The effects of physical education on motor competence in children and adolescents: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionSports. 2020, 8 (6) 10.3390/sports8060088
Appropriate levels of motor competence are an integrated part of individuals’ health-related fitness, and physical education is proposed as an important context for developing a broad range of motor skills. The aim of the current study was to apply meta-analyses to assess the effectiveness of curriculum-based physical education on the development of the overall motor competence of children and adolescents. Studies were located by searching seven databases and included according to predefined criteria. Random effects models using the standardized effect size (Hedges’ g) were used to aggregate results, including an examination of heterogeneity and inconsistency. The meta-analysis included 20 studies, and a total of 38 effect sizes were calculated. A statistically significant improvement in motor competence following curriculum-based physical education compared to active control groups was observed in children and adolescents (g = −0.69, 95% CI −0.91 to −0.46, n = 23). Participants’ ages, total time for physical education intervention, and type of motor competence assessment did not appear to be statistically significant moderators of effect size. Physical education with various curricula can, therefore, increase overall motor competence in children and adolescents.