Percieved motor competence and actual motor competence and physical activity was measured 4 times over 18 months in children aged 6 - 8 years (N = 201). Results from baseline and 6 month data revealed boys were more active than girls at all ages and there was no significant increase or decrease in physical activity for either gender at any age. Percieved motor competence scores for boys and girls decreased over 6 months whilst actual motor competence scores increased. Physical activity is related to actual motor competence but not perceived motor competence in this age group with a significant positive relationship between actual motor competence and physical activity emerging in older boys. These data indicate that self perceptions of competence in young boys and girls do not necessarily match development in actual motor competence. Whether such dissociation continues will be explored in later follow up at 12 and 18 months from the initial measurement point.
McIntyre, F., Hands, B., & Parker, H. (2007). Developmental changes in factors affecting physical activity in young children: a mixed-longitudinal study. Paper presented at the 25th International/Biennial ACHPER Conference PACE Yourself. Fremantle, WA, 3-6 October.