Exploring Correlates of Preschool-Aged Children’s Locomotor Skills: Individual and Parent Demographics and Home Environment

Jacob Szeszulski, Elizabeth Lorenzo, Teresia O’Connor, Jennie L. Hill, Gabriel Q. Shaibi, Matthew P. Buman, Sonia Vega-López, Steven P. Hooker, Rebecca E. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examined individual and parental demographics and home environment factors associated with locomotor skills in predominantly Hispanic preschool-aged children. We used questionnaires to survey parents, included inquiries regarding parenting practices, parents’ physical activity levels, and home-based physical activity resources; and we administered the Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) and the CHAMPS Motor Skills Protocol (CMSP) to children to measure the quantity and quality of their locomotor skills. Participants were 144 parents and their children (78.9% Hispanic, 49.3% girls) recruited from urban, community-based childcare and education centers. We examined the relationship between survey measures and PACER and CMSP scores with forward-selection stepwise linear regression models. Overall, 142 children completed the PACER, and 91 completed the CMSP. At the individual level, a child’s age was positively associated with both PACER and CMSP scores, and girls had lower PACER scores than boys. In the home environment, parental promotion of more screen time was associated with a higher children’s PACER score. In addition, higher parent concern for children’s safety was associated with a lower PACER score. We identified several physical activity promoting parent practices as new home environment factors related to the preschool-aged children’s locomotor development. Additional studies are needed to test new hypotheses generated from these data. ClinicalTrials.gov

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)649-671
Number of pages23
JournalPerceptual and Motor Skills
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Hispanic Americans
  • exercise
  • parenting
  • physical activity
  • social environment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Sensory Systems


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