The Reliability and Convergent Validity of Field Tests of Body Composition in Young Adolescents

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Advances in BIA offer practical alternative approaches to assessing body composition in young adolescents and have not been studied for comparability.


This study compared reliability and convergent validity of three field tests (2-site skinfold, Omron and Tanita BIA devices) on young adolescents. Reliability was determined using intraclass correlation coefficients, convergent validity was examined by computing correlations among the three estimates, differences in estimated body fat values were evaluated using repeated-measures ANOVA, and classification agreement was computed for achieving FITNESSGRAM® Healthy Fitness Zone.


ICC values of all three measures exceeded .97. Correlations ranged from .74 to .81 for males and .79 to .91 for females. Classification agreement values ranged from 82.8% to 92.6%.


Results suggest general agreement among the selected methods of body composition assessments in both boys and girls with the exception that percent body fat in boys by Tanita BIA is significantly lower than skinfold estimation.

Welk and Ihmels are with the Dept. of Health and Human Performance, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011. McClain is with the Dept. of Exercise and Wellness, Arizona State University, Polytechnic Campus, Mesa, AZ 85212. Schaben is with the Dept. of Exercise Science, Central College, Pella, IA 50219.