Does perception of motor competence mediate associations between motor competence and physical activity in early years children?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Coventry University


To examine if the relationship between physical activity (PA) and actual motor competence (MC) in British early years children is mediated by their perceived MC. Design: Cross-sectional convenience observational study.

MC was assessed with six locomotor skills (LC) and six object-control skills (OC) via the Test of Gross Motor Development-2. PA was measured via a wrist-worn triaxial accelerometer and PA grouped as daily total PA (TPA) and moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA). Perceived MC was assessed using the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Acceptance for Young Children. A total of 38 children (63% male; 37% female) aged between 3 and 6 years (5.41 ± 0.69) completed all assessments. Mediating impacts of perceived MC on the relationships between PA and MC were explored via backwards mediation regressions.

There were no mediating impacts of perceived MC on the relationship between PA and actual MC.

The relationship between actual MC and PA is not mediated by perceived MC in a small sample of British early years childhood.


Original languageEnglish
Article number77
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


  • physical activity, motor competence, preschool, children, young, perceived motor competence