Determining Concurrent Validity of SOFIT for Measuring Physical Activity of Children with Mental Retardation

Article excerpt

Jennifer Faison-Hodge, Capital University, and David L. Porretta, The Ohio State University

Methods of effectively measuring physical activity for children and youth have been receiving national attention (USDHHS, 1996). While a number of observational systems have been used, The System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time (SOFIT) has been validated and effectively used in a number of studies measuring physical activity levels of elementary and middle school children without disabilities (McKenzie et al. 1991; 1993). However, the SOFIT instrument has yet to be validated for children with disabilities and particularly children with mental retardation. In order to effectively measure physical activity levels of children With mental retardation, it is necessary to first validate SOFIT with these children. The following study sought to determine if SOFIT possesses concurrent validity (with heart rate measures) for use as a physical activity observational tool for children with mental retardation. The participants for the study were eight children with mental retardation (ages 8-11 years) from a rural elementary school in North Carolina. …