Validity and reliability of a pictorial instrument for assessing perceived motor competence in Portuguese children

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It is important to assess young children's perceived Fundamental Movement Skill (FMS) competence in order to examine the role of perceived FMS competence in motivation toward physical activity. Children's perceptions of motor competence may vary according to the culture/country of origin; therefore, it is also important to measure perceptions in different cultural contexts. The purpose was to assess the face validity, internal consistency, test–retest reliability and construct validity of the 12 FMS items in the Pictorial Scale for Perceived Movement Skill Competence for Young Children (PMSC) in a Portuguese sample.


Two hundred one Portuguese children (girls, n = 112), 5 to 10 years of age (7.6 ± 1.4), participated. All children completed the PMSC once. Ordinal alpha assessed internal consistency. A random subsamples (n = 47) were reassessed one week later to determine test–retest reliability with Bland–Altman method. Children were asked questions after the second administration to determine face validity. Construct validity was assessed on the whole sample with a Bayesian Structural Equation Modelling (BSEM) approach. The hypothesized theoretical model used the 12 items and two hypothesized factors: object control and locomotor skills.


The majority of children correctly identified the skills and could understand most of the pictures. Test–retest reliability analysis was good, with an agreement ration between 0.99 and 1.02. Ordinal alpha values ranged from acceptable (object control 0.73, locomotor 0.68) to good (all FMS 0.81). The hypothesized BSEM model had an adequate fit.


The PMSC can be used to investigate perceptions of children's FMS competence. This instrument can also be satisfactorily used among Portuguese children.

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