Cross-cultural comparison of fundamental movement skills in 9- to 10- year old children from England and China

Jiani Ma, Michael Duncan, Si-Tong Chen, Emma Eyre, Yujun Cai

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The present study aimed to examine cross-cultural differences in fundamental movement skills (FMS) proficiency levels in children aged 9-10 years old in England and China, using a process-oriented FMS measurement. Four FMS (run, jump, throw, catch) were measured using the Test of Gross Motor Development-2 (TGMD-2). The sample consisted of 272 (58.3% boys, 41.7% girls) Chinese children and 273 (48.7% boys, 51.3% girls) English children. ANCOVA analysis for the raw FMS scores showed a significant sex by country interaction (P = .022, partial η2 = .01). Chinese children scored higher than English children on total FMS, locomotor and object control skill subsets. Additional Chi-squared analyses revealed significant differences regarding mastery levels of skills, with a higher proportion of Chinese children being classified as having advanced skill proficiency across three of four selected FMS (i.e. run, throw, and catch). The substantial cross-cultural differences found may be related to aspects such as Physical Education (PE) provision and process, educational policy, and other physical activity opportunities (e.g. extracurricular organised sports). Our findings require further examination of the contextual influences, in order to understand the optimal strategies that promotes children’s FMS development through PE, youth sports or physical activity promotion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-533
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Physical Education Review
Issue number2
Early online date29 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022

Bibliographical note

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  • Motor competence
  • motor development
  • physical education
  • physical activity
  • TGMD-2


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