This paper presents the preliminary findings from stage one of a longitudinal study. Children aged 6-8 years (N = 201) used pedometers to record daily step counts over 7 days. Motor competence was evaluated based on their performance of 4 motor skills and perceived motor competence was assessed via completion of a Self Description Questionnaire (Marsh, 1988). Significant differences in mean daily step counts were found between males (M = 14,522) and females (M = 12,272, p = .00). Significant differences for males and females were also found in total motor competency scores (males = 15.7, females = 17.6, p = .00) and between age groups (6 year olds = 15.6, 7 year olds = 17.0, 8 year olds = 17.6, p = .001). Self perceptions differed significantly between 6 and 8 year olds (p = .02), and 7 and 8 year olds (p = .01). Significant correlations were found between physical activity and motor competence for males(r = .36), but not females (r = .21) and also for 6 year olds (r = .30) and 7 year olds (r = .57). Investigating these relationships in typically developing children will provide important information for enabling a physically active lifestyle in future years.
McIntyre, F., Hands, B., & Parker, H. (2006). Young children’s perceived motor competence and actual motor competence: What is the relationship with physical activity? Paper presented at the 1st ICHPER-SD Oceania Congress. Wellington, NZ, 1-4 October.