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Recently there has been a plethora of research investigating various dimensions of the cardiovascular fitness of mentally retarded persons. It is clearly documented that as a group, mentally retarded persons are particularly low in aerobic fitness. Although there is evidence that such low cardiovascular functioning can be increased, exercise training studies have invariably ignored the important questions of reliability and validity of the dependent measures. Also, there are innumerable testing protocols that make cross-study comparisons tenuous. Several factors are fundamental to the reliability and validity of standardized protocols that have recently been used with retarded persons. These include underlying assumptions of cadence adherence, constant efficiency, learning, and motivation to perform optimally. The development of cardiovascular test protocols for use with retarded persons is necessary to provide for their immediate and future needs in cardiovascular fitness evaluation.
Request reprints from Greg Reid, McGill University, 475 Pine Avenue West, Montreal, P.Q., Canada, H2W 1S4.