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Medicina dello Sport 2017 June;70(2):186-90

DOI: 10.23736/S0025-7826.17.03105-2

Copyright © 2017 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English, Italian

Maturational advantage of early maturers in youth sport

Sergej M. OSTOJIC 1, 2

1 Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbia; 2 School of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia


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BACKGROUND: Early maturers dominate in youth sport, yet the degree of maturational advantage against normal and late maturers is poorly described.
METHODS: In a sample of 167 athletic boys and adolescents (age 6.9-18.5 years) we assessed biological age (BA) using Greulich-Pyle skeletal age estimation method, and compared biological to chronological age (CA) for each participant. Participants’ maturation status was determined according to following criteria: early maturers (BA>CA by 6 months or more); normal maturers (BA above or below CA by ≤6 months); and late maturers (BA retarded by more than 6 months to CA).
RESULTS: Among boys in our cohort, 36.5% were categorized as early maturers, 46.7% as normal maturers, and 16.8% were classified as late maturers (P=0.002), while an average maturational advantage of early maturers vs. late maturers was 1.8 years.
CONCLUSIONS: It seems that normal and early maturers predominate in youth sport, with athletic boys and adolescents displayed an advanced biological age.


KEY WORDS: Age determination by skeleton - Child - Adolescent - Athletic performance

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