Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2018) 17, 197 - 204

Research article
Multivariate Relationships among Morphology, Fitness and Motor Coordination in Prepubertal Girls
Leonardo G. O. Luz1,2, Manuel J. Coelho-e-Silva2,3, , João P. Duarte2,3,4, João Valente-dos-Santos2,4,5,6, Aristides Machado-Rodrigues2,7,8, André Seabra9, Bruno C. M. Carmo1, Roel Vaeyens10,11, Renaat M. Philippaerts11, Sean P. Cumming12, Robert M. Malina13
Author Information
1 LACAPS, Federal University of Alagoas, Arapiraca, Brazil
10 Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Department of Movement and Sports Sciences, Ghent University, Gent, Belgium
11 Club Brugge KV, Brugge, Belgium
12 Department for Health, University of Bath, Bath, UK
13 Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, USA
2 CIDAF, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
3 FCDEF, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
4 FCT, Lisbon, Portugal
5 IBILI, University of Coimbra, Portugal
6 Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Lusofona University of Humanities and Technologies, Lisbon Portugal
7 CIAS, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
8 School of Education, Polytechnic Institute of Viseu, Viseu, Portugal
9 CIAFEL, FADE, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal

Manuel J. Coelho-e-Silva
✉ Estadio Universitario de Coimbra, Pavilhao III, 3040-156 Coimbra, Portugal
Publish Date
Received: 12-01-2018
Accepted: 20-02-2018
Published (online): 14-05-2018
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Motor coordination and physical fitness are multidimensional concepts which cannot be reduced to a single variable. This study evaluated multivariate relationships among morphology, physical fitness and motor coordination in 74 pre-pubertal girls 8.0-8.9 years of age. Data included body dimensions, eight fitness items and four motor coordination tasks (KTK battery). Maturity status was estimated as percentage of predicted mature stature attained at the time of observation. Canonical correlation analysis was used to examine the relationships between multivariate domains. Significant pairs of linear functions between indicators of morphology and fitness (rc = 0.778, Wilks’ Lambda = 0.175), and between fitness and motor coordination (rc = 0.765, Wilks’ Lambda = 0.289) were identified. Girls who were lighter and had a lower waist-to-stature ratio and % fat mass attained better scores in the endurance run, sit-ups and standing long jump tests, but poorer performances in hand grip strength and 2-kg ball throw. Better fitness test scores were also associated with better motor coordination scores. Relationships between body size and estimated fatness with motor fitness suggested an inverse relationship that was particularly evident in performance items that required the displacement of the body through space, while motor coordination was more closely related with fitness than with somatic variables.

Key words: Body size, predicted adult stature, canonical correlation, movement proficiency, KTK test

           Key Points
  • Morphology and motor coordination were not substantially related in this sample of 8-year-old girls suggesting that motor coordination was independent of variation in morphology.
  • Sit-ups (abdominal strength and endurance), the 10x5-m shuttle run (agility) and the 20-m aerobic endurance tests were the main contributors to the significant canonical correlation between fitness and motor coordination. By inference, development of these components of fitness is important during the primary school years.
  • Relationships between estimated maturity status based on percentage of predicted mature height and fitness and coordination were negligible, with the exception of a moderate and inverse association with aerobic endurance. Nevertheless, within the single chronological age group, girls who were advanced in maturity status tended to taller and heavier and performed better in tests which did not require displacement of the body through space.
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