The Movement Assessment Battery for Children--Second Edition (MABC-2): a review and critique

Phys Occup Ther Pediatr. 2009;29(1):86-103. doi: 10.1080/01942630802574908.


The Movement Assessment Battery for Children--Second Edition (MABC-2) is a recent revision of the well-known Movement Assessment Battery for Children (MABC). The MABC-2 is designed to identify and describe impairments in motor performance of children and adolescents 3 through 16 years of age. The Performance Test and the Checklist have been standardized using a larger, more representative normative sample. The evolution of the MABC-2 and research using the MABC is presented to provide a context for the MABC-2. The content of the MABC-2 is described including the scoring format, standardization sample, reliability, and validity. The MABC-2 includes four new items, the revision of some items, the creation of a 3- through 6-year and 11- through 16-year age bands, the combination of the 7- through 8- and 9- through 10-year age bands, and a system to assist with score interpretation. The Checklist has been reorganized and the total number of items reduced to 30. The primary weakness of the MABC-2 is the lack of evidence on reliability and validity. The quality, comprehensiveness, and rigor of reliability and validity studies reported in the test manual are variable. Considering the strengths and weakness of the MABC-2, it appears to be a clinically useful instrument, however, until further reliability and validity studies are completed, therapists should be guarded when basing their clinical decisions solely on MABC-2 test results.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Development / physiology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Motor Skills / physiology
  • Motor Skills Disorders / classification
  • Motor Skills Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Motor Skills Disorders / physiopathology
  • Physical Examination / methods*
  • Postural Balance / physiology
  • Reproducibility of Results