Allometric Grip Strength Norms for American Children

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Kocher, MH, Oba, Y, Kimura, IF, Stickley, CD, Morgan, CF, and Hetzler, RK. Allometric grip strength norms for American children. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000–000, 2018—To develop normative data from a large cohort of American school children (ages 6–18) for unscaled and allometrically scaled handgrip strength data that are uninfluenced by body size (body mass [BM] and stature [Ht]). Data (age, handgrip strength, BM, and Ht) were collected from the 2011–2012 and 2013–2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey databases, resulting in 4,665 cases (2,384 boys and 2,281 girls). Multiple log-linear regressions were used to determine allometric exponents for BM and Ht separately for each age and sex to satisfy the common exponent and group difference principles described by Vanderburgh. Appropriateness of the allometric model was assessed through regression diagnostics, including normality and homoscedasticity of residuals. Allometrically scaled, ratio-scaled, and unscaled grip strength were then correlated with BM and Ht to examine the effectiveness of the procedure in controlling for body size. The data did not allow for development of a common exponent across age and sex that did not violate the common exponent and group difference principles. Correlations between allometrically scaled handgrip strength with BM and Ht were not significant (p ≤ 0.479) and approached zero, unlike correlations of unscaled handgrip strength with BM and Ht (p < 0.001 for all), indicating that allometric scaling was successful in removing the influence of body size. Allometric scaling handgrip strength by age and sex effectively controls for body size (Ht and BM) and perhaps maturation (Ht). The allometric exponents and normative values developed can be used to compare handgrip strength within age and sex while controlling for body size.

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