Relationships Between Recreational Pursuits and Motor Skills in Young Children

Thursday, April 25, 2013
Exhibit Hall Poster Area 2 (Convention Center)
Jeff R. Crane, Amy Brown, Buffy-Lynne Williams, Rick I. Bell, Patti-Jean Naylor and Viviene A. Temple, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada

Background/Purpose Developmental theorists suggest that physical activity during early childhood promotes fundamental motor skill (FMS) proficiency; and that differences in FMS proficiency are largely related to children's experiences. This study examined associations between participation in different types of recreation/leisure and FMS proficiency of young children. We hypothesized that there would be positive associations between FMS proficiency and participation in organized sport and active physical recreation; but not for other types of recreation/leisure.

Method Participants (n=74) were kindergarten children (M age=5y11m; boys=57%). Parents completed the diversity dimension of the Children's Assessment of Participation and Enjoyment survey; recording frequency of participation in recreation/leisure in nine domains. Locomotor and object control skills were assessed using the Test of Gross Motor Development-2 during scheduled school physical education.

Analysis/Results Mean domain specific participation scores/maximum possible scores were: hobbies and crafts, 4.5/5; social activities, 5.1/6; quiet recreation, 2.9/4; organized sports, 2.2/6; other skill-based activities, 1.1/6; clubs and organizations, 0.6/3; entertainment and education, 5.6/7; active physical recreation, 6.6/11; and jobs and chores, 3.9/7. Mean raw locomotor and object skill scores were 26.9 (SD=6.7) and 23.2 (SD=7.2), respectively. Pearson product moment correlation coefficients revealed one significant relationship; locomotor skills were correlated with participation in active physical recreation (r=.44, p<.001).

Conclusions Locomotor skill proficiency was positively associated with participation in active physical recreation; but not organized sport where participation was relatively low. The lack of association between object control skills and any type of recreation/leisure may reflect limited opportunities to develop and utilize these skills at this young age.

Previous Abstract | Next Abstract >>