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THE JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE AND PHYSICAL FITNESS
Rivista di Medicina, Traumatologia e Psicologia dello Sport
Indexed/Abstracted in: Chemical Abstracts, CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,111
The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2000 March;40(1):17-25
Improvement of motor abilities in pubertal girls
Volver A., Viru A., Viru M.
From the Institute of Exercise Biology University of Tartu, Estonia
Background. Purpose of the study was to test the hypothesis that in the course of sexual maturation possibilities for accelerated development of motor abilities are triggered in girls.
Methods. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 77 healthy 11- to 14-year-old girls, grouped according to Tanner’s 5-stage scale of sexual maturation. Motor abilities were assessed with the aid of 20 m dash, 4×9 m shuttle run, standing long jump, squats in 30 sec, sit ups in 30 sec, trunk forward flexion, Cooper 12-min running test, and Harvard step-test.
Results. Performance in the shuttle run, standing long jump and trunk forward flexion improved in correlation with sexual maturation stage. When consecutive maturation groups were compared, in standing long jump and trunk forward flexion significant differences were found between sexual maturation stages II and III, in shuttle run between stages I and II. The significant main effect of sexual maturation was confirmed with the aid of MANOVA. 23% of variance in the results of trunk forward flexion, 17% in standing long jump, and 10% in shuttle run were attributable to maturation differences. For the same three motor tasks 4%, 8%, and 15%, were respectively attributed to age differences. Differences between maturation groups disappeared when the results of shuttle run and standing long jump were adjusted with the aid of ANCOVA for age or height as the covariate, but persisted after results were controlled for body mass.
Conclusions. The results support the tested hypothesis. Critical for improvement of agility is reaching maturation stage II, and for increase of leg muscle explosive strength and trunk flexibility, reaching stage III.