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Indexed/Abstracted in: Chemical Abstracts, CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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EPIDEMIOLOGY AND CLINICAL MEDICINE
Leone M., Comtois A. S.
Department of Kinanthropology University of Québec, Montreal, Canada
Aim. The variability along the progression of different stages of maturation during puberty suggests that chronological age is not the best indicator in assessing biological status during adolescence. This is particularly relevant for adolescents involved in high level of sports competitions, which implies greater physiological and biomechanical demands to the body. Therefore, monitoring physical changes during this period may help the coaching and medical staff to construct and adapt on an individual basis, better training programs and, then, improve performance while preventing injuries. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the validity and the reliability of self-assessment of sexual maturity among elite adolescent athletes.
Methods. Using the Tanner sexual maturity method, 24 male and 23 female athletes aged 12 to 17 years, were assessed by a physician, and, then, self-assessed for sexual maturity.
Results. Agreement with the physician ratings was high (κ coefficients of 0.79 for pubic hair and 0.67 for genital development for boys and 0.75 and 0.85 for pubic hair and breast development for girls, respectively). Spearman correlations ranged from 0.86 to 0.97 (P≤0.05).
Conclusion. The self-assessment is a valid and reliable method to assess sexual maturity in elite adolescent athletes.