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A Narrative Review of Motor Competence in Children and Adolescents: What We Know and What We Need to Find Out

Research Centre in Physical Activity, Health and Leisure, Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, 4200-450 Porto, Portugal
National Program for Physical Activity Promotion—Portuguese Directorate-General of Health, Portuguese Ministry of Health, 1049-005 Lisbon, Portugal
Faculty of Sport Sciences and Physical Education, University of Coimbra, Estádio Universitário de Coimbra, 3040-248 Coimbra, Portugal
South African Medical Research Council/Wits Developmental Pathways for Health Research Unit, University of the Witwatersrand, Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Chris Hani Road, Soweto, 2050 Johannesburg, South Africa
Department of Sport and Rehabilitation Sciences, Research Unit on Childhood, University of Liège, Allée des sports 2, 4000 Liège, Belgium
Centre for Sport, Exercise and Life Sciences, Coventry University, Coventry CV1 5FB, UK
Institute of Sport Science, University of Bern, Bremgartenstrasse 145, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity & Nutrition, Faculty of Education & Arts, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
School of Education, Sports Studies and Physical Education Programme, 2 Lucan Place, Western Road, University College Cork, T12 KX72 Cork, Ireland
Center for Clinical Research and Prevention, Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg Hospital, Nordre Fasanvej 57, DK-2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
Center for Outdoor Recreation and Education, University of Copenhagen, Nødebovej 77A, DK-3480 Fredensborg, Denmark
Department of Movement and Sport Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussel, Belgium
Inclusive and Special Needs Education Unit, Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences, University of Groningen, Grote Rozenstraat 38, 9712 TJ Groningen, The Netherlands
Research Centre in Applied Sports, Technology, Exercise and Medicine, College of Engineering, Swansea University, Wales SA1 8EN, UK
Department of Education and Social Work, Campus Belval, Institute for Teaching and Learning, University of Luxembourg, Porte des Sciences 11, L-4366 Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg
Department for Movement and Sports, Zürich University of Teacher Education, Lagerstrasse 2, LAC—H073 CH-8090 Zürich, Switzerland
Navarrabiomed, Complejo Hospitalario de Navarra (CHN), Universidad Pública de Navarra (UPNA), IdiSNA, 31008 Pamplona, Spain
Laboratorio de Ciencias de la Actividad Física, el Deporte y la Salud, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Universidad de Santiago de Chile, USACH, 71783-5 Santiago, Chile
Department of Health Sciences, Navarrabiomed, CIBER of Frailty and Healthy Aging (CIBERFES), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, IdiSNA, Public University of Navarra, 31006 Pamplona, Spain
CIDEFES, Universidade Lusófona, 1749-024 Lisbon, Portugal
Educational Sciences, University of Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24/25, D-14476 Potsdam, Germany
Campus de Gualtar Edifício 4, School of Nursing, University of Minho, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
School of Health and Human Performance, Multisensory Motor Learning Lab, Dublin City University, 9 Dublin, Ireland
PROFITH “PROmoting FITness and Health through Physical Activity” Research Group, Department of Physical Education and Sports, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Granada, Ctra. Alfacar, s/n, 18017 Granada, Spain
PROmoting FITness and Health through Physical Activity Research Group (PROFITH), Department of Physical and Sports Education, School of Sports Science, Sport and Health University Research Institute (iMUDS), University of Granada, Ctra. Alfacar, s/n, 18017 Granada, Spain
Amsterdam University Medical Center, Department of Public and Occupational Health, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, 1081 HVAmsterdam, The Netherlands
Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport and Recreation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2H9, Canada
Early Start, University of Wollongong, Northfields Ave, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Foggia, Virgilio Street, 71100 Foggia, Italy
Research Center in Sports Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development, CIDESD, University Institute of Maia, ISMAI, 4475-690 Maia, Portugal
Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, SDU Sport and Health Sciences Cluster (SHSC), University of Southern Denmark, 5230 Odense, Denmark
Sport Studies & Physical Education Department, Kinesiology, College at Brockport, State University of New York, NY 14420, USA
St Patrick’s Campus, DCU Institute of Education, School of Arts Education & Movement, Drumcondra, 9 Dublin, Ireland
Centro de Investigação em Educação, Campus de Gualtar, Instituto de Educação da Universidade do Minho, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
School of Exercise Science, Physical and Health Education, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8P 5C2, Canada
Faculty of Physical Culture, Palacky University Olomouc, třída Míru 117, 771 11 Olomouc, Czech Republic
Department of Sport Psychology, Institute of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Münster, Horstmarer Landweg 62b, 48149 Münster, Germany
Department of Kinesiology and Dance, New Mexico State University, 1572 Stewart St., Las Cruces, NM 88003, USA
Department of Health and Physical Education, The Education University of Hong Kong, 10 Lo Ping Road, Tai Po, Hong Kong, China
Departament of Physical Education, Faculty of Education, Social Science & Humanities, Universidad de La Frontera, Av. Francisco Salazar, 01145 Temuco, Chile
Laboratory of Adapted Physical Activity/Developmental and Physical Disabilities, School of Physical Education and Sport Science, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 71 Ethikis Antistasis str., 17238 Athens, Greece
BIND-Behavioral Imaging and Neural Dynamics Center, Department of Medicine and Aging Sciences, “G. d’Annunzio” University of Chieti-Pescara, Via dei Vestini, 31, 66100 Chieti, Italy
Research Centre on Child Studies (CIEC), Campus de Gualtar, Institute of Education, University of Minho, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
Department of Physical Education, Campus “Prof. Aloísio de Campos”, Federal University of Sergipe, Jardim Rosa Elze, São Cristóvão 49100000, Sergipe, Brazil
Institute of Sport Science, University of Graz, 8010 Graz, Austria
Research Center in Sports Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development (CIDESD), University Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal
Department of Motor Behavior, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Kharazmi University, 15719-14911 Tehran, Iran
Center for Health Sciences and Sports, Department of Physical Education, Santa Catarina State University, R. Pascoal Simone, 358, Florianópolis 88080-350, Brazil
Faculdade de Educação Física e Desporto, Universidade Pedagógica, Maputo 1106, Mozambique
Faculty of Health Sciences, Klaipeda University, Herkaus Manto g. 84, 92294 Klaipėda, Lithuania
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors were equal first authors and equally contributed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(1), 18;
Received: 16 November 2020 / Revised: 10 December 2020 / Accepted: 19 December 2020 / Published: 22 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Exercise and Sports on Health)
Lack of physical activity is a global public health problem causing not only morbidity and premature mortality, but it is also a major economic burden worldwide. One of the cornerstones of a physically active lifestyle is Motor Competence (MC). MC is a complex biocultural attribute and therefore, its study requires a multi-sectoral, multi-, inter- and transdisciplinary approach. MC is a growing area of research, especially in children and adolescents due to its positive association with a plethora of health and developmental outcomes. Many questions, however, remain to be answered in this field of research, with regard to: (i) Health and Developmental-related Associations of MC; (ii) Assessment of MC; (iii) Prevalence and Trends of MC; (iv) Correlates and Determinants of MC; (v) MC Interventions, and (vi) Translating MC Research into Practice and Policy. This paper presents a narrative review of the literature, summarizing current knowledge, identifying key research gaps and presenting questions for future investigation on MC in children and adolescents. This is a collaborative effort from the International Motor Competence Network (IMCNetwork) a network of academics and researchers aiming to promote international collaborative research and knowledge translation in the expansive field of MC. The knowledge and deliverables generated by addressing and answering the aforementioned research questions on MC presented in this review have the potential to shape the ways in which researchers and practitioners promote MC and physical activity in children and adolescents across the world. View Full-Text
Keywords: motor development; motor coordination; fundamental movement skills; motor proficiency; physical activity motor development; motor coordination; fundamental movement skills; motor proficiency; physical activity
MDPI and ACS Style

Lopes, L.; Santos, R.; Coelho-e-Silva, M.; Draper, C.; Mota, J.; Jidovtseff, B.; Clark, C.; Schmidt, M.; Morgan, P.; Duncan, M.; O’Brien, W.; Bentsen, P.; D’Hondt, E.; Houwen, S.; Stratton, G.; De Martelaer, K.; Scheuer, C.; Herrmann, C.; García-Hermoso, A.; Ramírez-Vélez, R.; Palmeira, A.; Gerlach, E.; Rosário, R.; Issartel, J.; Esteban-Cornejo, I.; Ruiz, J.; Veldman, S.; Zhang, Z.; Colella, D.; Póvoas, S.; Haibach-Beach, P.; Pereira, J.; McGrane, B.; Saraiva, J.; Temple, V.; Silva, P.; Sigmund, E.; Sousa-Sá, E.; Adamakis, M.; Moreira, C.; Utesch, T.; True, L.; Cheung, P.; Carcamo-Oyarzun, J.; Charitou, S.; Chillón, P.; Robazza, C.; Silva, A.; Silva, D.; Lima, R.; Mourão-Carvalhal, I.; Khodaverdi, Z.; Zequinão, M.; Pereira, B.; Prista, A.; Agostinis-Sobrinho, C. A Narrative Review of Motor Competence in Children and Adolescents: What We Know and What We Need to Find Out. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 18.

AMA Style

Lopes L, Santos R, Coelho-e-Silva M, Draper C, Mota J, Jidovtseff B, Clark C, Schmidt M, Morgan P, Duncan M, O’Brien W, Bentsen P, D’Hondt E, Houwen S, Stratton G, De Martelaer K, Scheuer C, Herrmann C, García-Hermoso A, Ramírez-Vélez R, Palmeira A, Gerlach E, Rosário R, Issartel J, Esteban-Cornejo I, Ruiz J, Veldman S, Zhang Z, Colella D, Póvoas S, Haibach-Beach P, Pereira J, McGrane B, Saraiva J, Temple V, Silva P, Sigmund E, Sousa-Sá E, Adamakis M, Moreira C, Utesch T, True L, Cheung P, Carcamo-Oyarzun J, Charitou S, Chillón P, Robazza C, Silva A, Silva D, Lima R, Mourão-Carvalhal I, Khodaverdi Z, Zequinão M, Pereira B, Prista A, Agostinis-Sobrinho C. A Narrative Review of Motor Competence in Children and Adolescents: What We Know and What We Need to Find Out. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(1):18.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lopes, Luís, Rute Santos, Manuel Coelho-e-Silva, Catherine Draper, Jorge Mota, Boris Jidovtseff, Cain Clark, Mirko Schmidt, Philip Morgan, Michael Duncan, Wesley O’Brien, Peter Bentsen, Eva D’Hondt, Suzanne Houwen, Gareth Stratton, Kristine De Martelaer, Claude Scheuer, Christian Herrmann, António García-Hermoso, Robinson Ramírez-Vélez, António Palmeira, Erin Gerlach, Rafaela Rosário, Johann Issartel, Irene Esteban-Cornejo, Jonatan Ruiz, Sanne Veldman, Zhiguang Zhang, Dario Colella, Susana Póvoas, Pamela Haibach-Beach, João Pereira, Bronagh McGrane, João Saraiva, Viviene Temple, Pedro Silva, Erik Sigmund, Eduarda Sousa-Sá, Manolis Adamakis, Carla Moreira, Till Utesch, Larissa True, Peggy Cheung, Jaime Carcamo-Oyarzun, Sophia Charitou, Palma Chillón, Claudio Robazza, Ana Silva, Danilo Silva, Rodrigo Lima, Isabel Mourão-Carvalhal, Zeinab Khodaverdi, Marcela Zequinão, Beatriz Pereira, António Prista, and César Agostinis-Sobrinho. 2021. "A Narrative Review of Motor Competence in Children and Adolescents: What We Know and What We Need to Find Out" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 1: 18.

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