Exploring Correlates of Preschool-Aged Children's Locomotor Skills: Individual and Parent Demographics and Home Environment

Percept Mot Skills. 2021 Apr;128(2):649-671. doi: 10.1177/0031512520980938. Epub 2020 Dec 20.

Abstract

We examined individual and parental demographics and home environment factors associated with locomotor skills in predominantly Hispanic preschool-aged children. We used questionnaires to survey parents, included inquiries regarding parenting practices, parents' physical activity levels, and home-based physical activity resources; and we administered the Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) and the CHAMPS Motor Skills Protocol (CMSP) to children to measure the quantity and quality of their locomotor skills. Participants were 144 parents and their children (78.9% Hispanic, 49.3% girls) recruited from urban, community-based childcare and education centers. We examined the relationship between survey measures and PACER and CMSP scores with forward-selection stepwise linear regression models. Overall, 142 children completed the PACER, and 91 completed the CMSP. At the individual level, a child's age was positively associated with both PACER and CMSP scores, and girls had lower PACER scores than boys. In the home environment, parental promotion of more screen time was associated with a higher children's PACER score. In addition, higher parent concern for children's safety was associated with a lower PACER score. We identified several physical activity promoting parent practices as new home environment factors related to the preschool-aged children's locomotor development. Additional studies are needed to test new hypotheses generated from these data. ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03261492 (date of registration 8/25/17).

Keywords: Hispanic Americans; exercise; parenting; physical activity; social environment.

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03261492