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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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David A. Rowe and Matthew T. Mahar

Background:

The purpose of the study was to evaluate race-specific FITNESSGRAM® body mass index (BMI) standards in comparison to the recommended standards, i.e., percent fat (%BF) ≥25 in boys and %BF ≥32 in girls.

Methods:

BMI and %BF were estimated in 1,968 Black and White children ages 6-14 years, using methods similar to those used to develop the current FITNESSGRAM standards. Multiple regression was employed to develop age-, sex-, and race-specific BMI standards. Percent agreement and modified kappa (κq) were used to evaluate agreement with the %BF standards, and sensitivity and specificity were used to evaluate classification accuracy.

Results:

Race significantly (p < .05) and meaningfully (β = 2.3% fat) added to the relationship between BMI and %BF. Agreement of the race-specific BMI standards with %BF standards was moderate to high (κq = .73–.88), and classification accuracy improved on the current FITNESSGRAM BMI standards.

Conclusions:

Race-specific BMI standards appear to be a more accurate representation of unhealthy %BF levels than the current FITNESSGRAM BMI standards.

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Francis X. Short and Joseph P. Winnick

This manuscript provides information on the rationale for the selection of the muscular strength and endurance test items associated with the Brockport Physical Fitness Test for youngsters with mental retardation and mild limitations in fitness, visual impairment (blindness), cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, or congenital anomalies or amputations. Information on the validity, attainability, and reliability of the 16 tests and their criterion-referenced standards is provided. Suggestions are made for future research.

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Sharon A. Plowman, Charles L. Sterling, Charles B. Corbin, Marilu D. Meredith, Gregory J. Welk and James R. Morrow Jr.

Initially designed by Charles L. Sterling as a physical fitness “report card” FITNESSGRAM ® / ACTIVITYGRAM ® is now an educational assessment and reporting software program. Based on physiological/epidemiological, behavioral, and pedagogical research, FITNESSGRAM is committed to health-related physical fitness, criterion-referenced standards, an emphasis on physical activity including behavioral based recognitions, and the latest in technology. The evolution of these major concepts is described in this history of FITNESSGRAM.

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Francis X. Short and Joseph P. Winnick

This article describes the procedures and rationale for the selection of test items and criterion-referenced standards associated with the aerobic functioning component of the Brockport Physical Fitness Test. Validity and reliability information is provided for the 1-mile run/walk, the PACER (16-m and 20-m), and the Target Aerobic Movement Test. The relevance of these test items and standards for youngsters with mental retardation and mild limitations in fitness, visual impairments (blindness), cerebral palsy, and spinal cord injuries, and for those with congenital anomalies or amputations is highlighted. Information on the attainability of the selected standards also is provided. Possible topics for future research are suggested.

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Francis X. Short and Joseph P. Winnick

This manuscript examines the validity and reliability of the tests used to measure body composition in the Brockport Physical Fitness Test. More specifically, information is provided on skinfold measures and body mass index and their applicability to youngsters with mental retardation and mild limitations in fitness, visual impairment (blindness), cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, or congenital anomalies or amputations. The rationale for criterion-referenced standards for these test items for youngsters with these disabilities is provided along with some data on attainability of those standards. Possible ideas for future research are recommended.

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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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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.

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Margaret J. Safrit

The measurement of physical fitness in children and youth has long been a topic of interest to physical educators, exercise scientists, health agencies, and private organizations dealing with sport and fitness. In recent years the focus on problems in measuring fitness has become more intense due to a number of factors, in particular the need for adequate surveillance studies and the perceived lack of fitness education in the schools. The purpose of this paper is to examine the scientific evidence that supports the use of measurement techniques for fitness evaluation. Physical fitness is described as a scientific construct that is multifaceted. A rationale is presented for the development of an operational definition of fitness that provides a basis for the identification of components of fitness to be measured. The latest versions of national fitness tests are described and compared, and evidence of the reliability and validity of the test batteries as well as individual subtests is summarized. Finally, several issues associated with fitness testing are discussed. These include the use of criterion referenced standards, the development of norms, and the use of fitness tests in a school setting. Although many improvements in tests and testing practices are noted, research is needed on a variety of problems.

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Christine Voss and Gavin R. H. Sandercock

Background:

Parental behavior is an important correlate of child health. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between perceived parental physical activity (PA) and schoolchildren’s aerobic fitness.

Methods:

English schoolchildren’s (n = 4029, 54% boys, 10.0−15.9 yrs) fitness was assessed by 20 m shuttle run test and categorized using criterion-referenced standards. Parental PA was reported by the child.

Results:

Boys and girls were more likely to be fit (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.1−1.8; OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.1−2.0; respectively) if at least 1 parent was perceived as active compared with when neither parents were. Girls were even more likely to be fit (OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.2−2.8) if both parents were active. Associations between parental PA and child fitness were generally stronger when parent and child were of the same gender, although girls with active fathers were more likely (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.7−3.7) to be fit compared with inactive fathers.

Conclusion:

Schoolchildren perceiving at least 1 parent as active are more likely to meet health-related fitness standards. Underlying mechanisms remain elusive, but same-gender associations suggest that social rather than genetic factors are of greater importance. Targeting parental PA or at least perceptions of parental PA should be given consideration in interventions aiming to improve child health.