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.
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