Date of Award

Summer 2022

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Physical Education

First Advisor

David F. Stodden

Abstract

Motor competence assessment has been characterized by the evaluation of motor skill performance in closed performance contexts that lack task and environmental constraints reflective of real-world contexts. In contrast, the throw-catch (TC) assessment employs a dynamic task environment that allows performers to adapt over multiple trials to evaluate the degree of skilled performance via demonstration of a flexible and adaptable repertoire of both throwing and catching actions. The purpose of this dissertation was to investigate the developmental validity of the TC, as well as the content validity of the TC in terms of assessing throwing skillfulness.

Performance of the TC task demonstrated a strong positive relationship with age (r = .743) in participants 8-22 years old and demonstrated similar trends in both males (r = .746) and females (r = .698). Further, TC scores demonstrated strong relationships with process- (component developmental sequences; r = .588) and productoriented (maximum throwing speed; r = .640) assessments of throwing skill in young adults.

These data provide preliminary support for the TC as a developmentally valid and practical assessment of throwing. In addition, this novel assessment enhances the ecological validity of MC assessment via the integration of two foundational motor skills that are concurrently performed in many real-world performance contexts, demonstrating the complementary interplay between the two skills. Future research on the TC assessment should verify its validity via longitudinal designs and with larger culturally diverse samples.

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