Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Preferred Name - First Author

Eleni Mayes

Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Department

Department of Kinesiology

Advisor(s)

Dr. Elizabeth Edwards

Dr. Sarah Carson Sackett

Dr. Jeremy Akers

Abstract

The development and proficiency of motor skills are a vital part of physical activity levels and overall health of children. Previous research has connected the level of physical activity participation in children to the amount of time spent physically active in adulthood. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of an object control and locomotor skill intervention on preschool-aged children's ability to produce those skills independently as assessed using the Test for Gross Motor Development-3rd Edition (TGMD-3). Participants included 19 children between the ages of 3-5 who took part in the Healthy Kids Program through the Morrison Bruce Center of James Madison University. Analysis of the data revealed statistically significant increases in proficiency in the all of the object control skills. Tossing yielded an average score of 4.07 ± 1.94 at baseline and 4.60 ± 1.84 post-intervention resulting in a p-value < 0.001. Kicking saw a slightly larger increase in proficiency from baseline to post-intervention (baseline:2.29 ± 1.33; post: 4.53 ± 1.60; p < 0.001). Catching showed an average score of 3.40 ± 1.34 at baseline and 3.53 ± 1.13 at post-intervention (p<0.001). The final object control skill tested, throwing, yielded the second greatest increase in this category (baseline: 2.60 ± 2.23; post: 3.47 ± 1.64; p = 0.0213). The locomotor skills that were taught and assessed over the 12-week study also showed significant increases in proficiency. Gallop increased from 3.33 ± 1.72 to 5.13 ± 1.60 (p<0.001) from baseline to post-intervention. Jumping started at an average score of 4.20 ± 2.11 at baseline and increased to 5.60 ± 2.06 at post-intervention (p < 0.001). Sliding (baseline: 5.60 ± 2.87; post: 7.07 ± 1.49; p = 0.0125), hopping (baseline: 2.47 ± 1.92; post: 3.40 ± 2.16; p < 0.001) and running (baseline: 3.93 ± 1.81; post: 4.93 ± 1.91; p < 0.001) all saw an significant increase in proficiency as well. These results indicate that a 10-week program that meets once a week can be successful in improving motor skill proficiency among 3-5 year old children.

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