The purpose of this study was to compare children and adolescents (ages 8-18 yr) with and without mental retardation (MR) on isometric strength of knee flexion, knee extension, and combined leg and back strength. Sample size of participants with mild MR, but without Down syndrome, was 158 males and 111 females. Sample size of peers without MR was 223 males and 226 females. Analysis was made by gender and age: children (8-10 yr), early adolescents (11-14 yr), and late adolescents (15-18 yr). For all age groups, males and females without MR were significantly stronger than their same-gender peers with MR for all isometric strength measurements. For individuals with MR, the trend toward leveling off or decreasing in leg and back strength is a serious health and social concern.
The authors are with the College of Health Professions at Wichita State University, Wichita, KA 67260-0043; E-mail: <firstname.lastname@example.org>.