Validating the speed and agility motor screen (SAMS) as a motor performance-related fitness measure for children

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This study aimed to assess the test-retest reliability and concurrent-validity of the Speed and Agility Motor Screen (SAMS) as a motor-performance-related fitness measure for children and determine if the SAMS could better predict poor motor-proficiency in overweight/obese children compared to the general paediatric population. The final aim was to establish if a SAMS cut-off time could be determined to identify children who may benefit from further investigation of their gross-motor skills. A concurrent validity and test-retest reliability study design was implemented with a convenience sample of 233 school-aged children (n=M-120;F-113), aged 5-17 years (Mean±SD:11.44 ± 2.18yrs), from public, Catholic and Independent schools. Completed measures included: Bruininks-Oseretsky-Test-of-Motor-Proficiency-2nd Edition (BOT2) and the SAMS. A representative sample (n=77) also completed Body-Mass-Index (BMI) measurements (Mean ±SD: BMI percentile = 50.27±30.86). Results indicate a strong test-retest reliability of the SAMS (ICC=0.87, 95% CI: 0.710, 0.816). The motor components of balance (15.8%), bilateral-coordination (2.8%), strength (18.7%), running-speed and agility (22.9%) were all significant contributors to the SAMS completion time. The SAMS had low-to-moderate predictive-validity for determining gross-motor ability in the general population of children (r2=0.214, p=0.00) but a strong predictive-validity with overweight/obese children (r2=0.641, p=0.001). Children who took ≥5.43s to complete the SAMS had significantly lower motor proficiency than children who took <5.43s. The authors conclude that the SAMS is a valid and reliable screening measure that can be used to predict poor gross-motor proficiency in overweight/obese children. The SAMS is designed to be used in conjunction with health-related fitness measures, by those who work with children (e.g. Coaches, Health-Physical-Education Teachers, Health-Professionals) when concerns exist regarding motor-proficiency as a possible contributor to poor health and fitness and to guide referral decisions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-14
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Australian Strength and Conditioning
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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