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The role of fundamental movement skills and spatial abilities in the relationship between physical activity and mathematics achievement in primary school children

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-02-23, 10:49 authored by Jessica ScottJessica Scott, Tim Jay, Christopher SprayChristopher Spray
Research has demonstrated positive relationships between fundamental movement skills (FMS) and mathematics achievement in children, and this relationship may be mediated by spatial ability. Engaging in physical activity (PA) may also have positive outcomes on mathematics achievement; however, no study has investigated this network of relationships together. This study aimed to examine the relationship between PA and mathematics achievement, and the mediating effects of FMS and spatial abilities, in primary school children. Using a cross-sectional design, data were collected from 182 children (aged 7 to 8 years old) across four schools in England. Objective moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) levels and subjective parental reports of their children’s PA participation were collected. Children’s FMS were assessed, along with their performance on four spatial ability tasks and a mathematics test. Mediation analyses revealed no significant mediation effects of FMS and spatial abilities on the positive significant relationship between MVPA and mathematics achievement; however, spatial ability partially mediated the relationship between FMS and mathematics achievement. These results suggest that FMS and spatial ability may not be related to MVPA in this network of relationships, but children with more mature FMS perform better in mathematics due to them performing better on specific spatial ability tasks.

History

School

  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

Journal of Intelligence

Volume

12

Issue

2

Publisher

MDPI

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© the authors

Publisher statement

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Acceptance date

2024-02-13

Publication date

2024-02-16

Copyright date

2024

eISSN

2079-3200

Language

  • en

Depositor

Jessica Scott. Deposit date: 21 February 2024

Article number

22