Donna Niemistö


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ORCID link: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9198-9437

Scopus Author ID(s): 57203907726


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Research interests

I work as a Postdoctoral researcher at the University of Jyväskylä, Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences. I work in several research projects such as Skilled Kids, Active Family and Taiturit. These research projects study the motor competence (MC), perception of motor competence (PMC) and physical activity (PA) of children and youth. Additionally, we investigate those factors that are associated with MC, PA, and PMC. Please, you can learn more about these research projects by following the links below:

Skilled Kids: https://www.jyu.fi/sport/en/research/research-projects/skilled-kids
Active Family: https://www.jyu.fi/sport/en/research/research-projects/active-family
Taiturit: https://www.jyu.fi/sport/fi/tutkimus/hankkeet/taiturit

I finished my PhD thesis in 2021. The main objective of this study was to examine motor competence (MC) and perceived motor competence (PMC) in Finnish children attending childcare. The sample consisted of 945 children (mean 5.42 yrs., boys n=473, girls n=472) and their families, recruited via cluster-randomised childcare centres (n=37) considering the geographical locations and residential densities of the childcare centres. As a result, MC seemed to increase but PMC to decrease as a function of age. Gender differences were found with the TGMD-3 and PMSC but not with KTK. Based on living environment, some differences were found as children from the countryside, spending most of the time outdoors, outperformed children from other regions in the TGMD-3. Children living in the metropolitan area participated the most in organised sport. Regarding socioecological factors, MC was positively associated with age, participation in organised sport and temperament traits such as activity and attention span persistence. Regarding PMC, younger age and higher levels of BMI SDS, participation in organised sport and the TGMD-3 gross motor index were associated with higher PMSC.


Fields of science


Personal keywords

Skilled kids; Active family; children; perception of motor competence; perceived motor competence; TGMD-3; KTK; PMSC; IPAQ; physical activity; temperament


Projects as Team Member


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Last updated on 2021-17-12 at 11:21