Use of electronic games by young children and fundamental movement skills?



Publication Details

Barnett, L. M., Hinkley, T., Okely, A. D., Hesketh, K. & Salmon, J. (2012). Use of electronic games by young children and fundamental movement skills?. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 114 (3), 1023-1034.


This study investigated associations between pre-school children's time spent playing electronic games and their fundamental movement skills. In 2009, 53 children had physical activity (Actigraph accelerometer counts per minute), parent proxy-report of child's time in interactive and non-interactive electronic games (min./week), and movement skill (Test of Gross Motor Development-2) assessed. Hierarchical linear regression, adjusting for age (range = 3-6 years), sex (Step 1), and physical activity (cpm; M = 687, SD = 175.42; Step 2), examined the relationship between time in (a) non-interactive and (b) interactive electronic games and locomotor and object control skill. More than half (59%, n = 31) of the children were female. Adjusted time in interactive game use was associated with object control but not locomotor skill. Adjusted time in non-interactive game use had no association with object control or locomotor skill. Greater time spent playing interactive electronic games is associated with higher object control skill proficiency in these young children. Longitudinal and experimental research is required to determine if playing these games improves object control skills or if children with greater object control skill proficiency prefer and play these games.

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