Document Type



Investigations of adolescent changes in subcutaneous fat have consistently shown gain and then loss in subcutaneous fat at the triceps site in boys. Results concerning changes at triceps for girls and trunk sites in both sexes differ among studies, some showing increasing values across age, others showing the pattern typical of male triceps skinfold thickness. The present study reports results concerning serial skin­fold measurements of triceps and subscapular skinfold thickness in a sample of approximately 59 individuals (29 boys and 30 girls) participating in the Fels Longitudinal Study. All data are reported relative to age at peak height velocity (APHV) to correct for individual differences in maturation. Triceps skinfold in boys shows the expected pattern of increase and decrease. Changes at both boys’ and girls’ subscapular sites are small except at the 90th percentile where an increase followed by a decrease is evident. In girls, values for triceps skinfold increase slightly and then decrease except at the 90th percentile. Mean increments relative to APHV are similar at both sites in each sex and indicate a correspondence in the occurrence and magnitude of fat gains and losses at each site, particularly near APHV. These findings suggest that patterns of fat gain and loss do occur at triceps and subscapular skinfold sites in both sexes, though this pattern may not occur in all individuals.