Individual, Family, and Environmental Correlates of Motor Competence in Young Children: Regression Model Analysis of Data Obtained from Two Motor Tests

Donna Niemisto*, Taija Finni, Marja Cantell, Elisa Korhonen, Arja Saakslahti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Physical activity and motor competence (MC) have been considered to be closely related and prevent childhood obesity. The aim of the study was two-fold: to examine MC measured with two different tools in relation to individual, family, and environmental correlates and to investigate gender differences in MC. The Test of Gross Motor Development-Third Edition (TGMD-3) was administered to three- to seven-year-old children (n = 945), while the Körperkoordinationstest für Kinder (KTK) was also used for five- to seven-year-old children (n = 444). The parent questionnaire (n = 936) included questions about individual (e.g., participation in organized sports), family (e.g., parents’ education level), and environmental (e.g., access to sports facilities) correlates. The children’s temperament was assessed using the Colorado Childhood Temperament Inventory (CCTI) questionnaire. Data were analyzed using one-way analysis of variance and linear mixed-effects regression models. The regression models explained 57% and 38% of the variance in TGMD-3 and KTK, respectively. Individual correlates, including older age, more frequent participation in sports, and specific temperament traits of activity and attention span-persistence, were the strongest predictors for better MC. Small gender differences were found in both assessment tools, albeit in a different manner. In conclusion, socioecological correlates of MC in young children are multidimensional, and individual correlates appear to be the most important predictors of MC. Importantly, the correlates can differ according to the MC assessment tools.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2548
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume17
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr-2020

Keywords

  • socioecological model
  • locomotor skills
  • ball skills
  • balance skills
  • coordination
  • TGMD-3
  • KTK
  • temperament
  • FUNDAMENTAL MOVEMENT SKILLS
  • PHYSICAL-ACTIVITY
  • COGNITIVE-DEVELOPMENT
  • PRESCHOOL-CHILDREN
  • BODY-COMPOSITION
  • PERFORMANCE
  • COORDINATION
  • ADOLESCENTS
  • LANGUAGE
  • SCHOOL

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