Movement skills, perception, and physical activity of young children: A mediation analysis

Catherine Mamaid CAPIO, Kathlynne F. EGUIA

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

Abstract

Background: Fundamental movement skills proficiency and perceived physical competence have been shown to influence physical activity of children; the mechanisms and patterns of their relationships need to be investigated in early childhood. This study examined the direct and indirect effects of fundamental movement skills, and the mediating role of perceived physical competence on physical activity of young children.

Methods: Participants consist of 4‐ to 6‐year‐old children (N = 230; 121 girls, 109 boys). Fundamental movement skill components (i.e., locomotor, object control) were measured using the Test of Gross Motor Development‐2; perceived physical competence was measured using the physical skills domain of the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence for young children; physical activity was monitored using pedometers over a 5‐day period (n = 115). Conditional process analysis was performed to examine mediation.

Results: Object control skills proficiency had a significant positive effect on perceived physical competence (B = 0.28, p = 0.02), and a significant positive effect on daily step counts (B = 0.18, p = 0.04). Perceived physical competence had a significant negative effect on daily step counts (B = ‐0.31, p = 0.003) and mediated the indirect effect of object control skills on daily step counts (B = ‐0.09, 95% CI = ‐0.17 to ‐0.002).

Conclusions: Object control skills proficiency had a significant direct effect on physical activity, and perceived physical competence mediates an indirect effect. The findings contribute to the evidence base supporting object control skills development as a factor that enables adequate physical activity of young children. Copyright © 2020 Japan Pediatric Society.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPediatrics International
Early online dateAug 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Aug 2020

Citation

Capio, C. M., & Eguia, K. F. (2020). Movement skills, perception, and physical activity of young children: A mediation analysis. Pediatrics International. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/ped.14436

Keywords

  • Physical activity
  • Fundamental movement skills
  • Perceived physical competence
  • Early childhood

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