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You Fu, Zan Gao, James C. Hannon, Ryan D. Burns and Timothy A. Brusseau Jr.

Background:

This study aimed to examine the effect of a 9-week SPARK program on physical activity (PA), cardiorespiratory endurance (Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run; PACER), and motivation in middle-school students.

Methods:

174 students attended baseline and posttests and change scores computed for each outcome. A MANOVA was employed to examine change score differences using follow-up ANOVA and Bonferroni post hoc tests.

Results:

MANOVA yielded a significant interaction for Grade × Gender × Group (Wilks’s Λ = 0.89, P < .001). ANOVA for PA revealed significant differences between SPARK grades 6 and 7 (Mean Δ = 8.11, P < .01) and Traditional grades 6 and 8 (Mean Δ = –6.96, P < .01). ANOVA also revealed greater PACER change for Traditional boys in grade 8 (P < .01) and SPARK girls in grade 8 (P < .01). There were significant interactions with perceived competence differences between SPARK grades 6 and 8 (Mean Δ = 0.38, P < .05), Enjoyment differences between SPARK grades 6 and 7 (Mean Δ = 0.67, P < .001), and SPARK grades 6 and 8 (Mean Δ = 0.81, P < .001).

Conclusions:

Following the intervention, SPARK displayed greater increases on PA and motivation measures in younger students compared with the Traditional program.

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E. William Vogler

Twenty nine ostomy children (16 girls and 13 boys) with external openings in their urinary or intestinal tract for waste collection were assessed for fitness using the Health Related Physical Fitness test. The children, as a group, were discovered to be only in the 20th percentile in overall fitness when compared to the norm in the United States. Using guidelines established by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, all 29 children were identified as candidates for an individualized adapted physical education program.

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Jacob S. Tucker, Scott Martin, Allen W. Jackson, James R. Morrow Jr., Christy A. Greenleaf and Trent A. Petrie

Purpose:

To investigate the relations between sedentary behaviors and health-related physical fitness and physical activity in middle school boys and girls.

Methods:

Students (n = 1515) in grades 6–8 completed the Youth Risk Behavior Survey sedentary behavior questions, the FITNESSGRAM physical fitness items, and FITNESSGRAM physical activity self-report questions.

Results:

When students reported ≤ 2 hours per day of sedentary behaviors, their odds of achieving the FITNESSGRAM Healthy Fitness Zone for aerobic capacity, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, and body composition increased. Similarly, the odds of achieving physical activity guidelines for children increased when students reported ≤ 2 hours per day of sedentary behaviors.

Conclusions:

Results illustrate the importance of keeping sedentary behaviors to ≤ 2 hours per day in middle school children, thus increasing the odds that the student will achieve sufficient health-related fitness benefits and be more likely to achieve the national physical activity guidelines.

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Sharon Ann Plowman

This paper analyzes the determination of the criterion referenced standards for the neuromuscular physical fitness items (sit-ups, sit-and-reach, and pullups) typically included in health related physical fitness test batteries for children and adolescents. Criterion referenced standards should be linked to some specific status on a health criterion that represents an absolute desirable level of that characteristic. Three techniques used to determine and/or validate criterion referenced standards are discussed: the use of empirical data with an established criterion test, the use of empirical data with instructed versus uninstructed groups, and the use of normative data and expert judgment. It is concluded that the existing criterion referenced standards have been derived exclusively from normative data and expert opinion. It remains unknown as to the meaning of these standards in relation to desirable and absolute levels of health.

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Jerome Quarterman, Geraldine Harris and Rose M. Chew

The present investigation examined how African American students rated the values of the basic instructional physical education activity program at two historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) based on a 24-item questionnaire. Descriptive data indicated that the students rated keeping in good health and physical condition as the most important value. A principal component factor analysis with varimax rotation revealed five underlying factors that appeared related to (a) physical self-efficacy, (b) a commitment to lifelong participation, (c) health-related physical fitness, (d) health/aesthetic benefits, and (e) social benefits. Physical self-efficacy appeared to be the most significant, accounting for the largest portion of the explained variance. African American female students placed more emphasis on health/aesthetic benefits, and African American male students placed emphasis on the social benefits. Overall, results of the present investigation generally appeared consistent with findings of earlier studies conducted at predominantly white Colleges and universities.

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David C. Pizarro

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.

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Joseph P. Winnick

Health-related criterion-referenced physical fitness has developed into an important domain for all youngsters in American schools. Although considered important for youngsters with or without disabilities, much less attention has been given to measuring and assessing health-related physical fitness of youngsters with disabilities. The Brockport Physical Fitness Test (BPFT) was developed as a healthrelated criterion- referenced test of fitness as a part of a federal grant entitled Project Target: Criterion-Referenced Physical Fitness Standards for Adolescents with Disabilities. This special issue of the Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly (APAQ) presents the conceptual framework for the BPFT and the technical information used as a basis for the selection of test items and standards associated with the test. Technical information is presented in separate articles covering aerobic functioning, body composition, muscular strength and endurance, and flexibility/range of motion. This first article introduces the reader to health-related fitness testing, Project Target, the BPFT, the general organization of information in this issue, and key contributors to Project Target and the development of the BPFT.

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Carmelo Bazzano, Lee N. Cunningham, Giustino Varrassi and Tony Falconio

The present study examined the relationships among the AAHPERD Physical Best health related physical fitness test (HRPFT) items to resting blood pressure in 80 boys and 84 girls from the Lanciano, Italy, school system. Systolic blood pressure (SBP) was significantly associated with age for both sexes. Diastolic blood pressure (DBP) for boys was found to be associated with fatness when age was held constant. To examine the relationship between blood pressure and the HRPFT, data were sorted into two groups of students passing or failing to meet the criterion-referenced standard (CRS) by 1-mile run performance and sum of skinfolds. SBP did not differ significantly between groups for either sex. Boys who failed to meet the CRS for 1-mile run performance showed a higher DBP of 4 mmHg when compared to boys who achieved the CRS. The group passing the aerobic fitness and body composition tests tended to perform better on all test items. With the possible exception of DBP for boys, it is concluded that performance on the Physical Best HRPFT is not associated with resting blood pressure in children and adolescents.

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Jeff McCubbin

The purpose of this paper is to identify and describe key research contributions that have shaped the field of adapted physical activity. That was not an easy task as the area of adapted physical activity is relatively new. The field is also quite broad and has been influenced by many people and sociopolitical influences. In an effort to constrain the scope of influences, this paper will focus on studies related to motor performance and health-related physical fitness of persons with intellectual disabilities (ID). This was done in part because that is an area where I believe that my work and that of students and colleagues at Oregon State University, helped to contribute small fraction of what is known and in a way to help substantiate how much more there is to know. It is challenging to answer the questions of whose work significantly influenced what we now know about the health and fitness status of persons with ID. And more importantly what direction does this area of research need to go for us to change health related outcomes of this group?

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Kirk J. Cureton, Ted A. Baumgartner and Beth G. McManis

The purposes of this study were (a) to describe the relation of 1-mile run/walk time (MRWT) to skinfold thickness measures in a national probability sample of students 8 to 18 years of age (NCYFS I and II, n = 11,123) and (b) to evaluate the impact of adjusting MRWT scores for the effect of skinfold thickness on the classification of scores using percentile ranks and criterion referenced standards (CRS). MRWT was significantly related to the sum of subscapular and triceps skinfolds in all age-gender groups. In 12-year-olds, MRWT scores adjusted for sum of skinfolds by regression analysis resulted in individual percentile ranks that differed by more than 10 from percentile ranks of unadjusted scores in 29% of girls and 39% of boys, and altered classifications on the Fitnessgram and AAHPERD mile run/walk time CRS in 11-14% of boys and girls. It is concluded that the relation between MRWT and skinfold thickness is strong enough, and the impact of adjusting MRWT scores for skinfold thickness sufficient, to justify using adjusted scores for classification of cardiorespiratory capacity as part of the assessment of health related physical fitness in youth. Additional research is needed to cross-validate the equations developed in this study.