A Narrative Review of Children’s Movement Competence Research 1997-2017

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This paper reviews empirical research exploring primary/elementary school aged children movement competence assessment over the twenty year period, 1997-2017. The review occurs within the context of a recent global report into children’s physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and movement competence revealing many children reach adolescence with poor movement competence attainment. A qualitative, narrative review of this extant literature on children’s movement competence research was undertaken. Themes were interpretatively drawn from an examination of the summaries. The number of different test types and protocols used in this field of research complicates the comparison of findings and outcomes of the research. The most common reported upon factor in movement competence was gender. Evidence of an association between movement competence, physical activity intensity and habitual physical activity was found. The sameness of the findings over the past twenty years leads us to suggest that new and novel research methods would enhance understanding in this area, particularly with regards to programs that are successful in moving more children towards movement competence benchmarks.

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