'Measuring’ Physical Literacy and Related Constructs: A Systematic Review of Empirical Findings
Edwards, Lowri Cerys
Jones, Anwen Mair
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Background: The concept of physical literacy has received increased research and international attention recently. Where intervention-programs and empirical research are gaining momentum, their operationalizations differ significantly. Objective: To inform practice in the measure/assessment of physical literacy, a systematic review was46 conducted of research that has assessed physical literacy (up to 14th June 2017). Methods: Five databases were searched using the PRISMA-P guidelines, with 32 published articles meeting the inclusion criteria. English-language, peer-reviewed published papers containing empirical studies of physical literacy were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis. Results: Qualitative methods included: (i) interviews; (ii) open-ended questionnaires; (iii) reflective diaries; (iv) focus-groups; (v) participant observations; and (vi) visual methods. Quantitative methods included: (i) monitoring devices (e.g. accelerometers); (ii) observations (e.g. of physical activity or motor proficiency); (iii) psychometrics (e.g. enjoyment, self-perceptions); (iv) performance measures (e.g. exergaming, objective times/distances); (v) anthropometric measurements; and (vi) one compound measure. Of the measures that made an explicit distinction: 22 (61%) examined the physical domain, eight (22%) the affective domain; five (14%) the cognitive domain; and one (3%) combined three domains (physical, affective and cognitive) of physical literacy. Researchers tended to declare their philosophical standpoint significantly more in qualitative research compared to quantitative research. Conclusions: Current research adopts diverse, often incompatible methodologies in measuring/assessing physical literacy. Our analysis revealed that by adopting simplistic and linear methods, physical literacy cannot be measured/assessed in a traditional/conventional sense. Therefore, we recommend that researchers are more creative in developing integrated, philosophically-aligned approaches to measuring/assessing physical literacy. Future research should consider the most recent developments in the field of physical literacy for policy formation.
Edwards, L.C., Bryant, A.S., Keegan, R.J., Morgan, K., Cooper, S.M. and Jones, A.M. (2017) ''Measuring’ Physical Literacy and Related Constructs: A Systematic Review of Empirical Findings', Sports Medicine DOI 10.1007/s40279-017-0817-9
This article was published in Sports Medicine on 15 November 2017, available open access at https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-017-0817-9
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