ASSOCIATIONS BETWEEN SKILL PERCEPTIONS AND YOUNG CHILDREN'S ACTUAL FUNDAMENTAL MOVEMENT SKILLS1, 2

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Abstract

Given that children with low movement skill competence engage in less physical activity, it is important to understand how children's perceptions relate to actual movement competence. This study examined relationships between (i) children's self-perception and objective assessments of their movement skills (object control and locomotor) and (ii) parents' perceptions of the children's movement skills and objective assessment. Children's skill perceptions were assessed using the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Movement Skill Competence for Young Children. Parent perceptions of their child's skills were assessed using a modified version of this instrument. The Test of Gross Motor Development-2nd edition assessed children's skills objectively. Participants were 136 Australian children (51% boys; M = 6.5 yr., SD = 1.1) and 133 parents. Regression analyses (by sex) examined the relationship between perceptions and children's scores for actual skilled performance. Boys' perceptions were associated with their actual object control ability. Parents accurately perceived boys' object control ability and girls' locomotor ability, but not the reverse. This suggests interventions aiming to improve children's movement skills could target parents and be designed to teach parents how to recognize good and poor skill performance in their children.

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