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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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Heather Hayes Betz, Jonathan Myers, Alyssa Jaffe, Kimberly Smith and Ronald Dalman

Background:

Quantifying lifetime physical activity using self-reported measures is challenging due to reliance on recall, especially in older populations. The purpose of this study was to determine the 1-year reproducibility of the Veterans Physical Activity Questionnaire (VAPAQ) in a cohort of patients with documented abdominal aortic aneurysm disease (AAA).

Methods:

Subjects included men (n = 52) and women (n = 3) enrolled in AAA STOP, a randomized trial designed to test the ability of supervised exercise training to modify AAA biology and early disease progression.

Results:

The overall correlation coefficient for lifetime recreational energy expenditure between the 2 examinations was 0.93 (P < .001), with an overall difference of 26 kcal/week, a typical error (standard deviation of the differences) of 171 kcals/week, and a coefficient of variation (CV) of 15.5%.

Conclusions:

The VAPAQ is a reproducible tool to quantify lifetime energy expenditure in older adults with documented vascular disease.

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Thomas A. Bergandi, Marsha G. Shryock and Thomas G. Titus

The purpose of this study was to develop and validate a sport-specific version of Nideffer’s (1976a) Test of Attentional and Interpersonal Style (TAIS), specifically in regard to the sport of basketball. Collegiate basketball players (N = 43) participated in the research, 20 males and 23 females. The subjects were administered two instruments, the original TAIS and the Basketball Concentration Survey (BCS). The items contained in the BCS were a conversion of the 59 pertinent items contained in the original. The instruments were administered early in the season and the results were correlated with nine seasonal performance variables ranging from field-goal percentage to total number of steals. The results show the BCS to have significant reliability as well as significantly accounting for performance variability. The BCS had highly significant correlations with seven of the nine performance variables.

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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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Del N. Konopka, Robin P. Shook, Marian L. Kohut, Rosalie Vos Tulp and Warren D. Franke

The 6-min walk test (6MWT) is a common component of fitness assessments of older adults; however, differing course configurations might affect 6MWT performance. It is unclear how comparable 2 different configurations are. To determine the comparability of 2 courses, 35 adults ≥65 years of age completed two 6MWT, once walking around a 20- by 5-yd outdoor rectangle and once on an indoor oval track (circumference 144.3 yd). Scores for the 2 tests were internally consistent (intraclass correlation coefficient = .95). The participants walked farther on the oval track than around the rectangle (639 ± 19 vs. 582 ± 16 yd; p < .0001), but responses to the rectangular configuration could be readily estimated using the equation 66.7 yd + 0.807 × (oval walking distance), R 2 = .85. Thus, within-participant responses are similar across both 6MWT, but the course configuration affects the distance walked.

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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.