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00005768-200305001-0010800005768_2003_35_s22_kokudo_development_5miscellaneous< 18_0_5_0 >Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise©2003The American College of Sports MedicineVolume 35(5) Supplement 1May 2003p S22OPTIMAL AGE OF SWIMMING AND GYMNASTIC SKILL DEVELOPMENT ON JAPANESE CHILDREN AND YOUTHS[A-15K FREE COMMUNICATION/POSTER CHILDREN: ASSESSMENT AND EXERCISE RESPONSE]Kokudo, S1; Nishijima, T1; Suzuki, K1; Ozawa, H1; Ohsawa, S1; Matsuda, H1; Noda, Y1; Yagi, N1; Kagaya, A1; Naito, H1; Aoki, J1; Kobayashi, K11Tottori University, Tottori, Japane-mail: determine the optimal age of swimming and gymnastic skill development on Japanese children and youths.METHODSSubjects are 10,701 Japanese from 6 to 17 years of age. They answered questionnaires regarding 28 gymnastic skills and 8 swimming skills. Researchers displayed both of the name and an illustration of each motor skill. Three categories: ‘can't do’, ‘can do’ and ‘can do well’ were used as the skill evaluation scales. The changes of achievement percentage by age were drawn on a line graph for each skill respectively. The changing pattern was divided into 3 phases such as pre-developmental, developmental and post-developmental stages. Linear regression was applied to the developmental and post-developmental stages separately. A two-parameter model of item response theory (IRT) was applied to the skills. Researchers investigated the optimal age for skill development using the regression results, item difficulty and discrimination power which were provided by the IRT model.RESULTSThe item difficulties of back roll extension, neck-spring, head-spring, kip and many vaulting skills were larger than 1.5. These developmental periods were distributed from 9 to 15 years of age. The item difficulties of other gymnastic skills were −0.5 to 0.5. The skills were developed from 7 to 12 years of age. In particular they were rapidly developed at the age of 10 and 11. Swimming skills were developed from 6 to 11 years of age. The regression slopes were stable during the developmental stage. The item difficulties were widely distributed from −3.0 to 0.9.CONCLUSIONSwimming skills are optimally developed during the elementary school period while the skills have different levels of difficulty. Regarding gymnastic skills, the optimal developmental age of basic skills is from 7 to 12 years of age, and that of difficult skills is from 11 to 15. Supported by JSPS Grant 12800014.OPTIMAL AGE OF SWIMMING AND GYMNASTIC SKILL DEVELOPMENT ON JAPANESE CHILDREN AND YOUTHSKokudo, S; Nishijima, T; Suzuki, K; Ozawa, H; Ohsawa, S; Matsuda, H; Noda, Y; Yagi, N; Kagaya, A; Naito, H; Aoki, J; Kobayashi, KA-15K Free Communication/Poster Children: Assessment and Exercise Response535