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Kids active: the development and evaluation of an active play and fundamental movement skill intervention for preschool children

Duff, Christina (2018) Kids active: the development and evaluation of an active play and fundamental movement skill intervention for preschool children. Master of Science thesis, Dublin City University.

Introduction: Fundamental movement skills (FMS) are basic movement patterns that form the building blocks of physical activity (PA). The preschool years (ages 3-5) represent an important time for the development of FMS and healthy PA behaviours and the childcare setting plays an important role in this. Low levels of PA and FMS have been demonstrated for preschool children internationally, though research in Ireland has not yet focused on this age group. Objectives: The main aim of this study was to design and evaluate an educator-led FMS and PA (through active play) intervention for preschool children in services participating in the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) scheme. Additionally, this study aimed to investigate current levels of PA and FMS of preschool children in this setting during ECCE hours. Methods: The pilot programme was delivered to 42 educators from 18 services. Data were collected by trained researchers from 141 children in 9 preschool services (5 intervention, 4 control) in March 2016 (pre-intervention) and June 2016 (post-intervention). Accelerometry was used to collect PA data and FMS proficiency was measured for four skills using the Test of Gross Motor Development-2 (TGMD-2) (Ulrich, 2000). All educators who received the programme and those from the control group completed the CAN-Teach questionnaire (Derscheid et al, 2014) pre-and post-intervention (n=32) to measure confidence to teach PA. Results: At baseline, boys aged 3 were the most active with 46.9% meeting PA recommendations. Gender and age influenced PA, with boys more active than girls and younger children more active than older. Mastery or near mastery of FMS ranged from 4.9% (throw) to 88.4% (run). Post-intervention, intervention educators achieved significantly higher confidence scores than control educators. All children decreased sedentary behaviour (SB) and increased PA, with the intervention group significantly decreasing SB (-7 minutes) while the control group increased SB (+2.1 minutes) in hour two of the three-hour ECCE day. Children in the intervention group significantly increased scores in the throw compared to control group (increase of 1.3 vs 0.1). Conclusion: Increases in educator confidence highlights the potential for increasing educator confidence to deliver PA and FMS opportunities in ECCE services through training. Although PA changes were small, significant differences in the throw show potential for the Kids Active programme over a longer time frame. Further research, including a qualitative component, is warranted to gain greater understanding of how to influence PA behaviour and FMS development in ECCE.
Item Type:Thesis (Master of Science)
Date of Award:November 2018
Supervisor(s):Belton, Sarahjane and Issartel, Johann
Uncontrolled Keywords:Fundamental movement skills (FMS); physical activity
Subjects:Medical Sciences > Exercise
Medical Sciences > Health
Social Sciences > Education
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science and Health > School of Health and Human Performance
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. View License
Funders:Medtronix Healthy Community Fund
ID Code:22644
Deposited On:22 Nov 2018 11:26 by Sarah Jane Belton . Last Modified 11 Sep 2020 03:30

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