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Peter Hastie, Oleg Sinelnikov and Danielle Wadsworth

Background:

This study compares the aerobic fitness status of a sample of rural American and Russian children, and examines these findings in light of their out of school physical activity participation.

Methods:

Ten and eleven year old (N = 415) children from both countries completed a 15 m Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) fitness test, and following the test, the children scoring beyond the upper limit of the healthy fitness zone were interviewed with regard to their out-of-school participation in physical activity.

Results:

The Russian students achieved significantly higher scores than American students (P < .001), and males scored higher than females for both countries (P < .001). After examining the profiles of the students 3 apparent themes begin to emerge: Russian students walk to and from school; the students in both settings who achieve a superior fitness level participate in after school physical activity; after school activities for the American students appear to be more recreational orientated than the Russian students, who participate in structured training in sports clubs.

Conclusions:

For the students in this study, it appears that participating in after school activity may have contributed to achieving high levels of aerobic fitness.

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Timothy Martinson, Stephen A. Butterfield, Craig A. Mason, Shihfen Tu, Robert A. Lehnhard and Christopher J. Nightingale

strategies perceived as difficult. Often, children with ADHD select the easiest strategy to perform, even when that strategy is unlikely to be successful. The purposes of this study were to examine the performance on the PACER test by children with and without ADHD over the course of a school year, and also

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Zan Gao, Ken R. Lodewyk and Tao Zhang

This study uncovers the predictive relationship of middle school students’ ability beliefs (self-efficacy and expectancy-related beliefs) and incentives (outcome expectancy, importance, interest, and usefulness) to intention, cardiovascular fitness, and teacher-rated effort in physical education. Participants (N = 252; 118 boys, 134 girls) completed questionnaires assessing their ability beliefs, incentives, and intention for future participation in physical education, and then had their cardiovascular fitness assessed with the Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) test. Students’ effort in class was rated by their respective physical education teachers. Correlation analysis yielded significantly positive relationships between ability beliefs and incentives. Regression results revealed that ability beliefs, importance, interest, and usefulness significantly predicted intention for future participation. Ability beliefs also emerged as significant predictors of PACER test scores whereas self-efficacy was the only predictor of teacher-rated effort. Implications for educational practice are discussed.

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Alex Garn and Haichun Sun

The use of fitness testing is a practical means for measuring components of health-related fitness, but there is currently substantial debate over the motivating effects of these tests. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the cross-fertilization of achievement and friendship goal profiles for early adolescents involved in the Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER). Participants were 214 middle school students who reported their achievement goals, social goals, and preparation effort toward a PACER test. Performance was also examined. Confirmatory factor analysis supported the six-factor approach–avoidance model. Cluster analysis highlighted three distinct profiles. The high-goals profile group reported significantly higher amounts of effort put forth in preparation for the PACER test. Our findings suggest that the cross-fertilization of approach and avoidance achievement and social goals can provide important information about effort and performance on fitness testing in middle school physical education.

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James J. McClain, Gregory J. Welk, Michelle Ihmels and Jodee Schaben

Background:

The PACER test is a valid and reliable assessment of aerobic capacity in children. However, many schools lack adequate space to administer the test. This study compared the utility of the standard 20m PACER test with an alternative 15m PACER protocol in 5th and 8th grade students.

Methods:

A total of 171 students completed both PACER protocols in a counterbalanced design. Agreement between the two protocols was assessed with correlations, repeated-measures ANOVA, and classification agreement into the FITNESSGRAM ® healthy fitness zones.

Results:

The difference in estimated VO2max between the two tests was slightly larger for boys (5th grade, 1.32 ml/kg/min; 8th grade, 1.72 ml/kg/min) than girls (5th grade, 0.14 ml/kg/min; 8th grade, 1.11 ml/kg/min), but these differences are probably not of practical significance. Classification agreement was 88% for boys and 91% for girls.

Conclusions:

Collectively, the results suggest that the 15m and 20m PACER provide similar information about aerobic fitness in youth. The 20m test is recommended when possible, but the 15m provides a useful alternative for schools with smaller gymnasiums.

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Bo Shen, Nate McCaughtry, Jeffrey J. Martin and Mariane Fahlman

With the belief that theoretical integration in motivation may help us better understand motivational behavior, we designed this study to explore adolescents’ motivational profiles and their associations with knowledge acquisition, leisure-time exercise behaviors, and cardiorespiratory fitness. Middle school students from a large urban inner-city school district (N = 603, ages 12–14) completed questionnaires assessing motivational constructs and leisure-time exercise behavior. Knowledge and cardiorespiratory fitness were also assessed with a knowledge test and the Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) test, respectively. Using hierarchical cluster analysis, we found that students’ motivation in physical education could be explained from a multi-theoretical perspective. The interactive patterns among different motivation constructs were homogeneous overall and associated with in-class effort, knowledge, and leisure-time exercise behavior. These findings suggest that students’ development in physical education may depend upon a collective impact of changes in knowledge, physical activity ability, and sources of motivation.

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Jeffrey J. Martin, Pamela Hodges Kulinna, Nate McCaughtry, Donetta Cothran, Joe Dake and Gail Fahoome

The purpose of our study was to evaluate the ability of the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) to predict African American children’s moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and cardiorespiratory fitness. Children (N = 548, ages 9–12) completed questionnaires assessing the TPB constructs and MVPA and then had their cardiorespiratory fitness assessed with the Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) test. Commonly used Structural Equation Modeling fit indices suggested the model was an adequate representation for the relationships within the data. However, results also suggested an extended model which was examined and supported. Tests of direct paths from subjective norm and control to intention indicated that both variables were significant predictors of intention. Furthermore, the impact of attitude on intention was mediated by both subjective norm and control. Finally MVPA predicted cardiorespiratory fitness. Most of the standardized path coefficients fell in the small to moderate range, with the strongest effects evident for the predictors of intention and the smallest effect evident for the link from MVPA to cardiorespiratory fitness.

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David F. Stodden, Zan Gao, Jacqueline D. Goodway and Stephen J. Langendorfer

This cross-sectional study examined associations among motor skill competence (MSC) and health-related fitness (HRF) in youth. A convenient sample of 253 boys and 203 girls (aged 4–13 years) participated in the study. Associations among measures of MSC (throwing and kicking speed and standing long jump distance) and a composite measure of HRF (push-ups, curl-ups, grip strength and PACER test) across five age groups (4–5, 6–7, 8–9, 10–11 and 12–13 yrs.) were assessed using hierarchical regression modeling. When including all children, throwing and jumping were significantly associated with the composite HRF factor for both boys and girls (throw, t = 5.33; jump, t = 4.49) beyond the significant age effect (t = 4.98) with kicking approaching significance (t = 1.73, p = .08). Associations between throwing and kicking speed and HRF appeared to increase from early to middle to late childhood age ranges. Associations between jumping and HRF were variable across age groups. These results support the notion that the relationship between MSC and HRF performance are dynamic and may change across childhood. These data suggest that the development of object control skills in childhood may be important for the development and maintenance of HRF across childhood and into adolescence.

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Stacy N. Scott, Cary M. Springer, Jennifer F. Oody, Michael S. McClanahan, Brittany D. Wiseman, Tyler J. Kybartas and Dawn P. Coe

) found that VO 2 peak estimated by the PACER test tended to be overestimated in less fit participants and underestimated in more fit participants compared with VO 2 peak measured with indirect calorimetry. In addition, weight status can impact VO 2 peak prediction. Previous research has shown that the

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Lauren B. Raine, John R. Biggan, Carol L. Baym, Brian J. Saliba, Neal J. Cohen and Charles H. Hillman

(PACER) test from the FitnessGram ® (see “Methods” section for more details). Students who achieved the Healthy Fitness Zone standards (measured by the number of laps completed during the PACER test) were considered “fit,” while those who did not were considered “unfit.” The “fit” students demonstrated