MOTOR COMPETENCE OF SCHOOLCHILDREN FROM PUBLIC EDUCATION IN SÃO PAULO CITY, BRAZIL

ABSTRACT The objective of this study was to assess motor competence in children from low socioeconomic status and compare results between sexes and age groups. The study included 529 children enrolled in public schools in the eastern region of São Paulo. The Test of Gross Motor Development (TGMD-2) was used to assess MC, considering the raw scores and the standard scores (percentiles). The comparison of performance between genders in different age groups was performed using analysis of variance of two factors and chi-square test was used to compare the percentiles distribution (<15, very low MC, 15-30, low MC;> 30, normal MC) between the sexes in different age groups,. In both genders, there were a statistically significant decrease in percentiles classification at older ages. Considering the original classification of the TGMD-2, 76.4% of girls and 70.5% of boys presented a motor competence much lower than expected for age (percentile <15) and in both genders there were a statistically significant decrease in percentiles classification at older ages. These results suggests that it is possible that the quality of environmental stimuli currently available to these children is not sufficient for the development of motor competence.