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A hitchhiker's guide to assessing young people's motor competence : deciding what method to use

Bardid, Farid and Vannozzi, Giuseppe and Logan, Samuel W. and Hardy, Louise L. and Barnett, Lisa M. (2019) A hitchhiker's guide to assessing young people's motor competence : deciding what method to use. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 22 (3). pp. 311-318. ISSN 1878-1861

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Objectives: To offer a user’s guide to select appropriate measures of motor competence for children and adolescents. Design: Expert consensus among a working group of the International Motor Development Research Consortium (I-MDRC). Methods: The guide provides information on objective (motion devices and direct observation) and subjective (self-reports and proxy reports) methods for assessing motor competence among children and adolescents. Key characteristics (age group, sample size, delivery mode, assessment time, data output, data processing) as well as limitations and practical considerations (e.g., cost, sources of error) with regard to each method are included in this paper. We do not recommend specific instruments, rather a guide to assist researchers and practitioners interested in assessing children’s motor competence. Results: A decision flow chart was developed to support practitioners and researchers in selecting appropriate methods for measuring motor competence in young people. Real-life scenarios are presented to illustrate the use of different methods in research and practice. Conclusions: Policy makers, practitioners and researchers should consider the strengths and limitations of each method when measuring motor competence in children and adolescents. This will allow them to choose the most appropriate instrument(s) that meets their needs.