Movement Assessment Battery for Children- Second Edition (MABC-2)

Posted on: March 14, 2015 | By: jholder6 | Filed under: Movement Assessment Battery for Children (Movement-ABC), T&M Tools

Descriptive Information

  1. Title, Edition, Dates of Publication and Revision: The Movement Assessment Battery for Children-Second Edition (MABC-2) was published in 2007. The battery is composed of two separate parts: the performance test and the checklist. This is a revision of the original Movement Assessment Battery for Children (MABC) released in 1992. The MABC-2 is revised with updated norms, extended age ranges (3-12 years), improved scoring, and includes a separate intervention manual.
  2. Author(s): 2007 Revision: Henderson SE, Sugden DA, and Barnett AL. 1992 Original MABC: Henderson SE and Sugden DA.
  3. Source (publisher or distributor, address): Pearson Clinical. To order visit or, talk to a Pearson product consultant via phone (800-627-7271), fax (800-232-1223), or e-mail (
  4. Costs (booklets, forms, kit): Movement ABC-2 Complete Kit costs $1,050.00 and includes:Examiner’s manual, intervention manual, 25 of each age range 3-6, 7-10, and 11-16 record forms, 50 checklists with instructions and manipulative items.

    Administration materials available for individual purchase include:

    MABC-2 Record Forms (pkg of 25)- Ages 3-6: $89.00

    MABC-2 Record Forms (pkg of 25)- Ages 7-10: $89.00

    MABC-2 Record Forms (pkg of 25)- Ages 11-16: $89.00

    MABC-2 Checklist (pkg of 50): $36.50

  1. Purpose: To identify children and young adolescents that are behind their peers in terms of motor development and coordination, assist in building an intervention to address impairments, measure change over the course of intervention, and as a research tool surrounding pediatric motor development.
  2. Type of Test (eg, screening, evaluative; interview, observation, checklist or inventory): This kit includes both an observational screening test to be used in the clinic, as well as a screening checklist meant for either an individual or a group, such as in a classroom setting.
  3. Target Population and Ages: Children and young adolescents with motor impairments and delayed motor development. The test can be used with ages 3-16 and the checklist can be used with ages 5-12.
  4. Time Requirements- Administration and Scoring: It takes approximately 20-40 minutes to administer the test to an individual and approximately 5 minutes to score it. It take approximately 10 minutes to complete the checklist with an individual or group and takes approximately 5 minutes to score it, but this may vary based on group size.

Test Administration

  1. Administration: The MABC-2 consists of 8 items that are slip up between three divisions: 1) Manual dexterity, 2) Ball skills (aiming and catching), 3) Static and Dynamic Balance. This test involves presenting the child with all 8 components, in order, and the administrator should demonstrate the task, and then allow for a certain number of practice attempts and formal trials. The checklist contains 30 items, which adults that are familiar with the children are supposed to administer (parent, caregiver, or teacher).
  2. Scoring: Scores are based on the child’s best performance for each component. Scoring for the test portion is based on total standard scores and age based norm percentiles. Scoring for the checklist is based on percentile cut scores. Raw scores on the test and checklist are converted to percentiles and then place the child into “red,” “amber,” or “green” zones based on the MABC-2 “Traffic light system,” which denotes their degree of impairment.
  3. Type of information, resulting from testing (e.g. standard scores, percentile ranks): Percentile rankings from age based norms.
  4. Environment for Testing: The test is meant for clinic use while the checklist can be used in the clinic or in a larger, classroom or gymnasium setting.
  5. Equipment and Materials Needed: MABC-2 kit, stopwatch, table, two chairs, and adequate open floor space for motor items.
  6. Examiner Qualifications: Pearson Clinical defines this test as requiring a qualification of level B. This means the test may be purchased by individuals with: 1) A master’s degree in a field associated with the test’s intended audience, 2) Certification by or full active membership in a professional organization that is associated with the test’s intended audience, 3) A degree or license to practice in the healthcare or allied healthcare field, 4) Formal, supervised mental health, speech/language, and/or educational training specific to assessing the pediatric population.
  7. Standardization/Normative Data: Norms have been established for each age band and are included in the scoring and test manual with purchase of the MABC-2. This includes a standardization sample of 395 children. Children scoring <5th% are identified as having a motor problem and scoring 5th% to 15th% as a borderline motor problem.
  8. Psychometric Characteristics: Wuang et al. (2012) reported that for the MABC-2, the minimal detectable change (MDC) was 0.28 points and the minimal important difference (MID) values ranged from 2.36 to 2.50.
  9. Evidence of Reliability: Henderson et al. (2007) completed a study with sixty children, 20 from each age band. Using the standard scores for the three performance test sections (Manual Dexterity, Aiming and Catching, and Balance) as well as the total test score, the Pearson Product Moment correlations were 0.77, 0.84, 0.73, and 0.80 respectively, which indicates reasonable test-retest reliability for the MABC-2. Wuang et al. (2012) found internal consistency for the MABC-2 Test was α= 0.90 and test–retest reliability had an intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.97.
  10. Evidence of Validity: According to the test manual, an expert panel unanimously claimed that the MABC-2 contents/items were representative of the motor domain it was intended to evaluate and hence, content validity of the MABC-2 Performance Test appears reasonable.
  11. Discriminative: Can be used to identify the extent of motor impairments in children with motor development problems.
  12. Predictive: Studies have used the MABC-2 to predict level of impairment and need for intervention of children with Developmental Coordination Disorder, but it should not be used by itself as a diagnostic tool.

Summary Comments

  1. Strengths: The MABC-2 is an engaging test that can identify children and young adolescents of a wide age range with motor impairments. The Checklist can allow parents, caregivers, and teachers to screen children for problems in motor development with what appears to be a reliable and valid measure.
  2. Weaknesses: The MABC-2 can be expensive and the performance test requires examiner qualifications (see above). More extensive studies need to be done to further examine reliability and validity of the entire battery.
  3. Clinical Applications: This battery can be a useful clinical tool to identify children with motor impairments and help to guide intervention where the clinician sees fit, but it should not be used by itself as a diagnostic tool. The scores can also be used to track progress as a child begins and progresses through an intervention. It is helpful that an adult close to the child can aide with screening by using the checklist.

Article Summary

Liu T, Breslin CM. Fine and gross motor performance of the MABC-2 by children with autism spectrum disorder and typically developing children. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders 2013:7;1244-1249.

The purpose of this study was to compare the motor development of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to their typically developing age-matched peers by using the MABC-2 to assess fine and gross motor skills. The study included 30 children with ASD (3-16 years old, 25 males, 5 females) and 30 age-matched typically developing children (16 males, 14 females). A research assistant blinded to the diagnosis and purpose of the study, administered the MABC-2 and evaluated the child’s performance on each task. Fine motor skills were considered the manual dexterity portion of the test, while gross motor referred to the ball skills and dynamic balance portions. Raw scores were converted to percentile scores using the MABC-2 conversion tables and one-way ANOVAs were used to compare the motor performance of children with ASD to their age-matched typically developing children.

Results showed that all typically developing children scored in the green zone of the MABC-2, meaning they exhibited no motor impairments, whereas 80% of the children with ASD scored in the red (77%) or amber (3%) zones. This indicates that children with ASD experience or are at risk for significant motor impairments. Statistical analysis showed that children with ASD scored statistically significantly lower on all three subscales, and overall, on the MABC-2 that typically developing children (p<.001). One strength of this study was the blinded examiner, while one limitation was the mismatched gender ration between the ASD and typically developing group. This study concludes that children with ASD are delayed in fine and gross motor skill development when compared to typically developing children of the same age, as measured by the MABC-2.


  1. Brown T, Lalor A. The Movement Assessment Battery for Children- Second Edition (MABC-2): A review and Critique. Physical and Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics. 2009:29(1);86-103.
  2. Liu T, Breslin CM. Fine and gross motor performance of the MABC-2 by children with autism spectrum disorder and typically developing children. Research in Autism Spectrum Disoders 2013:7;1244-1249.
  3. Mayson T. Evidence summary for pediatric rehabilitation professionals. Outcome measures: The movement assessment battery for children, second edition (MABC-2). Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children.
  4. Movement Assessment Battery for Children- 2nd Pearson Clinical.
  5. Pearson Clinical. Examiner Qualifications.
  6. Schoemaker et al. Validity and reliability of the Movement Assessment Battery for Children-2 Checklist for children with and without motor impairments. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology. 2012:54;368-375.
  7. Wuang YP, Su JH, Su CY. Reliability and responsiveness of the Movement Assessment Battery for Children- Second Edition Test in children with developmental coordination disorder. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology. 2012:54;160-165.


2 responses to “Movement Assessment Battery for Children- Second Edition (MABC-2)”

  1. sfogleman3 says:

    Can this test be used for children with CP?

  2. jholder6 says:

    I did not see any evidence supporting its use in that population. Brown et al. (2009) stated that it is for adolescents with Developmental Coordination Disorder or that have impairments associated with preterm birth that are less severe than cerebral palsy.

Leave a Reply