The associations among fundamental movement skills, self-reported physical activity and academic performance during junior high school in Finland

Timo Jaakkola, Charles Hillman, Sami Kalaja, Jarmo Liukkonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to analyse the longitudinal associations between (1) fundamental movement skills (FMSs) and academic performance, and (2) self-reported physical activity and academic performance through junior high school in Finland. The participants of the study were 325 Finnish students (162 girls and 163 boys), who were 13 years old at the beginning of the study at Grade 7. Students performed three FMS tests and responded to a self-reported physical activity questionnaire at Grades 7 and 8. Marks in Finnish language, mathematics and history from Grades 7, 8 and 9 were collected. Structural equation modelling with multigroup method demonstrated that in the boys’ group, a correlation (0.17) appeared between FMS and academic performance measured at Grade 7. The results also indicated that FMS collected at Grade 8 were significantly but weakly (path coefficient 0.14) associated with academic performance at Grade 9 for both gender groups. Finally, the results of this study demonstrated that self-reported physical activity was not significantly related to academic performance during junior high school. The findings of this study suggest that mastery of FMS may contribute to better student achievement during junior high school.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1719-1729
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Volume33
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2 2015

Keywords

  • academic performance
  • fundamental movement skills
  • physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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