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Associations between socio-ecological factors and motor competence amongst 5–6-year-old children from deprived areas of Northwest England

Grace, R (2022) Associations between socio-ecological factors and motor competence amongst 5–6-year-old children from deprived areas of Northwest England. Masters thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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Background: Learning to move competently is an essential foundation for participation in physical activity (PA). Previous literature has reported that young children with high levels of motor competence (MC) can be predicted to have higher levels of PA participation during primary and secondary school years, and that high MC is protective against excess weight gain. Yet, little is known about the factors that influence the development of MC at a young age, particularly amongst children living in highly deprived areas. The aim of this study was, therefore, to examine the association between socio-ecological factors and MC development in children aged 5-6-years-old living in an area of high deprivation.
Methods: This cross-sectional study used baseline data from the SAMPLE-PE cluster randomised controlled trial. Twelve primary schools and 360 pupils were recruited to the project from areas of high deprivation within a city in Northwest England. Parents/carers were invited to complete a questionnaire about their child’s individual (e.g. PA behaviours and preferences, child’s personality), social (e.g. family demographics, social support, PA rules and barriers) and environmental (e.g. time spent outside and home environment) factors. MC was assessed via motor proficiency, using the Test of Gross Motor Development (TGMD-3),and motor creativity, using the Divergent Movement Ability Test (DMA). Linear regression models examined the association between individual, social and environmental factors and their contribution to motor proficiency and creativity.
Results: The final sample included 100 children with complete questionnaire and MC data (50% boys/girls, age mean 6.0 years, 0.4SD). No socio-ecological influences were associated with motor proficiency. For motor creativity, significant associations were only found among individual level factors, with positive associations observed with deprivation decile(B=2.872; 95% CI= 0.22to 5.53; p=.034)and minutes spent in Total PA between 3-5 years-old(B=0.001; 95% CI= 0to 0; p=.032), though a negative association was found for Total PA activity minutes between the ages 1-2.9 years (B=-0.002; 95% CI= 0to 0; p= .022).
Conclusion: This was the first study to explore associations between socio-ecological factors and both motor creativity and proficiency in young children. Individual level factors of multiple deprivation and total PA predicted motor creativity; however, no significant associations were found for motor proficiency. Further research is required to understand the direction of the relationships between PA and motor creativity in young children, and to explore factors affecting the development of motor proficiency. Research could inform planning and practice in PE to include opportunities to develop motor creativity and therefore motor competency.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Motor Competece
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2022 09:55
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2022 10:17
DOI or ID number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00018028
Supervisors: Foweather, L, Knowles, Z and Rudd, J
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/18028
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