One-hundred thirty-four premenarcheal girls between the ages of 7 and 15 years were somatotyped according to the Heath-Carter technique. Sexual maturation was determined by selfassessed Tanner stages. Statistical analysis was completed on 50 athletes (representing seven sports) and 29 non-athletes over the age of 10 years. The mean somatotype for the athletes was calculated to be 2.4-3.6-3.9 and for the non-athletes 3.7-3.7-3.6. Single component ANOVA’s revealed that the athletes were significantly less endomorphic (p < 0.01) than the non-athletes. The overall somatotype ratings and the equality of dispersion about the means were significantly different between the athletes and non-athletes. The single highest category for the athletes was mesomorph-ectomorph and for the non-athletes, mesomorphic-endomorph. Significant negative correlations were obtained between mesomorphy and breast development (-0.33, p < 0.05) and mesomorphy and pubic hair development (—0.44, p < 0.01) for the athletes. Significant positive correlations were obtained between endomorphy and breast development (0.55, p < 0.01) and endomorphy and pubic hair development (0.45, p < 0.05) for the non-athletes. The mean somatotype for the gymnasts was 2.1-3.9-3.6 and for the swimmers 2.5-3.4-4.1. These two groups were significantly different from each other on each separate component and overall somatotype, but not in equality of dispersion. The results support the conclusion that premenarcheal athletes are morphologically different from non-athletes despite their youth and from each other based on sport specificity.
Liu, Nora Yan-Shu; Plowman, Sharon Ann; and Wells, Christine L.
"Somatotypes of Premenarcheal Athletes and Non-Athletes,"
2, Article 6.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol/vol61/iss2/6