This study investigated the reliability and suitability of the Health Related Physical Fitness Test for mainstreamed educable mentally handicapped (EMH) and trainable mentally handicapped (TMH) adolescents. A total of 126 12- to 15-year-old male and female nonhandicapped (NH), EMH, and TMH adolescents were administered the following tests: modified sit-ups, sit and reach, 880-yard run, and skinfold fat measure (triceps only). Reliability coefficients were obtained using an interclass correlation formula. Deviations in test performance were recorded on a checklist. Modified sit-ups, sit and reach, and skinfold fat measurement were determined to be reliable and suitable for use with mainstreamed EMH/TMH adolescents. Reliability scores for the 880-yard run were fair for NH, good for EMH, and excellent for TMH subjects. Procedural deviations in the 880-yard run by TMH adolescents raised questions about the suitability of this test for these subjects. Proper orientation, an allowance for practice, and the development of an appropriate test environment appeared to be important aspects of test preparation for adolescents functioning at a below normal intellectual level.
Kenneth H. Pitetti, Jeffrey E. Fernandez, David C. Pizarro, and Nancy B. Stubbs
This study set out to develop a simple field testing protocol for evaluating the aerobic capacity, forearm isometric strength, and percent body fat of mentally retarded individuals (MRI). A total of 33 (MR) (M IQ=68) subjects (26 males, 7 females) ranging in age from 12 to 49 years participated in this study. A submaximal exercise test using the Schwinn Air-Dyne ergometer was used to estimate aerobic capacity (V̇O2max). Forearm strength was determined by using a hand grip isometric dynamometer. Percent body fat (%BF) was determined by the skinfold method and bioelectrical impedance. All 33 MR subjects who were tested successfully completed the fitness assessment protocol. Correlation coefficients for directly measured versus estimated V̇O2 max and test-retest for forearm strength for 10 of the subjects was .91 and .95, respectively. Slight variations were seen in the methods used to determine %BF. Based on these statistics, it is recommended that the protocol used in this study be considered by those involved in the physical education or training of MRI.