Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Education


Gross motor skills are an important component of a child’s health and development. Higher levels of competence in gross motor skills are positively associated with lower adiposity, higher levels of physical activity and physical fitness, and a higher perceived motor competence, as well as developmental outcomes such as cognitive development. However, children, and especially preschoolers, demonstrate low levels of gross motor skills. Given the importance of gross motor skills and the low levels demonstrated, early commencement of gross motor skill promotion is recommended. To address the gaps in the literature on gross motor skills in young children (under the age of five years), the following Doctoral research has been completed.

This Doctoral research comprises four studies resulting in six peer-reviewed papers and addresses several gaps in the literature regarding gross motor skills in the early years.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.