Developmental coordination disorder, generalized self-efficacy toward physical activity, and participation in organized and free play activities

J Pediatr. 2005 Oct;147(4):515-20. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2005.05.013.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attitude
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological
  • Motor Activity*
  • Motor Skills Disorders / psychology*
  • Play and Playthings / psychology
  • Self Efficacy*
  • Self-Assessment