Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Brian L. Pritschet


The purpose of this study was to investigate differences in physical fitness and biological development between two groups of twelve year old females. One group consisted of idividuals who had been involved in competitive sport for at least two years while the other group was not involved in organized sport. Two groups of 20 subjects were examined in terms of height, weight, flexibility, strength, body composition, maturation, eating attitudes, and cardiorespiratory endurance. The results indicated that the gymnasts were significantly (p<.05) shorter, lighter, stronger in regard to left hand grip strength, lower in percent body fat, less biologically mature, and had greater cardiorespiratory fitness than the non-gymnasts. No significant differences were observed in right hand grip strength or eating attitudes. It was concluded that maturation level as well as gymnastic training played a major role in influencing values obtained through measurements of physical fitness.