Associations among selected motor skills and health-related fitness: Indirect evidence for Seefeldt's proficiency barrier in young adults?

David F. Stodden, Larissa K. True, Stephen J. Langendorfer, Zan Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: This exploratory study examined the notion of Seefeldt's (1980) hypothesized motor skill "proficiency barrier" related to composite levels of health-related physical fitness (HRF) in young adults. Method: A motor skill competence (MSC) index composed of maximum throwing and kicking speed and jumping distance in 187 young adults aged 18 to 25 years old was evaluated against a composite index of 5 health-related fitness (HRF) test scores. MSC (high, moderate, and low) and HRF indexes (good, fair, and poor) were categorized according to normative fitness percentile ranges. 2 separate 3-way chi-square analyses were conducted to determine the probabilities of skill predicting fitness and fitness predicting skill. Results: Most correlations among HRF and MSC variables by gender demonstrated low-to-moderate positive correlations in both men (12/15; r = .23-.58) and women (14/15; r = .21-.53). Chi-square analyses for the total sample, using composite indexes, demonstrated statistically significant predictive models, χ2(1, N = 187) = 66.99, p < .001, Cramer's V =.42. Only 3.1% of low-skilled (2 of 65) individuals were classified as having a "good" HRF. Only 1 participant (out of 65) who demonstrated high MSC was classified as having "poor" HRF (1.5%). Conclusion: Although individual correlations among individual MSC and HRF measures were low to moderate, these data provide indirect evidence for the possibility of a motor skill "proficiency barrier" as indicated by low composite HRF levels. This study may generate future research to address the proficiency barrier hypothesis in youth as well as adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-403
Number of pages7
JournalResearch Quarterly for Exercise and Sport
Volume84
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 25 2013

Keywords

  • Cardiorespiratory fitness
  • Fitness levels
  • Gross motor skills
  • Skill development

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