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Richard W. Bohannon and A. Williams Andrews

Overall muscle strength of extremities is often characterized by measurements from one or more selected actions. This study evaluated the legitimacy of that procedure. Measurements obtained by handheld dynamometry from 13 muscle actions of 156 apparently healthy individuals (50–79 years) were subjected to correlational analysis, principal-components analysis, and cluster analysis. The isometric strengths of all muscle actions correlated significantly with one another (r = .506–.965). Principal-components analysis without rotation showed that all tested actions loaded highly on overall limb muscle strength. Principal-componcnis analysis with varimax rotation revealed high loadings that were grouped by extremity (upper vs. lower). Ankle dorsiflexion strengths were exceptions. These findings, in conjunction with the cluster analysis, support using one or more actions to characterize isometric limb muscle strength among the elderly but suggest that muscle strength in an upper or lower extremity is best characterized by an action (e.g., elbow flexion) of that extremity.

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Lucie Péloquin, Pierre Gauthier, Gina Bravo, Guy Lacombe and Jean-Sébastien Billiard

The purposes of the present study were (a) to evaluate the test-retest reliability of the Price et al. (1988) 5-min walking field test, (b) to assess the validity of the test as an estimate of aerobic fitness, and (c) to derive a predictive model for estimating V˙O2 peak. The subjects were men and women age ≥50 with knee osteoarthritis. A high intraclass correlation coefficient was obtained in the reliability study, which included 60 subjects who did the 5-min walk twice within a maximum of 11 days. For the validity study, distances walked at the first walking trial were compared with V˙O2 peak values measured by a maximal treadmill test. The best predictive model included the following predictor variables: distance walked in 5 min, age, sex, and weight. Results indicate that the 5-minutc walking field test is a reliable and valid method for estimating V˙O2 peak in this population.

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Kimberley A. Dawson, Lawrence R. Brawley and James E. Maddux

Many researchers in psychology and physical activity have discussed the overlap among control constructs in various theories. Skinner (1996) proposed an integrative control framework based on an agent-means-ends distinction that offered comparisons among and more explicit measurement of 3 control constructs—control, capacity, and strategy beliefs. No study in the exercise domain has yet empirically examined these advantages. This study evaluated Skinner’s framework relative to their contribution to predicting exercise attendance. A prospective design was used to consider the potential change in the nature of the relationships. High correlations (range r = .52–.88) at 2 time points in the exercise program suggested overlap among control constructs when using Skinner’s measurement procedures. Only capacity beliefs and behavioral intention were significantly related to exercise attendance (model R 2 adjusted = .11 and .16, p = .03 and .01, respectively, at onset and midprogram).Adjusted The findings do not support Skinner’s contentions but are similar to previous findings in the exercise literature.

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Ronald J. Iannotti, James F. Sallis, Rusan Chen, Shelia L. Broyles, John P. Elder and Philip R. Nader

Background:

Longitudinal patterns in the development of physical activity (PA) and potential causal relationships between parent and child PA are examined.

Methods:

Autoregressive models were used to examine bidirectional prospective paths between parent and child PA in a longitudinal sample of 351 Anglo and Mexican American families. PA was assessed independently in children and parents over a 13-y period.

Results:

There was little evidence for a causal path from mother PA to child PA.

Conclusions:

Modeling does not appear to be the primary mechanism by which parents influence children’s PA behavior. Studies examining relations between parent and child behaviors should not rely on a single respondent for assessing both parent and child PA or on cross-sectional correlational data to make unidirectional causal inferences about determinants of child PA.

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Koen A.P.M. Lemmink, Han C.G. Kemper, Mathieu H.G. de Greef, Piet Rispens and Martin Stevens

This article focuses on the validity of the circumduction test for measuring shoulder flexibility in older adults. Participants included 137 community-dwelling older adults. Equipment consisted of a cord with a fixed handle on one end and a sliding handle on the other. The sliding handle was adjusted so that the cord length between the 2 handles equaled the participant’s shoulder width. Holding the 2 handles, the participant must pass the cord from the front of the body over the head and as far back as possible with extended arms. The score is the fanning-out angle. Forward flexion, abduction, horizontal retroflexion, and outward rotation were also measured. The test and criterion measurements were administered within 1 wk. The criterion-related validity of the circumduction test as a measure of forward flexion and horizontal retroflexion received support from moderate correlations. Its use as a measure of abduction and outward rotation, however, received no support from the data.

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Timo Suutama and Isto Ruoppila

Two follow-up studies were designed to analyze die cross-seciional and longitudinal associations between cognitive functioning and physical activity among two cohorts of elderly people. At baseline, over 90% of the 75- and 80-year-old populations were interviewed at home and almost 80% participated in the laboratory examinations. Cognitive functioning was assessed by psychometric tests and reaction time tasks, and physical activity was assessed by a subjective self-assessment as well as by objectively measured maximal walking speed. Among both cohorts, the decline over the 5-year period in cognitive functioning as well as in physical activity was generally small but statistically significant. The test-retest correlations were higher for the cognitive functioning scores than for the physical activity variables. The associations between cognitive functioning and physical activity were inconsistent and showed some differences between men and women.

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Joseph F. Signorile, David Sandler, Fangchao Ma, Steve Bamel, Damian Stanziano, Wes Smith, Bernard A. Roos and Lauran Sandals

This study examined the validity, reliability, and discriminatory capacity of the gallon-jug shelf-transfer (GJST) test. Six hundred fifty-three independent-living older adults (463 women age 72.9 ± 7.0 years, 190 men age 74.3 ± 6.7 years) participated. Participants moved five 1-gallon jugs (≈3.9 kg) from a knee-high to a shoulder-high shelf as quickly as possible. The GJST showed an exponential performance decline with age, and there were significant correlations between the GJST and common functional tests (p < .001). High within-day and between-days reliability was detected. The test also detected differences resulting from training status (p < .01) and training protocols (p < .05). The GJST is a valid, reliable, inexpensive, safe, and easily administered clinical test for identifying physically vulnerable elders who could benefit from interventions such as exercise to improve their physical capacities and maintain independence.

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Gershon Tenenbaum and Betsy Becker

The current paper criticizes the concept, research methodology, data analyses, and validity of the conclusions made in Hardy, Woodman, and Carrington’s (2004) article published in this journal. In their repeated-measures analysis of data from the performances of 7 golfers, they did not examine changes in performance scores on successive holes. Instead, Hardy et al. used several ANOVA models to examine how performance varied with respect to somatic and cognitive anxiety level and self-confidence interaction. By doing so, their findings produced effects which we argue to be conceptually and empirically limited. We also address problems associated with dichotomization of continuous variables, measurement errors when splitting data, eradication of random significant effects, cell sizes in segmental quadrant analysis, and correlation between somatic and cognitive anxiety. We believe these difficulties prevent any reliable conclusions and/or generalizations from being made.

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Nobuo Takeshima, William F. Brechue, Setsuko Ueya and Kiyoji Tanaka

This study attempted to determine the accuracy of measuring heart rate by radial artery palpation in elderly individuals. Elderly (ELD; n = 26) and young (Y; n = 21) individuals completed 3 intensity levels of exercise on a treadmill, each carried out on a separate day. Participants determined their heart rate by palpating the radial artery (PR) after exercise. In ELD, there were significant differences between PR and electrocardiogram (ECG; p = .007). Heart-rate errors at each intensity of exercise were 7.2 ± 12.5, 6.6 ± 15.7, and 10.1 ± 16.5 beats/min. There were no differences in PR and ECG in Y. Fingertip sensitivity was significantly lower in ELD than in Y. A significant, negative correlation existed (r = -.56, n = 26) between heart-rate error and fingertip sensitivity in ELD. These data suggest that self-conducted PR by elderly individuals fails to accurately estimate heart rate. This appears to result from lessened vibrotactile sensitivity in the fingers.

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Britton W. Brewer, Allen E. Cornelius, Judy Van Raalte, John C. Brickner, Howard Tennen, Joseph H. Sklar, John R. Corsetti and Mark H. Pohlman

The accuracy of retrospective ratings of pain intensity was examined in a sample of 72 men and 36 women undergoing rehabilitation following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstructive surgery. Participants completed daily ratings of current, worst, and average pain intensity for the first 42 days of rehabilitation. Participants provided retrospective ratings of worst and average pain intensity twice for a 7-day period (on Days 7 and 21) and once for a 30-day period (on Day 30). Correlations between concurrent and retrospective pain ranged from .74 to .88. Retrospective pain ratings consistently overestimated concurrent pain ratings, but were generally not biased by current pain. The results suggest that retrospective pain ratings can substitute for concurrent pain ratings if the tendency toward overestimation is taken into account.