EXPLORING THE GENERAL MOTOR ABILITY CONSTRUCT1,2


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Abstract

Summary.Malaysian students ages 12 to 15 years (N = 330; 165 girls, 165 boys) took the Australian Institute of Sport Talent Identification Test (AIST) and the Balance and Movement Coordination Test (BMC), developed specifically to identify sport talent in Malaysian adolescents. To investigate evidence for general aptitude (“g”) in motor ability, a higher-order factor analysis was applied to the motor skills subtests from the AIST and BMC. First-order principal components analysis indicated that scores for the adolescent boys and girls could be described by similar sets of specific motor abilities. In particular, sets of skills identified as Movement Coordination and Postural Control were found, with Balancing Ability also emerging. For the girls, a factor labeled Static Balance was indicated. However, for the boys a more general balance ability labeled Kinesthetic Integration was found, along with an ability labeled Explosive Power. These first-order analyses accounted for 45% to 60% of the variance in the scores on the motor skills tests for the boys and girls, respectively. Separate second-order factor analyses for the boys and girls extracted a single higher-order factor, which was consistent with the existence of a motoric “g.”

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