Fundamental Motor Skills of Children in Deprived Areas of England: A Focus on Age, Gender and Ethnicity

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This study compared the mastery of fundamental motor skills (FMS) of males and females in early-childhood (four to five years, n = 170) and in middle-childhood (nine to ten years, n = 109) who attend schools in deprived and ethnically diverse areas of England. Process FMS (object control and locomotor skills) were observed using the Test of Gross Motor Development-2. Sprint speed over 10 meters and jump distance assessments were conducted using light gates and tape measures. A gender (male vs. female) by year-group (early-childhood vs. middle-childhood) interaction was shown for the process and product-oriented FMS measurements. Middle-childhood males and females demonstrated significantly greater FMS mastery, as compared to early-childhood (p < 0.05). Furthermore, middle-childhood males demonstrated significantly greater mastery of total FMS, object control skills, and product-oriented assessments, in comparison to females (p < 0.05). Children of Black and White ethnic groups achieved significantly greater mastery of locomotor skills, compared to Asian children, though this did not differ by year-group (p < 0.05). The results suggest that FMS development in deprived and ethnically diverse areas in England varies between genders during middle-childhood and ethnicity. Thus, interventions addressing the lack of FMS mastery achievement, shown in middle-childhood girls and children from Asian ethnic backgrounds, may be pivotal. Further exploration of the role of ethnicity would provide greater clarity in approaching interventions to improve FMS.
Original languageEnglish
Article number110
Number of pages14
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2018

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  • Fundamental motor skills
  • Motor Development
  • Childhood
  • Ethnicity


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