Modeling and Motor Performance: A Developmental Perspective

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The present study was designed to examine the effects of age, modeling and verbal self-instruction on children’s performance of a sequential motor task. Eighty-four children between the ages of 4-0 and 5-11 years and 84 children between the ages of 7-0 and 8-11 years were randomly assigned to one of six instructional conditions in a 2 × 3 × 2 (age × model type × verbal self-instruction) factorial design. Results revealed that older children performed better than younger children on motor, verbal-cognitive, and attentional measures. More importantly, an age by model type interaction revealed that model effectiveness depended on the age of the observer as well as the type of model observed. Specifically, 7- and 8-year-old children performed equally well after observing either a silent or verbal model, while the 4- and 5-year-olds performed best under a verbal model only. The absence of verbal self-instructional effects was attributed to task difficulty, information processing capabilities and methodological procedures. In general, the results supported the notion that developmental factors play a critical role in the modeling process, and both theoretical and practical implications are outlined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-197
Number of pages8
JournalResearch Quarterly for Exercise and Sport
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1983


  • Age differences
  • Developmental factors
  • Modeling
  • Motor performance
  • Verbal self-instruction


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