Nav: Home

Girls need more positive experiences of ball skills

March 21, 2019

Children's positive perception of moving is an important supporter for natural physical activity and developing motor skills. A study at the University of Jyväskylä suggests that children had high perceptions of motor skills. Some gender differences were identified, however: girls were better in locomotor skills and boys had higher perception and actual skills in ball skills.

"Because ball skills are typically utilized in versatile surroundings and good ball skills are a predictor for more frequent physical activity levels in adolescence, we should encourage girls to play more with balls already in early education," says PhD student Donna Niemistö from Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences. "In boys, there could be more locomotor skills like galloping and hopping involved. Niemistö concludes, "All children regardless of gender have a right to have positive and encouraging experiences of movement."

The Skilled Kids study, conducted at the University of Jyväskylä from 2015 to 2017, investigated perceptions of motor competence among children between the ages of 5 to 7 years. Perception is a measure of how good children feel they are at doing given motor tasks. Perception and actual motor competence were measured with 13 different skills subdivided into movement and ball skills. The results showed that young children have high perceptions of their actual skills, for which Niemistö credits the Finnish early education system and parents

"The interest, feedback and more importantly the time spent together with adults supports children's positive perception of their motor skills. As children become older, the more critically they start to evaluate their actual skills. Reasonable depth enhances children's safety in moving but it should not passivate him. Therefore, the adult's role as supporter along the way is important."

Age and BMI are the most important factors for perception

A child's perception of their actual skills can either motivate or demotivate the child to be physically active. If a child trusts in their actual skills and is eager to be physically active, he will similarly accumulate better motor skills.

Even though perceptions are crucial for motivation and for actual skills, knowledge about associated factors with better perceptions:

"We managed to explain less than 10% of related factors of perceptions locomotor and ball skills. Most strongly associated with higher perceptions were lower age and higher BMI SDS (body composition)."

The study showed that the older children become, the more realistically they evaluate themselves. The result supports earlier international research findings. Additionally, higher BMI SDS was associated with higher perceptions.

"When it comes to body composition and its association with perceptions, the result was exceptional. It is in line with previous studies that suggest body composition is associated with evaluations, but the direction of the association is surprising. However, it is important to bear in mind that this exceptional result might reflect different phases of maturation rather than body composition itself. Either way, there is a need to study the association further," Niemistö says.
-end-


University of Jyväskylä - Jyväskylän yliopisto

Related Perception Articles:

Musical perception: nature or nurture?
This is the subject of the research by Juan Manuel Toro (ICREA) and Carlota Pagès Portabella, researchers at the Center for Brain and Cognition, published in the journal Psychophysiology as part of a H2020 project being carried out with Fundació Bial to understand the neuronal bases of musical cognition.
Perception of musical pitch varies across cultures
Unlike US residents, people in a remote area of the Bolivian rain forest usually do not perceive the similarities between two versions of the same note played at different registers, an octave apart.
Olfactory and auditory stimuli change the perception of our body
A pioneering investigation developed by the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) alongside the University of Sussex and University College London, shows that olfactory stimuli combined with auditory stimuli can change our perception of our body.
How brain rhythms organize our visual perception
Imagine that you are watching a crowded hang-gliding competition, keeping track of a red and orange glider's skillful movements.
Traumas change perception in the long term
People with maltreatment experiences in their childhood have a changed perception of social stimuli later as adults.
More Perception News and Perception Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Erasing The Stigma
Many of us either cope with mental illness or know someone who does. But we still have a hard time talking about it. This hour, TED speakers explore ways to push past — and even erase — the stigma. Guests include musician and comedian Jordan Raskopoulos, neuroscientist and psychiatrist Thomas Insel, psychiatrist Dixon Chibanda, anxiety and depression researcher Olivia Remes, and entrepreneur Sangu Delle.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...