Assessing fundamental motor skills in Belgian children aged 3-8 years highlights differences to US reference sample

Farid Bardid, Floris Huyben, Matthieu Lenoir, Jan Seghers, Kristine De Martelaer, Jacqueline D Goodway, Frederik J A Deconinck

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39 Citations (Scopus)
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AIM: This study aimed to understand the fundamental motor skills (FMS) of Belgian children using the process-oriented Test of Gross Motor Development, Second Edition (TGMD-2) and to investigate the suitability of using the United States (USA) test norms in Belgium. METHODS: FMS were assessed using the TGMD-2. Gender, age and motor performance were examined in 1614 Belgian children aged 3-8 years (52.1% boys) and compared with the US reference sample. RESULTS: More proficient FMS performance was found with increasing age, from 3 to 6 years for locomotor skills and 3 to 7 years for object control skills. Gender differences were observed in object control skills, with boys performing better than girls. In general, Belgian children had lower levels of motor competence than the US reference sample, specifically for object control skills. The score distribution of the Belgian sample was skewed, with 37.4% scoring below average and only 6.9% scoring above average. CONCLUSION: This study supported the usefulness of the TGMD-2 as a process-oriented instrument to measure gross motor development in early childhood in Belgium. However, it also demonstrated that caution is warranted when using the US reference norms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e281-e290
Number of pages10
JournalActa Paediatrica
Issue number6
Early online date22 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2016


  • Belgium
  • early childhood
  • fundamental motor skills
  • test of gross motor development


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