Psychometric properties of two systematic observation techniques for assessing physical activity levels in children with mental retardation Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/q237ht96h

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  • Psychometric properties of two systematic observation tools, the System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time (SOFIT) and the Children's Activity Rating Scale (CARS), were examined for use with individuals with mental retardation (MR). Eleven children with MR were videotaped while participating in gym-based physical activity. Accelerometer data were collected and synchronized with the observational data. Three raters coded each videotape twice each with SOFIT and CARS. Generalizability theory analysis indicated that SOFIT had low error variance due to rater, trial, and interaction terms. This provides evidence that SORT has good reliability (ϕ=0.98). Concurrent validity evidence for SORT indicated that SORT may not be an appropriate tool for use with individuals with MR. Validity coefficients (r) between accelerometer data and SOFIT scores ranged from -0.44 to +0.39, indicating less than 20% shared variability. G-theory analysis for CARS also indicated that CARS demonstrates sufficient reliability for use with individuals with MR (ϕ=0.76). There was a higher level of error variance associated with rater for the CARS instrument which indicates that more training on this tool may be necessary. Validity evidence for CARS was somewhat stronger than SOFIT with correlations between accelerometer data and CARS interval scores ranging from -0.52 to +0.79 (r²=0.62). Systematic observation tools may not differentiate between the low physical activity levels of individuals with mental retardation with may have caused the low validity levels. These findings indicate that systematic observations tools provide strong reliability evidence and weak validity evidence for use with individuals with mental retardation, and should not be used for this group.
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