Year

1999

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Department

Faculty of Education

Abstract

Physical inactivity has been considered a major public health issue among adolescents because of its high prevalence and its association with numerous adverse health outcomes during adolescence which may carry over to adulthood. A key to addressing this issue has been to identify the determinants that may influence an adolescent's decision to be physically active. A determinant that has been hypothesised is the level of proficiency of the motor skills used to participate in physical activity; however, this relationship has been virtually unexplored. This study investigated how organised sports and games, nonorganised physical activity, and cardiorespiratory endurance were each related to fundamental motor skill ability among adolescents. One thousand and seventy-two and 954 adolescents from Year 8 and Year 10, respectively, participated as subjects in this study. Organised sports and games and nonorganised physical activity were assessed by a self-report recall questionnaire of participation in physical activity. Cardiorespiratory endurance was measured by performance on the Multistage Fitness Test. Fundamental motor skill ability was qualitatively assessed by performance on a six-item fundamental motor skills test battery. Descriptive statistics plus multiple regression were used to analyse the data. Results suggested that participation in organised sports and games was significantly related to fundamental motor skill ability, F (4, 1831) = 14.30, p less than .0001, and that this relationship was stronger for males than for females. Participation in nonorganised physical activity was not significantly related to fundamental motor skill ability. Cardiorespiratory endurance was significantly related to fundamental motor skill ability, F (4, 1808) = 79.05, p less than .0001. For adolescents, fundamental motor skill ability may be an important variable influencing participation in organised sports and games and cardiorespiratory endurance and development of motor skills may increase adherence to a physically active lifestyle during adolescence which may carry over to adulthood.

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