Objective: To test a theoretical model linking developmental coordination disorder (DCD) to reduced physical activity (PA) through the mediating influence of generalized self-efficacy regarding PA.
Study design: This was a cross-sectional investigation of students in grades 4 through 8 from 5 elementary schools in the Niagara region of Ontario, Canada (n=590). Motor proficiency was evaluated using the short-form Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency. Generalized self-efficacy was assessed using the Children's Self-Perceptions of Adequacy in and Predilection for Physical Activity scale, and PA levels were evaluated using a 61-item Participation Questionnaire. Structural equation modeling was used to test the influence of generalized self-efficacy on the relationship between DCD and PA.
Results: In this sample, 7.5% (n=44) of the children met the requirements for probable DCD. The effect of DCD on PA was mediated by generalized self-efficacy. In this model, 28% of the variance in children's PA was predicted by generalized self-efficacy and DCD.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that children with DCD are less likely to be physically active and that generalized self-efficacy can account for a considerable proportion of this relationship. The implications for appropriate interventions to increase PA among children with DCD are discussed.