IN population that lives in the village of Ponta Alegre, which belongs to the municipality of Barreirinha (AM). The city of Parintins (AM) has an estimated population of 114,273 inhabitants according to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (2019) and a monthly per capita family income of roughly BRL 307 reals (approximately US$ 65.71); it is the second most populous city in the state (BRASIL, 2012). Parintins’ Human Development Index value is 0.66, which according to the United Nations Development Programme qualifies it as a medium-sized human development (IBGE, 2019).

The Sateré-Mawé indigenous ethnic group constitutes a group of approximately 8,500 indigenous people of whom 7,502 live in the indigenous territory of Andirá-Marau in the municipalities of Barreirinha, Maués, and Parintins, all pertaining to the state of Amazonas in Brazil (Teixeira, Mainbourg, & Brasil, 2009). The indigenous village of Ponta Alegre, which is the focus of this study, is located in the indigenous territory of Andirá-Marau and is considered the most populous territory in the region with approximately 800 people and a per capita income of BRL 147.53 (US$ 31.58) (BRASIL, 2012). The indigenous village of Ponta Alegre has a school that serves children from kindergarten to high school, totaling approximately 200 students. Currently, 67 children are enrolled at the indigenous village school, with ages ranging from 7 to 10 years old; they are the target of this study. This information is based on a Brazilian demographic census, which is conducted every 10 years. The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics is responsible for sending researchers to cities to collect information by conducting interviews in domiciles with an electronic questionnaire. The 2010 Brazilian census also includes the indigenous territories where the villages are located. In Parintins, a city with more than 20,000 but less than 500,000 inhabitants, the sample used was 10% of the available domiciles. In general, the 2010 census evaluated 5,565 cities for an average of 11% of Brazilian residences (IBGE, 2013).

Procedures

Initially, the research team contacted the National Foundation of the Indigenous, which protects indigenous interests, is headquartered in Parintins/AM, and is legally responsible for the indigenous people who are residents of the villages that are part of the cities of Barreirinha and Parintins, to obtain consent for the research procedures. Considering the NIN participants, the research team contacted the Secretary of Education of the city of Parintins (AM) as well as the local schools to enlighten them regarding the goals of the research and to obtain the necessary authorization for the continuation of the study. After contacting the National Foundation of the Indigenous, the research team also contacted the Indigenous Special Sanitary District, which is the organization responsible for indigenous people’s health. Following these formal contacts, the research team scheduled a first visit to the indigenous village of Ponta Alegre to introduce the project and perform the study. A detailed letter presented to the “Tuchaua” (the village’s political leader) and the school’s principal indicated the activities related to the data collection.

Aiming to undertake a study on the indigenous village of Ponta Alegre, the research team needed 5 days total, that is, 2 days for the round trip and 3 days to perform the study. When the team arrived at the village, our first contact was with the “Tuchaua” for the proper authorization for entrance to the place; then, we established contact with the families and children at the school. To join the study, all the children had to have a consent form signed by their parents or their legal guardian and had to attend school on a specific date.

To assess motor performance, we utilized the Test of Gross Motor Development—Second Edition, developed by Ulrich (2000) and validated in Brazil by Valentini (2012). The Brazilian version shows high content and construct validation with confirmatory indices of adequate factorial validity (root mean square error of approximation = .06; comparative fit index = .88; Tucker–Lewis index = .83; normed fit index = .09; goodness-of-fit index = .98; and adjusted goodness-of-fit index = .95; Valentini, 2012). The Test of Gross Motor Development—Second Edition includes 12 fundamental motor skills (which comprise of six locomotor and six object control skills) and takes approximately 20 min to administer. The locomotor subtest consists of running, galloping, hopping, leaping, horizontal jumping, and sliding. The object control subtest consists of striking a stationary ball, stationary dribbling, catching, kicking, overhand throwing, and underhand rolling. Following a visual demonstration, each child was asked to perform each skill twice. The Test of Gross Motor Development—Second Edition is a qualitative measure wherein each skill is scored according to the performance criteria prescribed in the manual (3–5 criteria per skill). Each criterion is scored as either 1 (present) or 0 (absent). The scores for locomotor and object control skills are summed to compute the overall scores for locomotor and object control skills (each ranging from 0 to 48).

Whether in the village or in the urban area, the research team gave performance assessments of the fundamental motor skills at the school. The children were given the authorization to leave class so that they could participate in the motor performance assessment, which had an average length of 20 min. After arriving at the collection site, each child was instructed about the test with the explanation that they should execute some fundamental motor skills that were usually conducted during their physical education classes. For each skill, there was a demonstration followed by a trial of familiarization. After making sure the child understood the task, he or she performed two trials, which were videotaped and scored later. The research team utilized a Sony® Handycam camera (model dcr-sr21; Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil).

Three expert raters with 10 years of experience analyzed the videos of the children’s performances independently and scored their skills. The interrater reliability was assessed through the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) as a two-way mixed-effect model based on the mean of multiple raters using the consistency of a measure. The results showed high reliability between Rater 1 and Rater 2 (locomotor: ICC = .96; 95% confidence intervals (CIs) [.93, .98]; object control: ICC = .96; 95% CI [.93, .98]), between Rater 1 and Rater 3 (locomotor: ICC = .92; 95% CI [.90, .95]; object control: ICC = .93; 95% CI [.90, .97]), and between Rater 2 and Rater 3 (locomotor: ICC = .91; 95% CI [.89, .92]; object control: ICC = .91; 95% CI [.93, .94]). The ICC total score confirmed the high reliability between the raters (locomotor: ICC = .92; 95% CI [.91, .96]; object control: ICC = .94; 95% CI [.92, .96]). The intrarater reliability was also assessed by the ICC with a two-way mixed-effect model based on the mean of multiple measures using absolute correlation. This result also confirmed the high reliability for each rater for the locomotor (Rater 1: ICC = .81; 95% CI [.79, .85]; Rater 2: ICC = .87; 95% CI [.84, .91]; Rater 3: ICC = .89; 95% CI [.87, .93]) and the object control subtest (Rater 1: ICC = .92; 95% CI [.87, .94]; Rater 2 = ICC: .93; 95% CI [.89, 96]; Rater 3: ICC = .89; 95% CI [.87, .93]).

Data Analysis

The analysis of the M, SDs, and 95% CI was used to report motor performance in locomotor and object control skills. Two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA; Group × Gender) was used for the performance in the locomotor and object control subtests. Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was used to investigate the effect of group and gender on performance regarding locomotor skills (running, galloping, hopping, jumping, leaping, and sliding) and object control skills (striking, stationary dribbling, catching, kicking, overhand throwing, and underhand rolling). The multivariate normality was analyzed by the coefficients of univariate and multivariate skewness and kurtosis, considering values higher than three for skewness and higher than seven for kurtosis as a strong violation of normal distribution (Maroco, 2018). The conjecture of homogeneity of variance–covariance for motor development was rated with Box’s M test. We adopted Wilks’ lambda criterion and estimated the effect size by the partial eta squared (ηp2). Values under or equal to .05 were considered as having “small” effect size, between .06 and .25 as having a “medium” effect size, between .26 and .50 as having a “large” effect size, and above .50 as having a “very large” effect size (Cohen, 1998; Maroco, 2018). For all these analyses, we considered levels of significance at α ≤ .05. We used the statistical software SPSS™ (version 24.0; IBM Corp., Armonk, NY).

Results

The two-way ANOVA indicated a difference between groups, F(1, 109) = 77.785, p < .01, ηp2=.42, with a large effect size on the overall score of the locomotor subtest. The IN group showed significantly higher performance in the locomotor subtest in comparison with the NIN group. The ANOVA also showed a gender main effect, F(1, 109) = 5.828, p = .01, ηp2=.51, with a very large effect size. The boys presented higher levels of performance compared with those of the girls.

Regarding locomotor skills performance, the MANOVA showed a group effect with a very large effect size, Λ = .424, F(6, 104) = 23.56, p < .01, ηp2=.57. The IN group showed higher scores with medium to large effect sizes for galloping, F(1, 109) = 16.85, p < .01, ηp2=.13, hopping, F(1, 109) = 108.34, p < .01, ηp2=.50, leaping, F(1, 109) = 8.71, p < .01, ηp2=.07, jumping, F(1, 109) = 13.12, p < .01, ηp2=.10, and sliding, F(1, 109) = 25.96, p < .01, ηp2=.19. The MANOVA also showed a significant effect of gender with a medium effect size, Λ = .821, F(6, 104) = .218, p < .01, ηp2=.17. The boys showed the highest level of performance in running, F(1, 109) = 13.85, p < .01, ηp2=.11, and leaping, F(1, 109) = 5.66, p = .01, ηp2=.04, with medium and small effect sizes, respectively. Table 1 presents the M, SDs, and CIs of the general locomotor scores according to the groups and gender.

Table 1

Means, SDs, and CIs of Locomotor Skills by Group and Gender

GroupGender
Motor skillsIN

M (SD)

95% CI
NIN

M (SD)

95% CI
Boys

M (SD)

95% CI
Girls

M (SD)

95% CI
Locomotor score (MS = 48)39.18 (4.63)*

[37.18, 40.66]
30.83 (5.17)*

[29.67, 31.99]
35.16 (5.66)** [34.87, 47.42]32.86 (7.02)**

[32.48, 35.24]
Run (MS = 8)6.86 (1.29)

[6.47, 7.25]
6.48 (1.39)

[6.17, 6.79]
7.14 (1.03)**

[6.80, 7.48]
6.11 (1.57)**

[5.84, 6.57]
Gallop (MS = 8)5.80 (2.06)*

[5.29, 6.30]
4.47 (1.35)*

[4.08, 4.87]
5.22 (1.65)

[4.94, 5.81]
4.73 (1.89)

[4.42, 5.36]
Hop (MS = 10)8.51 (1.79)*

[7.98, 9.04]
4.95 (1.83)*

[4.53, 5.37]
6.29 (2.49)

[6.32, 7.24]
6.32 (2.47)

[6.19, 7.18]
Leap (MS = 6)5.41 (1.44)*

[5.04, 5.79]
4.71 (1.21)*

[4.41, 5.00]
5.32 (1.32)**

[5.02, 5.67]
4.63 (1.25)**

[4.42, 5.12]
Horizontal jump (MS = 8)6.26 (1.34)*

[5.85, 6.68]
5.30 (1.46)*

[4.97, 5.62]
5.81 (1.42)

[5.58, 6.30]
5.51 (1.46)

[5.24, 6.01]
Slide (MS = 8)6.32 (1.40)*

[5.88, 6.75]
4.90 (1.51)*

[4.56, 5.24]
5.34 (1.60)

[5.17, 5.92]
5.53 (1.57)

[5.26, 6.07]

Abbreviations: MS = maximum scores; CI = confidence interval (inferior and superior limit); NIN = nonindigenous children; IN = indigenous children.

*Significant difference between group. **Significant difference between genders.

Regarding the overall score of object control performance, an ANOVA demonstrated a group effect, F(1, 109) = 36.96, p < .01, ηp2=.30, with a large effect size in which IN presented higher levels of performance in comparison with those of NIN. The ANOVA also showed a gender effect on the object control score, F(1, 109) = 16.85, p < .01, ηp2=.14, with a medium effect size. The boys presented a higher performance level in comparison with that of the girls. Table 2 presents the M, SDs, and CIs of the general object control scores according to the groups and gender.

Table 2

Means, SDs, and CIs of Control Objects Skills by Group and Gender

GroupGender
Motor skillsIN M (SD) 95% CININ M (SD) 95% CIBoys M (SD) 95% CIGirls M (SD) 95% CI
Object control score (MS = 48)34.95 (5.45)* [33.28, 36.43]28.94 (5.81)* [27.46, 29.94]33.27 (5.93)** [32.49, 35.22]28.82 (6.05)** [28.23, 31.17]
Strike (MS = 10)7.70 (2.18)* [7.21, 8.32]5.33 (1.60)* [4.90, 5.76]6.19 (2.35) [6.02, 6.97]6.32 (1.92) [6.08, 7.11]
Stationary dribble (MS = 8)4.94 (2.18)* [4.38, 5.50]3.77 (1.75)* [3.33, 4.21]4.77 (1.79)** [4.41, 5.37]3.67 (2.05)** [3.30, 4.35]
Catch (MS = 6)5.09 (1.27)* [4.70, 5.48]4.36 (1.31)* [4.05, 4.66]4.90 (1.16) [4.60, 5.27]4.38 (1.51) [4.15, 4.88]
Kick (MS = 8)7.05 (1.28)* [6.64, 7.45]6.38 (1.47)* [6.06, 6.70]7.04 (1.14)** [6.74, 7.45]6.23 (1.59)** [5.96, 6.71]
Overhand throw (MS = 8)4.93 (2.17)* [4.42, 5.45]4.09 (1.59)* [3.69, 4.50]5.14 (1.77)** [4.76, 5.65]3.69 (1.69)** [3.34, 4.30]
Underhand roll (MS = 8)4.99 (2.02) [4.38, 5.59]4.74 (1.91) [4.27, 5.21]5.18 (1.94) [4.65, 5.69]4.50 (2.01) [4.00, 5.12]

Abbreviations: MS = maximum scores; 95% CI = confidence interval (inferior and superior limit); NIN = nonindigenous children; IN = indigenous children.

*Significant difference between group. **Significant difference between genders.

Concerning the performance levels related to object control skills, the MANOVA presented a significant group effect, Λ = .613, F(6, 104) = 10.93, p < .01, ηp2=.40, with a large effect size. The IN presented the highest performance levels for striking a stationary ball, F(1, 109) = 47.18, p < .01, ηp2=.30, stationary dribbling, F(1, 109) = 10.63, p < .01, ηp2=.08, catching, F(1, 109) = 8.55, p < .01, ηp2=.07, kicking, F(1, 109) = 6.59, p = .01, ηp2=.05, and overhand throwing, F(1, 109) = 6.44, p = .01, ηp2=.05, with small to large effect sizes. Furthermore, the MANOVA showed that there was a significant gender effect, Λ = 0.78, F(6, 104) = 7.98, p < .01, ηp2=.22, with a medium effect size. Boys presented a higher performance than girls for stationary dribbling, F(1, 109) = 8.81, p < .01, ηp2=.07, kicking, F(1, 109) = 8.59, p < .01, ηp2=.07, and overhand throwing, F(1, 109) = 17.57, p < .01, ηp2=.13, with medium effect sizes.

Discussion

This study aimed to compare the fundamental motor skill performances of IN and NIN. The IN showed higher performance levels compared with those of NIN in the overall locomotor score and in most of the locomotor skills as well as in the overall object control score and in five out of six object control skills. To date, research results on the fundamental motor skills of IN in this age range are scarce. The little evidence that has been found in the literature comparing the motor skills between IN and NIN has shown that Canadian babies who live in indigenous villages might reach proficiency in motor skills before the average Canadian population in their first year of life (Chisholm, 1978; Kerfeld, Guthrie, & Steward, 1997). Another study observed that babies in a western community in Kenya were able to sit, stand, and walk earlier than American babies (Super, 1976). These studies aligned the more accelerated performances of these children to the characteristics of the context, such as routine and maternal practices. As they develop, these children manage to have more autonomy to explore the environment, to join activities, and to take over functions within groups (Grosso, 2004; Zoia & Peripolli, 2010). Thus, it is possible that this effect of environmental context that has been observed in babies also explains the higher motor performance of the fundamental motor skills of IN.

In the indigenous communities, the spare time given to children, their level of mobility, their opportunities to explore the context, and the availability of time for them to play are all more frequent than those in nonindigenous communities (Nunes, 2002). This can also explain the differences observed between the motor performances of IN and NIN in this study. A research study conducted in indigenous communities belonging to the Parakanã ethnic group observed that children spend most of their free time playing, becoming involved in activities with grown-ups in the village, and sometimes assuming an important role in the mediation of several social groups (Grosso, 2004). Moreover, the freedom that IN have regarding performing challenging activities from their early stages of life, for example, trekking in the woods and swimming in rivers away from adult supervision (Zoia & Peripolli, 2010), might favor their performance concerning fundamental motor skills in addition to allowing them to know the boundaries of their own motor competencies.

The indigenous villages, when compared with the context of most urban societies, enable children to have a more active role with a higher possibility of environmental investigation (Grosso, 2004; Zoia & Peripolli, 2010). In this case, the adults are not the ones who impose restrictions, although the children themselves challenge their abilities and gradually increase their competences as they explore the surrounding environment. This challenge can also contribute to them becoming more careful within the freedom they enjoy (Grosso, 2004; Zoia & Peripolli, 2010).

Regarding the secondary aim of this study, girls presented lower levels of performance than those of boys in the overall locomotor and object control scores. In addition, the girls showed lower levels of performance in the running, leaping, dribbling, kicking, and overhand throwing skills. The results regarding the locomotor skill performance of boys and girls are contradictory in the literature (Barnett, Beurden, Morgan, Brooks, & Beard, 2010; Bolger et al., 2018; Goodway et al., 2010; Hardy, King, Farrel, MacNiven, & Howlett, 2010; Sheikh, Safania, & Afshari, 2011; Wong & Cheung, 2006). Some studies have shown a lower performance for girls in relation to these skills (Bardid et al., 2016; Goodway et al., 2010; Wong & Cheung, 2006). Girls, for instance, have been found to be less proficient than boys, specifically in locomotor skills that require strength, such as the horizontal jump (Valentini et al., 2016). On the other hand, other studies have not found any difference between the genders across all locomotor skills (Nobre et al., 2018) or for most of these skills (Hardy et al., 2010).

Regarding object control skills, studies have shown consistent results in which boys present better performances than girls (Bardid et al. 2016; Hume et al., 2008; Liong, Ridgers, & Barnett, 2015; Pope, Liu, & Getchell, 2011; Robinson, Wadsworth, & Peoples, 2012; Yang, Lin, & Tsai, 2015). These results are aligned with the object control skills data presented for Australian (Barnett et al., 2010), Chinese (Wong & Cheung, 2006), Iranian (Sheikh et al., 2011), American (Goodway et al., 2010), Belgian (Bardid et al., 2016), and Brazilian children (Nobre, Bandeira, & Valentini, 2017; Spessato, Gabbard, Valentini, & Rudisill, 2013; Valentini, Clark, & Whitall, 2015).

Conclusion

In summary, IN presented a better performance in regard to fundamental motor skills than did NIN. This finding may suggest that the experiences, opportunities, and lifestyle usually observed in indigenous villages may favor the development of such skills, which are typical of childhood. Moreover, the higher performance of boys compared with girls, both IN and NIN, may be explained by the higher level of engagement of boys in motor tasks and activities, especially in object control skills. The results also contribute to reinforcing the idea that motor development is not only a consequence of changes in organisms, as environmental factors may also influence the development of fundamental motor skills. However, future research might investigate which factors related to the physical and social environment contribute to the development of fundamental motor skills in different regions and contexts of Brazil.

Acknowledgment

This research was funded by grant Universal Demand (Case APQ-01313-1 from the Research Support Foundation of the State of Minas Gerais - FAPEMIG Support: Notice No. 01/2015). The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

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If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

Duarte is with the Department of Physical Education, Federal University of Amazonas, Parintins, Brazil. Nobre is with the Department of Physical Education, Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology, Fortaleza, Brazil. Gomes and Benda are with the Department of Physical Education, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, Brazil.

Duarte (duartemg83@gmail.com) is corresponding author.
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  • Barnett, L.M., van Beurden, E., Morgan, P.J., Brooks, L.O., & Beard, J.R. (2010). Gender differences in motor skill proficiency from childhood to adolescence: A longitudinal study. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 81(2), 162170. PubMed ID: 20527301 doi:10.1080/02701367.2010.10599663

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  • Carvalhal, M.I.M., Silva, A.J., Raposo, J.J.V., Louro, H.G.D., & Leitão, L.F.M. (2008). A influência dos tempos livres no acesso à prática de atividades físicas e desportivas em jovens em idade escolar [The influence of free time in the access to practice of physical and sports activities in school age children]. Fitness & Performance, 7(2), 8187. doi:10.3900/fpj.7.2.81.p

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    • Crossref
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  • Cliff, D.P., Okely, A.D., Smith, L.M., & McKeen, K. (2009). Relationships between fundamental movement skills and objectively measured physical activity in preschool children. Pediatric Exercise Science, 21(4), 436449. PubMed ID: 20128363 doi:10.1123/pes.21.4.436

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  • Cureau, F.V., Silva, T.L.N., Bloch, K.V., Fujimori, E., Belfort, D.R., Carvalho, K.M.B., … Schaan, B.D. (2016). ERICA: Inatividade física no lazer em adolescentes brasileiros [ERICA: leisure-time physical inactivity in Brazilian adolescents]. Revista de Saúde Pública, 50(1), 4s. doi:10.1590/s01518-8787.2016050006683

    • Crossref
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  • Duncan, M.J., Jones, V., O’Brien, W., Barnett, L.M., & Eyre, E.L.J. (2018). Self-perceived and actual motor competence in young British children. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 125(2), 251264. PubMed ID: 29320925 doi:10.1177/0031512517752833

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Eyre, E.L., Walker, L.J., & Duncan, M.J. (2018). Fundamental movement skills of children living in England: The role of ethnicity and native English language. Perceptual Motor and Skills, 125(1), 520. doi:10.1177/0031512517745437

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fisher, A., Reilly, J.J., Kelly, L.A., Montgomery, C., Williamson, A., Paton, J.Y., & Grant, S. (2005). Fundamental movement skills and habitual physical activity in young children. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 37(4), 684688. PubMed ID: 15809570 doi:10.1249/01.mss.0000159138.48107.7d

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Goodway, J.D., Robinson, L.E., & Crowe, H. (2010). Gender differences in fundamental motor skill development in disadvantaged preschoolers from two geographical regions. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 81(1), 1724. PubMed ID: 20387395 doi:10.1080/02701367.2010.10599624

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
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