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The effectiveness of a community-based fundamental motor skill intervention in children aged 3-8 years : results of the "Multimove for Kids" project

Bardid, Farid and Lenoir, Matthieu and Huyben, Floris and De Martelaer, Kristine and Seghers, Jan and Goodway, Jacqueline D. and Deconinck, Frederik J.A. (2017) The effectiveness of a community-based fundamental motor skill intervention in children aged 3-8 years : results of the "Multimove for Kids" project. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 20 (2). pp. 184-189. ISSN 1878-1861

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Objectives: The purpose of this study was to examinethe effectiveness of a 30-week fundamental motor skill program in typicallydeveloping young children and to investigate possible sex differences.Design: A multicenter quasi experimental design was setup for this study which involved 992 children aged 3-8 years. Methods: Allparticipants received their typical Physical Education curriculum and habitualmovement activities. The intervention group (n=523; 53.5% boys) received aweekly 60-min motor skill session provided by trained local instructors inexisting child settings; the control group (n=469; 49.7% boys) received noadditional practice. FMS were assessed using the Test of Gross MotorDevelopment, 2nd Edition before and after the intervention. To assess theeffect of the intervention and possible sex differences, hierarchical linearregressions analyses were conducted for locomotor and object control gainscores. Results: The intervention group demonstrated a highergain in both locomotor (β=3.78, SE=1.08, p<0.001) and object control(β=4.46, SE=1.06, p<0.001) skills than the control group. Girls demonstrateda lower gain in object control skills (β=-3.50, SE=0.49, p<0.001) and highergain in locomotor skills (β=1.01, SE=0.44, p=0.022) than boys, regardless of group. Conclusions: The present study demonstrated theeffectiveness of a wide-scale community-based intervention in typicallydeveloping children. The sex differences reported may indicate the need to usedifferent pedagogical and instructional strategies to enable boys and girls todevelop and master a wide range of motor skills.