Impact of cultural background on fundamental movement skill and its correlates

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Children’s fundamental movement skill levels (FMS) predict moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Asian children have been reported as less active than English-Europeans, possibly due to poorer skills. This study compared the FMS of children from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds and examined FMS correlates. A total of 261 children (122 males) aged 9-to-11 years were divided based on language spoken at home: English-European (n = 105) and Asian (n = 156). Height, mass, FMS (Test of Gross Motor Development-2), MVPA (accelerometer) and cardio-respiratory fitness (20m multistage shuttle run) were directly measured. Sex, age, language and perceived sport competence (CY-PSPP) were self-reported. Independent sample t-tests assessed age, BMI, FMS and perception by CALD group. Linear mixed models examined FMS correlates. Asian-speaking children had lower object control skill (35.5 v 37.2; CI [0.17, 3.18]; p < 0.03) compared to English-European- children, but no between-group differences in locomotor skills were observed. Fitness, physical activity and sport competence perception were positively associated with object control, yet adjusting for these variables (and age and BMI) did not remove the CALD effect (B = −2.02, SE = 0.69, p = 0.004). Cultural factors may affect object control competence in Asian-Australian children.




Barnett, L. M., Telford, R. M., Strugnell, C., Rudd, J., Olive, L. S., & Telford, R. D. (2019). Impact of cultural background on fundamental movement skill and its correlates. Journal of Sports Sciences, 37(5), 492–499.

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