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Department of Kinesiology

Kinesiology Research

Motor Performance Study

The MPS was started in December 1967 by Dr. Vern Seefeldt (now Professor Emeritus) to examine the longitudinal relationships among physical growth, biological maturity and motor skill acquisition in children and youths. The study contained two major components, a research component and a program component. The research component involves semi-annual collection of data on 13 growth measures and 7 motor tasks.

From 25-30 participants are still active in this component. The program component provided instruction in various motor skills to children and youths from the ages of 2.5 to 13.0 years of age. The program was conducted on Saturday mornings during the school year and on a daily basis during selected weeks in the summer. Majors in kinesiology were required to participate in the activity program as cadet instructors. The program portion of the MPS was discontinued following spring semester 1999. A more complete history of the MPS is available in Chapter 4 of 100 Years of Kinesiology.

Research Data

Semi-annual data have been collected on over 1200 participants on the following growth and motor performance variables:

Physical Growth
Standing Height
Sitting Height
Biacromial Breadth (Shoulder Width)
Biiliac Breadth (hip width)
Acrom-radial Length (upper arm length)
Radio-stylion Length (forearm length)
Arm Girth (limited data)
Thigh Girth
Calf Girth
Triceps Skinfold (limited data)
Subscapular Skinfold
Umbilical Skinfold

Motor Performance
Flexed-arm Hang
Jump and Reach
Thirty-yard Dash
Agility Shuttle Run
Standing Long Jump
400-foot Shuttle Run
Sit and Reach
Balance Beam

Biological Maturity
Hand-wrist X-ray

Primary Investigators

Three present and former faculty members are the primary investigators in the MPS. These include:

Dr. Vern Seefeldt, Professor Emeritus, (Coordinator 1967-1978)

Dr. John Haubenstricker, Professor Emeritus, (Coordinator 1978-2003)

Dr. Crystal Branta, Associate Professor, (Coordinator 2003-present)
138 IM Sports Circle
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824
(517) 355-9467