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 editors: Niemistö, Donna; Finni, Taija; Cantell, Marja; Korhonen, Elisa; Sääkslahti, Arja

Journal or series: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

ISSN: 1661-7827

eISSN: 1660-4601

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 17

Issue number: 7

Article number: 2548

Publisher: MDPI

Publication country: Switzerland

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072548

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open 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.

Keywords: children (age groups); preschool children (age group); motor skills (general); coordination (motor functions); motor skills (sports); underlying factors; social background; temperament

Free keywords: socioecological model; locomotor skills; ball skills; balance skills; coordination; TGMD-3; KTK; temperament

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Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 13:35