Motor skills of typically developing adolescents: awkwardness or improvement?

Phys Occup Ther Pediatr. 2000;20(1):19-42.


To identify sex differences and developmental trends in motor performance and coordination across three stages of development: prepubertal, pubertal and postpubertal, 60 participants, 30 males and 30 females, were assessed on 13 motor tasks. Physical characteristics that accompany puberty were used to classify the participants into the stages. Analysis of variance and covariate analyses demonstrated that motor performance improves throughout adolescence in both males and females and that sex differences exist in motor performance, males performing better than females. The magnitude of the stage and sex differences were demonstrated by large effect sizes (eta 2). The motor tasks of long jump, running speed, and throwing a ball principally distinguished between the males and females. Female performance differed less from male performance after puberty. Results showed no.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / physiology*
  • Age Factors
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Child
  • Child Development / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Skills / physiology*
  • Puberty / physiology*
  • Sex Factors
  • Task Performance and Analysis