TitleThe comparison of school-age children's performance on two motor assessments: the Test of Gross Motor Development and the Movement Assessment Battery for Children
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsLogan, SW, Robinson, LE, Rudisill, ME, Wadsworth, DD, Morera, M
JournalPhysical Education & Sport Pedagogy
Pagination48 - 59
Date Published01/2014
KeywordsProgram Evaluation

Background: Competence in the motor domain is associated with positive, health-related outcomes. Physical education teachers often administer assessments into their programs to measure motor competence for a variety of reasons. Recently, researchers have questioned the relatedness of performance on different assessments. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare motor assessment outcomes of the Test of Gross Motor Development-2 (TGMD-2) and the Movement Assessment Battery for Children-2 (MABC-2) in school-age children. Method: Sixty-five children (M = 6.7 years) completed the TGMD-2 and the MABC-2. The TGMD-2 includes two subscales: object control and locomotor skills. The MABC-2 includes three subscales: manual dexterity, aiming and catching, and balance. Standard scores and percentile rankings were used for analysis. Findings: Although 10 of the possible 12 Pearson correlations were significant, the range of r² values was 0.07–0.27 indicating low practical significance. A paired samples t-test revealed that participants scored higher on the MABC-2 (M = 42.2 percentile) compared to the TGMD-2 (M = 17.2 percentile, p < 0.01). A 2 (sex) × 3 (grade) MANOVA revealed no significant sex differences on total performance of the TGMD-2 (F = 0.85, p = 0.36) or the MABC-2 (F = 0.2, p = 0.66), indicating that boys and girls performed similarly on each assessment. Results also revealed no significant differences on total performance on the MABC-2 (F = 0.93, p = 0.4) based on the grade level. However, a grade difference was found on the TGMD-2 (F = 4.3, p = 0.02; η² = 0.128). Tukey's post hoc analysis revealed a significantly higher TGMD-2 performance for first graders compared to second graders (p = 0.03). No significant interaction effect was found for either assessment (p > 0.05). Results indicate that both assessments agreed on 9 out of 11 possible children as at-risk of Developmental Coordination Disorder (81.8% agreement) and 27 out of 29 children as delayed in the motor domain (93.1% agreement). Conclusions: The TGMD-2 and MABC-2 measure different aspects and/or levels of motor competence and should not be used interchangeably. Each assessment may be used to complement each other. Given the level of agreement between the TGMD-2 and the MABC-2 to identify children as at-risk of Developmental Coordination Disorder and developmentally delayed in the motor domain, it may be recommended that physical education teachers administer the TGMD-2 as part of annual testing. Physical educators can act as the first line of defense in early identification of motor delay and can make the appropriate referral based on TGMD-2 performance.