When studying for a doctoral degree (PhD), candidates submit a thesis that provides a critical review of the current state of knowledge of the thesis subject as well as the student’s own contributions to the subject. The distinguishing criterion of doctoral graduate research is a significant and original contribution to knowledge.
Once accepted, the candidate presents the thesis orally. This oral exam is open to the public.
Physical activity is associated with positive health outcomes in children and adolescents. The physical literacy model aims to promote lifelong physical activity by focusing on affective, cognitive, behavioral, and physical factors. Promoting physical activity in youth is a global objective; however, participating in physical activity and sports is associated with an increased risk of lower-limb musculoskeletal injuries, which is a barrier to physical activity participation. Injury prevention strategies use multicomponent injury prevention programs and screening tools that target modifiable risk factors of injury. The physical literacy model and injury prevention strategies use similar movement-related constructs but are rarely connected in the literature and practice. A screening tool that assesses movement competence and injury risk may be a valuable source of information to fit interventions in different contexts. An intervention based on the physical literacy model and multicomponent injury prevention programs may help enhance physical literacy constructs and neuromuscular performance and reduce the risk of lower-limb injuries. Addressing these related elements and constructs may favor adopting and maintaining physical activity. This dissertation consists of five chapters. Chapter one introduces the concepts used in the dissertation and states the hypotheses and objectives. Chapter two describes a systematic review with six meta-analyses that studied the characteristics and effects of multicomponent injury prevention programs on various fundamental movement skills in children and adolescents. Chapter three describes the evaluation of the concurrent and construct validity of the Children Focused Injury Risk Screening Tool (ChildFIRST). The ChildFIRST is a process-based assessment of movement skills that aims to identify 8-12-year-old children with poor movement competence and increased risk of lower-limb musculoskeletal injury. Chapter four was based on the evidence from the second chapter and the literature, and it describes the development, implementation, and feasibility testing of a neuromuscular warm-up for 8-12-year-old children. The neuromuscular warm-up was based on the physical literacy model and multicomponent injury prevention programs. The intervention positively affected physical literacy constructs, neuromuscular performance, movement competence, and injury risk profile, which was assessed using the ChildFIRST. Chapter five discusses the findings from chapters two, three, and four and offers a general conclusion and recommendations for future research.