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Child Development Research
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 3795956, 7 pages
Research Article

Differences between Estimation and Real Performance in School-Age Children: Fundamental Movement Skills

1Faculdade de Motricidade Humana, Universidade de Lisboa, Estrada da Costa, 1499-002 Cruz Quebrada-Dafundo, Portugal
2Faculdade de Ciências da Saúde, Universidade Fernando Pessoa, Rua Delfim Maia 334, 4200-253 Porto, Portugal
3Escola Superior de Educação de Lisboa, Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa, Campus de Benfica do IPL, 1549-003 Lisboa, Portugal
4Laboratory of Motor Behavior, CIPER, Faculdade de Motricidade Humana, Universidade de Lisboa, Estrada da Costa, 1499-002 Cruz Quebrada-Dafundo, Portugal

Received 9 April 2016; Accepted 20 June 2016

Academic Editor: Glenda Andrews

Copyright © 2016 Gabriela Almeida et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Observations in studies of estimation compared to actual performance in motor skills revealed that children are not always accurate and have a tendency to overestimate the maximum distance at which an action can be performed. The relationship between estimated and real motor competences was analyzed for several tasks: standing long jump (SLJ), throwing and kicking, and walking backwards (WB) on a balance beam. Children were asked to predict their maximum distance prior to performing those tasks. Participants were 303 children (160 boys), which were between 6 and 10 years of age (, ). Children’s estimations were compared with their real performance to determine their accuracy. Absolute error (real performance − estimation) and error tendency, that is, the direction of the error (overestimation, accuracy, and underestimation bias), were calculated. Children had a tendency to overestimate their performance and were more conservative in the WB task, a noncommon action. In general, it is possible to conclude that children, in the studied age span, tend to overestimate their performance, particularly in familiar skills. This fact may be determinant to the development of their motor competences, since they are more likely to engage and persist in motor tasks, but it might also be a problem in terms of child safety because it could increase the occurrence of unintended injuries.