Associations of physical fitness and motor competence with reading skills in 9- and 12-year-old children: a longitudinal study
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionSage Open. 2017, . 10.1177/2158244017712769
This longitudinal study explores the association of motor competence and physical fitness with reading skills in children aged 9 and 12 years. Sixty-seven children aged 9 years completed an assessment of motor competence (measured using the Movement Assessment battery for Children), physical fitness (assessed using the Test of Physical Fitness), and reading (measured using the Wordchain test). The testing procedures were repeated after 32 months. For the 9-year-old group, there was a low, negative correlation between motor competence and reading overall, r = −.031 (girls: r = −.207; boys: r = .180). Correlation between fitness and reading was also low (r = .064). Girls had a higher correlation between fitness and reading than boys (r = .404; 17.7% shared variance, vs. r = −.138). When the children were 12 years old, there was still a low association of motor competence and fitness with reading. These low associations can be used to support the task specificity principles of learning.