Validation of Maturity Offset in the Fels Longitudinal Study

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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  • 1 University of Texas at Austin
  • | 2 Wright State University School of Medicine
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Sex-specific equations for predicting maturity offset, time before or after peak height velocity (PHV), were evaluated in 63 girls and 74 boys from the Fels Longitudinal Study. Serially measured heights (0.1 cm), sitting heights (0.1 cm), weights (0.1 kg), and estimated leg lengths (0.1 cm) from 8 to 18 years were used. Predicted age at PHV (years) was calculated as the difference between chronological age (CA) and maturity offset. Actual age at PHV for each child was derived with a triple logistic model (Bock-Thissen-du Toit). Mean predicted maturity offset was negative and lowest at 8 years and increased linearly with increasing CA. Predicted ages at PHV increased linearly with CA from 8 to 18 years in girls and from 8 to 13 years in boys; predictions varied within relatively narrow limits from 12 to 15 years and then increased to 18 years in boys. Differences between predicted and actual ages at PHV among youth of contrasting maturity status were significant across the age range in both sexes. Dependence of predicted age at PHV upon CA at prediction and on actual age at PHV limits its utility as an indicator of maturity timing and in sport talent programs.

Malina is with the Dept. of Kinesiology and Health Education, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX. Choh, Czerwinski, and Chumlea are with the Lifespan Health Research Center, Dept. of Community Health, Wright State University School of Medicine, Dayton, OH.

Address author correspondence to Robert M. Malina at rmalina@1skyconnect.net.