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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(8), 8883-8896;

Effects of Individual and School-Level Characteristics on a Child’s Gross Motor Coordination Development

Academic Department of Physical Education, Federal University of Technology, Paraná (UTFPR), Av. Sete de Setembro, 3165, 80230-901-Curitiba/PR, Brazil
CAPES Foundation, Ministry of Education of Brazil, SBN Quadra2, Bloco L, Lote 06, 70040020, Brasília, Brazil
College of Kinesiology, University of Saskatchewan, 87 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B2, Canada
CIFI2D (Centro de Investigação, Formação, Inovação e Intervenção em Desporto), Kinanthropometry Lab, Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, Rua Dr. Plácido Costa, 91, 4250-Porto, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 5 April 2015 / Revised: 3 July 2015 / Accepted: 21 July 2015 / Published: 30 July 2015
PDF [280 KB, uploaded 3 August 2015]


The aim of this study was to identify child and school-level characteristics that explained inter-individual differences in gross motor coordination (GMC). Participants (n = 390), recruited from 18 Portuguese primary schools, were aged 6 to 10 years of age. Birth weight, body fat (BF), physical activity (PA), physical fitness (PF) and GMC were assessed. School size, setting, infrastructure and physical education classes were considered as school context markers. A multilevel modeling approach was used to identify hierarchical effects (child and school levels). It was found that children-level variables (sex, PF, and BF) significantly explained 63% of the 90% variance fraction at the individual level; boys outperformed girls (p < 0.05), individuals with higher BF were less coordinated (p < 0.05), and those with higher PF were more coordinated (p < 0.05). School-variables (e.g. school size and playing surface) explained 84% of the 10% variation fraction. These findings confirm the roles of sex, PFS and BF. Interestingly they also suggest that the school environment plays a minor but significant role in GMC development. However, it is important to stress that the school context and conditions can also play an important role in a child’s motor development, providing adequate and enriching motor opportunities. View Full-Text
Keywords: motor coordination; hierarchical linear modeling; schoolchildren motor coordination; hierarchical linear modeling; schoolchildren
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Chaves, R.; Baxter-Jones, A.; Gomes, T.; Souza, M.; Pereira, S.; Maia, J. Effects of Individual and School-Level Characteristics on a Child’s Gross Motor Coordination Development. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 8883-8896.

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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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