Associations between domains of physical literacy by weight status in 8- to 12-year-old Canadian children

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Background
The Canadian Assessment of Physical Literacy (CAPL) is divided into four domains (Physical Competence, Daily Behaviour, Motivation and Confidence, and Knowledge and Understanding) and provides a robust and comprehensive assessment of physical literacy. As weight status is known to influence health-related behaviours such as physical fitness and activity, it is important to investigate whether the associations between the domains of physical literacy vary among children of different weight status. The aim of this study was to determine the associations among the four domains of physical literacy stratified by weight status.

Methods
Canadian children aged 8 to 12 years (n = 8343, 63.6% healthy-weight) completed the CAPL. Differences in domain scores and overall physical literacy score by weight status (children of healthy weight versus children with overweight/obese) were assessed using MANOVA (multivariate analysis of variance). Partial correlations between the four domains were calculated, adjusting for gender and age, and correlation coefficients of both weight status groups were compared using the Steiger test.

Results
For all four domains as well as overall physical literacy, healthy-weight children had higher scores than their overweight/obese peers (Cohen’s d ranged from 0.05 to 0.44). Weak to moderate correlations were found between all of the domains for both groups. Correlation coefficients for Physical Competence and Daily Behaviour as well as for Physical Competence and Knowledge and Understanding were generally stronger in the healthy-weight children (r = 0.29 and 0.22, respectively) compared with the overweight/obese children (r = 0.23 and 0.17, respectively).

Conclusions
All of the domains of the CAPL correlate positively with each other regardless of weight status, with a trend for these correlation coefficients to be slightly stronger in the healthy-weight children. The overall weak to moderate correlations between the domains in both groups suggest that the CAPL domains are not measuring the same constructs, thus providing support for CAPL’s psychometric architecture in both healthy-weight and overweight/obese children.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-018-5898-3

Associations between domains of physical literacy by weight status in 8- to 12-year-old Canadian children

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