Dissertation - NSU Access Only
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Physical Therapy
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College of Health Care Sciences - Physical Therapy Department
Publication Date / Copyright Date
Nova Southeastern University. College of Health Care Sciences.
Mark D. Sleeper. 2012. Development of a Reliable and Valid Means to Measure the Physical Abilities of Young Male Gymnasts. Doctoral dissertation. Nova Southeastern University. Retrieved from NSUWorks, College of Health Care Sciences - Physical Therapy Department. (10)
Study Design: Cross Sectional Objectives: To develop a functional measurement tool to assess the physical abilities in male gymnasts and to evaluate the test-retest reliability and face validity of that measurement tool. Background: Despite the availability of physical fitness field-tests for many competitive sports, a reliable and valid test to measure the physical abilities (strength, endurance, balance, coordination, agility, and flexibility) of male gymnasts has not been explored or developed. The Men's Gymnastics Functional Measurement Tool (MGFMT) is a set of functional measurements used to objectively measure physical abilities required of male gymnasts. The MGFMT is a field-test designed to improve coaches' abilities to monitor their gymnasts' physical fitness levels and to help identify physical weaknesses that can be improved to create a more all-around physically fit gymnast. Methods: Eighty-three, 7 to 18 year-old competitive male club gymnasts (Level 4-10) were assessed. From these 83 total subjects, a convenience sample of 30 subjects was chosen to participate to establish the test-retest reliability of individual items and performance of the entire tool. These 30 subjects were retested with the MGFMT one week after initial testing. Test conditions and administration were consistent between the 2 administrations of the MGFMT including warm-up and item order. Statistics: Test-retest reliability was analyzed for each of the individual items using Intraclass Correlation Coefficient. Validity was analyzed using linear regression of the athletes' USA-Gymnastics competition level, predicting the component-test raw scores as well as the MGFMT total test score, resulting in a coefficient of determination (r2). Hypotheses: 1) The MGFMT individual items and the MGFMT total composite score demonstrated good test re-test reliability (Intraclass Correlation coefficient (ICC) >0.80). 2) There is a strong relationship between the MGFMT total composite score and the current competitive level of the gymnasts tested (r > 0.80). Results: The mean age of participating subjects was 11.07 years (range 7 - 18) with subjects reporting participation in competitive gymnastics for a mean of 4.36 years. Mean height and weight of the subjects were 37.5 kg and 142.8 cm respectively. Thirteen potential component tests were originally considered for inclusion in the MGFMT. Three component tests were eliminated based on physical ability tested, ease of test application, statistical analysis, and consultation with an informal panel of experts. Several of the relationships between the subjects' current USA Gymnastics competitive level and individual component test item raw scores were statistically significant, however, those relationships ranged from poor to good based on r2 scores (r2 = 0.004-0.64). The relationship between MGFMT composite test score (out of a possible score of 100) and the subjects' current USA Gymnastics competitive level was found to be good (r2 = 0.63). To rule out alternative explanations for the relationship between USA Gymnastics competitive level and MGFMT composite test scores, the relationships between MGFMT composite test scores and age, MGFMT composite test scores and bodyweight and MGFMT total composite scores and total hours training per week were also explored (r2 = 0.30, 0.48, and 0.56, respectively). Reliability testing of the MGFMT composite test score showed excellent test-retest reliability over a one-week period (ICC=0.97). Test-retest reliability of the individual component tests ranged from good to excellent (ICC = 0.75-0.97). Conclusion: The MGFMT, a 10-component field test of male gymnast physical abilities was found to be reliable and valid.