Cross-validation of an equating method linking aerobic FITNESSGRAM ® field tests

Elena A. Boiarskaia, Marco S. Boscolo, Weimo Zhu, Matthew T. Mahar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Field tests measuring the same construct, in this case, aerobic capacity, use different scales, which makes fitness assessment of children and youth potentially confusing. The Primary Field Test Centered Equating Method has been developed to set tests on the same scale, as illustrated by the conversion of Progressive Aerobic Capacity Endurance Run (PACER) scores to 1-mile run/walk times to estimate VO 2max. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to cross-validate the Primary Field Test Centered Equating Method by using a data set of middle school students to assess its effectiveness. Methods: PACER scores of 135 middle school students were converted to 1-mile run/walk times (Mile PEQ) using the proposed method. Several estimates of VO 2max using PACER scores were then compared to estimated VO 2max using Mile PEQ and measured VO 2max. The obtained measures were classified according to the healthy fitness zone (HFZ; FITNESSGRAM ®, version 9) and compared to measured VO 2max. BMI estimates based on the sample data and the national average also were considered to assess the method's flexibility. Results: Agreement levels with actual values were similar for VO 2max predicted using Mile PEQ and predictions using PACER laps and speed (73%75%). The t-tests showed no significant difference between actual VO 2max (M=44.43, SD= 8.36) and VO 2max predicted using Mile PEQ (M=44.33, SD=5.88). Using BMI averages from sample data and the national data to estimate VO 2max using Mile PEQ also yields high agreement levels, 70% and 73%, respectively. Conclusions: The Primary Field Test Centered Equating Method performs as well or better in estimating VO 2max as several other models using PACER scores, especially for boys, and thus may be successfully used in practice. More research is needed to understand the relatively low prediction and classification accuracy in girls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S124-S130
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Volume41
Issue number4 SUPPL. 2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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