A1 Journal article (refereed)
Individual, Family, and Environmental Correlates of Motor Competence in Young Children : Regression Model Analysis of Data Obtained from Two Motor Tests (2020)

Niemistö, D., Finni, T., Cantell, M., Korhonen, E., & Sääkslahti, A. (2020). Individual, Family, and Environmental Correlates of Motor Competence in Young Children : Regression Model Analysis of Data Obtained from Two Motor Tests. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(7), Article 2548. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072548

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsNiemistö, Donna; Finni, Taija; Cantell, Marja; Korhonen, Elisa; Sääkslahti, Arja

Journal or seriesInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health



Publication year2020


Issue number7

Article number2548


Publication countrySwitzerland

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessOpen Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/68558


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.

Keywordschildren (age groups)preschool children (age group)motor skills (general)coordination (motor functions)motor skills (sports)underlying factorssocial backgroundtemperament

Free keywordssocioecological model; locomotor skills; ball skills; balance skills; coordination; TGMD-3; KTK; temperament

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Related research datasets

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2020

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-03-04 at 21:26