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Modelling the dynamics of children's gross motor coordination

journal contribution
posted on 01.01.2019, 00:00 authored by Ana Carolina Reyes, Raquel Chaves, Adam D G Baxter-Jones, Olga Vasconcelos, Lisa BarnettLisa Barnett, Go Tani, Donald Hedeker, José Maia
This study modelled children's gross motor coordination, investigated sex-differences and identified the effects of fixed and dynamic correlates on motor coordination development. A total of 344 Portuguese children (170 girls), from 6 age cohorts (5 to 9 years of age), were followed consecutively for three years (age range 5 to 11 years) using a mixed-longitudinal cohort design. Birth weight, hand dominance and socioeconomic status (SES) were identified. Gross motor coordination, body mass index, physical fitness (PF) and physical activity (PA) were assessed annually. A sequence of multilevel hierarchical linear models were developed. Model 1 found that age, age2, sex, sex-by-age and sex-by-age2 were significant predictors (p < 0.05) of gross motor coordination. Boys outperformed girls from 6 years of age onwards. Model 2 found a cohort effect (p < 0.05). Model 3 found that right handers were more coordinated (p < 0.05). When the confounders of body mass index, PF and PA were added to the model (Model 4) it was found that boys and girls had parallel trajectories in their gross motor coordination development. In conclusion children with increasing body mass index were less coordinated, while those who were stronger and more agile had steeper trajectories of gross motor coordination with age.



Journal of sports sciences






2243 - 2252


Taylor & Francis


Abingdon, Eng.





Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

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