The Fundamental Motor Skills and Perceived Competence of Parents and Children in Performing Movements in Extremely Slim, Normal-Weight, Overweight, and Obese Children
Background & ObjectiveChildhood obesity is one of the epidemic problems in the whole world, affecting many aspects of children’s lives. According to evidence, high body mass index (BMI) is associated with the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and poor physical condition. One of the important factors causing a change in lifestyle to control weight, is the awareness of the weakening effects of overweight and obesity. The aim of this study was to compare “perceived competence” and “competency in performing motor skills” between three groups: normal-weight children, extremely slim children, and overweight and obese children.
MethodsThe research method was descriptive and of a causal-comparative type. The statistical population of this study was 460 10-year-old students residing in Isfahan City. We used a cluster sampling method to select this sample from among the students of two girls' schools and two boys’ schools located in District 3 of Isfahan City. There were respectively 200 and 230 10-year-old girls and boys in these schools, out of which we assigned 34 to the extremely slim group, 42 to the normal group, and 20 to the overweight and obese group. After completing the administrative procedure and getting necessary coordination done with the Isfahan Province Directorate-General for Education, and after the children’s parents completed the consent form and the children consented to their participation in this research, we were allowed to start our activities in these schools. First, we measured each participant’s height without shoes using a Seca stadiometer with a precision of 0.1 cm, and their weight with minimal clothes using a digital scale with a sensitivity of 0.1 kg. Based on the body mass index (BMI; the body weight in kilograms divided by the square of the body height in meters) and using international standard reference tables (IOTF), we classified the children into three categories: extremely slim, normal-weight, and overweight and obese children. According to the results, 20 subjects fell in the overweight and obese category, 42 in the normal-weight category, and 34 in the extremely slim category. We selected all 20 children who had fallen in the overweight and obese category. Fundamental motor skills were measured using The Test of Gross Motor Development (TGMD-2; Ulrich, 2000). This instrument contains twelve fundamental motor skills, which are categorized into two groups: Locomotor skills and object control skills. The locomotor skills group is aimed at evaluating gross motor skills that require coordination between body movements and the child’s movement. The object control skills group measures children’s general ability in manipulation skills. The running, trotting, hopscotch, leaping, precision jump, and sliding tests evaluate locomotor skills. Object control skills include the batting, dribbling, catching, kicking, overhead throw, and an underarm roll of a ball. We calculated the internal consistency reliability coefficients to be 0.78, 0.74 and 0. 80 on average for the movement score, the object control score, and the total score, respectively. We used Ulrich's test, and calculated the test-retest reliability coefficient to be ranging from 0.65 to 0.81, and the internal reliability of the scoreboard to be above 0. 95. We used Harter's scale (1985) to measure the children's competence perceived by children and parents. And we calculated the Cronbach's alpha coefficient to be 595% for self-perceived education, 557% for self-perceived behavior, and 692% for overall self-perception.
ResultsThe data showed that the fundamental motor skills of overweight and obese children, in the movement section and in total, were below those of extremely slim and normal-weight children, (p<0.01) but they were not different in the manipulation section. No significant differences were observed in the perception of children and parents about children’s competency in performing motor skills either.
ConclusionAlthough the motor skills of overweight and obese children were below those of extremely slim and normal-weight children, their parents and the children themselves did not perceive any differences between themselves and the other children in performing motor skills, and they did not, in fact, have a correct perception of motor competence. Accordingly, one of the ways to control weight is perhaps to give a correct perception of weight status and competency in performing motor skills, to parents and overweight and obese children.
Middle Eastern Journal of Disability Studies, Volume:8 Issue: 14, 2018
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