A1 Journal article (refereed)
What factors relate to three profiles of perception of motor competence in young children? (2022)

Niemistö, D., Barnett, L. M., Cantell, M., Finni, T., Korhonen, E., & Sääkslahti, A. (2022). What factors relate to three profiles of perception of motor competence in young children?. Journal of Sports Sciences, 40(2), 215-225. https://doi.org/10.1080/02640414.2021.1985774

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsNiemistö, Donna; Barnett, Lisa M.; Cantell, Marja; Finni, Taija; Korhonen, Elisa; Sääkslahti, Arja

Journal or seriesJournal of Sports Sciences



Publication year2022

Publication date12/10/2021


Issue number2

Pages range215-225


Publication countryUnited Kingdom

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessPartially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/78258


The study aims were to 1) examine profiles of perception of motor competence (PMC) in relation to actual motor competence (AMC), i.e. under-estimators (UEs), realistic estimators (REs) and over-estimators (OEs) and 2) investigate associations between the profiles and selected socioecological factors at the individual, family and environmental levels. PMC (Pictorial Scale of Perceived Movement Skill Competence) and AMC (Test of Gross Motor Development-Third Edition) were administered to a representative sample of children from 37 childcare centres in Finland (n=441;6.2±0.6yrs;52% boys). Socioecological factors were investigated using a parental questionnaire. The three profiles were formed based on age- and gender-adjusted PMC and AMC z-scores. Multinomial logistic regression showed that OEs (n=81; p=0.04) tended to be younger than REs (n=306; p=0.04) and UEs (n=54; p=0.03). Parents of OEs reported more child health and developmental issues than parents of REs (p=0.03). Parents of UEs self-reported providing more support for physical activity than parents’ of REs (p=0.04). REs tended to live in denser population areas than UEs (n=54; p=0.03). Whilst PMC profiles revealed some socioecological differences, future research needs to focus on a broader range of potential correlates and untangle methodological analyses challenges to deepen the knowledge about PMC development in children.

Keywordschildren (age groups)preschoolers (age group)motor skills (general)motor skills (sports)evaluationself image

Free keywordsphysical self-perception; fundamental movement skills; competence motivation theory; socioecological model; tgmd-3

Contributing organizations

Related projects

  • The Active Family
      • SääkslahtiArja
    • Ministry of Education and Culture

Related research datasets

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2022

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-30-04 at 17:57