Age and Gender Differences in Adolescent and Adult Overarm Throwing

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The purposes of this study were to examine age and gender differences in throwing performance across an underexplored portion of the lifespan: middle adolescents (14 – 17 years old), young adults (18– 25 years old), and adults (35– 55 years old). Method: Throwing performance was assessed using the body component levels from Roberton’s developmental sequences for force and ball velocity that were recorded by a radar gun. Participants in each age group performed between 5 to 10 forceful overhand throws toward a target approximately 15 m to 20 m from the thrower. A Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney Test was used to determine gender differences and a Wilcoxon-Signed Ranks Test was used to determine age-group differences for each component. Gender and age-group differences in ball speed were determined by a 3 (age group) £ 2 (gender) factorial analysis of variance with follow-up posthoc tests. Results: Young-adult men had higher body component levels and ball speed compared with the adolescent boys and adult men. Female age-group differences existed only for humerus action between young-adult and adult groups and for ball speed between youngadult and adolescent groups. Gender differences ( p , .01) existed in component levels for the adolescent and young-adult groups, but not the adult groups. Gender differences in ball speed ( p , .001) existed within each age group. Conclusion: Although these data were crosssectional, the regressive developmental changes observed and the narrowing gender gap may eventually provide insight related to the relationship



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