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Different Fundamental Movement Skill Development Vary by Sex: Evidence from Chinese 6-year-old Children
1 , * 2
1  College of Physical Education and Health Sciences, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua 321004, Zhejiang, China
2  Zhejiang Sports Science Institute


This study conducted to assess and explore the gender-based differences in gross motor skill development of 6-year-old Chinese children. All participants,6 years of age (271 males and 276 females), from 7 kindergartens in Hangzhou, a city of Zhejiang Province, China. Gross motor skills, including six locomotor and seven object control skills, were assessed using the test of gross motor development, third edition (TGMD-3). All subjects performed two trials of each gross motor skill, and the performances were video-recorded and scored. Assessment procedures were performed according to the standardized guidelines of the TGMD-3. The score of locomotor(31.57±5.97) was higher than that of object control(29.09±6.72). Furthermore, boys had significantly higher object-control subtest (p=0.01,) and Gross Motor Skill scores (p=0.032)than girls. In the locomotor test, boys were better than girls in the run(p=0.000) and girls were better than boys in the skip(p0.03).There are significant differences between boys and girls in the test of object control(p=0.001),such as underhand throw(p=0.001),two hand catch(p=0.007),forehand strike self-bounced ball(p=0.043),two-handed strike of a stationary ball(p=0.000),kick a stationary ball(p=0.000),and boys are better than girls. These results are partly consistent with those in other countries and regions but also have local characteristics. There are biological and sociological reasons for the gender differences in fundamental motor skills of 6-year-old children. It is recommended to strengthen the training of girls' object control motor skills and improve the moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA) among females.

Keywords: Children; Motor development; Locomotor; Object control; Assessment; Gender