Getting a Grip on Biological Maturity: Comparing maturation among youth athletes of contact, non-contact and aesthetic sports and investigating it's association with handgrip strength
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Background: Adolescence is a period of considerable growth, maturation and development. The physical changes accompanying this period include increase of body size, height and weight and individuals tend to naturally improve across performance measures. Maturity timing is individualized, those who are chronologically the same age may differ greatly due to their maturity status. Handgrip strength is a convenient measure of isometric strength yet there is little data examining how handgrip strength is associated with maturation in youth male and female athletes. Aim: The aim of this study was to report the estimated age at peak height velocity (PHV) of 7th and 8th grade youth athletes involved in various sports and to investigate the association between maturation and handgrip strength. Methods: Anthropometrics and handgrip strength measurements were collected biyearly from 199 youth athletes between Spring 2014 and Fall 2015 to provide 377 data points. Maturity was indicated by inputting measures of leg length, sitting height, chronological age, weight and height into a prediction equation. Age at PHV was predicted and compared among sport types. Associations between maturation and handgrip strength were examined between sexes. Results: Age at PHV was 14.2±0.6 years for boys (n= 115) and12.4±0.5 years for girls (n=84). Female aesthetic athletes reached PHV significantly later than contact and non-contact female athletes. Those postHV were significantly stronger p < 0.00 than those prePHV. Handgrip strength was largely to moderately associated with maturation for boys (n=115 and 225 data points) r = 0.8, p <0.00 and girls (n=84 and 152 data points) r = 0.5, p = 0.00. When body mass was accounted for the association was small for boys r = 0.3 p < 0.00, and nearly trivial for girls r = 0.1 p = 0.16. Conclusion: This study reports estimated age at PHV for 7th and 8th grade athletes. Age at PHV for boys was slightly later than previously reported for athletes. Female aesthetic type sports athletes saw a later age at PHV than the other female athletes. The moderate to strong association between maturation on performance support previous research and a large portion of the increase in strength was due to increase in body mass. Overall, this study highlights the need for maturation based reference values for handgrip strength as well as consideration for maturity differences among youth athletes.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-31086OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-31086DiVA: diva2:935251
Subject / course
Biomedicine Targeting Physical Education