Basic motor competencies (BMC) belong to the key learning goals of Physical Education (PE) in primary school curricula in Europe. These competencies are necessary to participate in sports inside and outside of school. Children should therefore achieve age-adequate BMC in PE and any need for educational motor support should be identified at an early stage. Studies in German-speaking countries showed that various endogenous and exogenous factors are related to children’s BMC, but international studies are missing. In the present cross-sectional study, the two BMC areas object movement (OM) and self-movement (SM) as well as the asso ciations with endogenous (age, sex, body mass index) and exogenous (participation in extracurricular sports) factors were investigated in 1721 8- to 10-year-old primary school children from nine European countries. Over 25% of the children showed need for educational motor support in OM and over 20% in SM. BMC levels dif fered significantly between the country-specific subsamples. In all subsamples, boys showed better performances in OM, while girls scored better in SM. Older children performed better in OM and SM than younger children. Higher body mass index predicted lower BMC scores in both competence areas. Participation in ball sports was positively associated with OM and SM, and individual sports participation was a significant predictor of SM. As exogenous and endogenous variables consistently predicted BMC in all subsamples, there must be other reasons for variation in BMC levels. Future studies should address country- and school-specific characteristics like content and amount of PE.
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