Selected Fitness and Motor Behavior Parameters of Children and Adolescents with Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus

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Robert Kertzer University of New Hampshire

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Ron Croce University of New Hampshire

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Richard Hinkle University of New Hampshire

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Collette Janson-Sand University of New Hampshire

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Few studies have investigated the fitness levels of children and adolescents with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), with no data presently available on such children’s level of motor proficiency. The present investigation was prompted by this lack of information. Twenty-one girls (mean age = 11.0 years, range = 7-14) and 23 boys (mean age =11.5 years, range = 8-15) with IDDM were tested on selected fitness and motor behavior parameters. Results indicated that children and adolescents with IDDM follow similar fitness and motor behavior profiles of their nondiabetic peers: Boys tended to be in better physical condition than girls of similar ages, particularly in the 12-15 year range. In the areas of body composition and abdominal strength/endurance, subjects displayed values below those obtained in studies of nondiabetic subjects. Subjects’ scores on the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency for each age grouping were relatively high, indicating that children and adolescents with IDDM need not have diminished psychomotor skills.

Robert Kertzer, Ron Croce, and Richard Hinkle are with the Physical Education Department at the University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824. Collette Janson-Sand is with the Animal and Nutritional Science Department at the University of New Hampshire.

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