PACER Performance of Children Aged 11–14 With Attention-Deficit Hyperactive Disorder

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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Purpose: The purposes of this study were to examine the performance on the progressive aerobic cardiovascular endurance run (PACER) test in children with and without attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) over the course of a school year, and also to investigate the possible influence of age, sex, school sport participation, and body mass index on results. Methods: Utilizing a repeated measures design, 892 middle school children aged 11–14 years (mean = 12.25, SD = 0.94) including 55 children with ADHD participated. While controlling for age, sex, sports participation, and body mass index, children were tested on the PACER 3 times during the school year. Procedures specified in the FITNESSGRAM test manual were explicitly followed. Hierarchical linear modeling was applied to analyze the data. Results: Children with ADHD performed 8.6 fewer laps at intercept (baseline), than did healthy children without ADHD (t878 = −6.20, P < .001). However, no significant differences emerged for time (slope). In addition, no significant interactions were found for ADHD with age, sex, sports participation, or body mass index. Conclusion: A diagnosis of ADHD, independent of selected predictor variables, explained lower PACER performance.

Martinson is with the Copper Hills High School, Salt Lake City, UT. Butterfield, Lehnhard, and Nightingale are with the School of Kinesiology, Physical Education, and Athletic Training, University of Maine, Orono, ME. Mason and Tu are with the School of Learning and Teaching, University of Maine, Orono, ME.

Address author correspondence to Christopher J. Nightingale at christopher.nightingale@maine.edu.
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