Assessing children's gross-motor development: Parent and teacher agreement. implication for school and wellbeing

Livia Taverna, Marta Tremolada, Sabrina Bonichini, Francesca Sangiuliano Intra, Antonella Brighi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Psychological assessments, particularly with young children, rely on developmental estimations reported by different caregivers (i.e. parents and teachers). The degree of accordance between different informants is very important to detect early impairments or delays in different developmental domains.To date, recentresearch studies have drawn attention to the association between gross motor proficiency in infancyand later academic successorchildren's personal wellbeingthrough the long-term effects of gross motor domain on social acceptance, general participation in play, and willingness to take part in social activities in general.This investigationexamined parents' and teachers'agreement in rating107 pupils' gross motor development. Caregivers' estimationswere compared with children's actual motor skillsperformedat standardized clinical assessment testing for their accuracy. The convenient sample was composed from 47 kindergarten children, 60 first graders (age range 4-6 yearolds). Parents and teachers were interviewed with the Vineland Adaptive Behaviour Scales(VABS-II) and children completed the gross motor proficiency tasks of the Movement Assessment Battery for Children-2 (MABC-2). Findings revealed significant differences in caregivers ratings of children's gross motor development with respect to the Walking and Running, Play Activity and Total Score of the VABS-II. Teachers' ratings were higher when assessing the ability to run and throwing balls but were lower when reporting children's performances in handling bikes and balance skills. Estimations differed in the Aiming and Catching and Static-Dynamic Balance subscales of the MABC-2. Overall caregiver estimations correlated with children's actual motor proficiency. Parent judgements have been found to be more accurate than those of teachers. Results are discussed in light of practical considerations for the school setting, teacher disciplinary preparation in estimating children's motor skills, and situation specificity influence on caregivers' assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number63
Pages (from-to)560-566
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Education and Sport
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Gross motor development ratings
  • Parent teacher agreement
  • School
  • Wellbeing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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