The Brockport Physical Fitness Test

By Winnick, Joseph P.; Short, Francis X. | Palaestra, Winter 2000 | Go to article overview

The Brockport Physical Fitness Test


Winnick, Joseph P., Short, Francis X., Palaestra


In 1993 the U.S. Department of Education funded Project Target, a research study primarily designed to develop a health-related, criterion-referenced physical fitness test for youngsters (aged 10-17) with disabilities. Specifically, the purpose was to recommend test items and standards for youngsters with mental retardation, spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, blindness, congenital anomalies, and amputations. The project was centered at the State University of New York, College at Brockport. A total of 1,542 youngsters with and without disabilities were tested and data associated with several projects analyzed as a part of the comprehensive Project Target. The Brockport Physical Fitness Test (BPFT) was created as a result of activities associated with Project Target.

The BPFT includes a number of unique features. First, in an effort to personalize testing and assessment, the battery includes 27 different test items. However, a complete battery for one individual or category of disability generally includes four to six items. Second, it applies a health-related, criterion-referenced fitness approach to youngsters with disabilities. Third, it provides an approach based on health-related needs and a desired fitness profile. Finally, many of the test items are new (or at least nontraditional) and include a larger number of youngsters with disabilities in a physical fitness testing program than previously reported in the literature.

Test Construction

The process to select test items and standards included identifying and selecting health-related concerns for a youngster or a specifically defined group, establishing a desired personalized fitness profile, selecting components and subcomponents of physical fitness to be assessed, selecting test items to measure selected components, and selecting health-related standards to evaluate physical fitness.

A major criterion for selection of test items and standards for the BPFT was validity. In this regard it was necessary to establish a framework for health-related physical fitness. Once this framework was determined, test items and standards were selected on the basis of logic, a review of literature, and data deemed relevant to validity.

A second criterion for selection of test items was reliability. All the test items recommended in connection with the test are believed to be reliable. Data in the literature regarding the reliability of test items and additional data supporting test item reliability were collected as part of Project Target. Detailed information related to validity and reliability is presented in the technical manual associated with the Project Target final report (Winnick & Short, 1999) and in connection with Fitness Challenge Software (Short & Winnick, 1999).

A third criterion for the selection of test items and standards was extent to which test items could be used for different classes of youngsters. Preference was given to test items and standards which could be applied to non-disabled youngsters, as well as youngsters with disabilities, and appropriate tests of physical fitness designed for the general population. In particular, test items associated with the FITNESSGRAM (CIAR, 1992; CIAR, 1999) were selected so the BPFT could be easily coordinated by users of that test.

The fourth criterion in selecting test items was to find items which were believed to measure different traits or abilities, but encompassed the orientation of physical fitness used for this test. This was done so that each item in the test adds new information about the youngster.

Secondary criteria were, to the extent possible, to select test items reasonably familiar to physical educators, economical in terms of time and expense, and feasible to administer in field situations.

Conceptual Framework

The framework for developing the Brockport Physical Fitness Test is represented by Figure 1. …

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