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The study discussed the correlation between childhood obesity and balance. BMI was used to determine whether a child was considered obese, and the pediatric reach test was used to assess balance skills. The study specifically used Pearson’s correlation coefficient, which can determine a correlation if it is a linear one. An r value of -1 indicates a perfect negative correlation, 0 indicates no linear relationship between variables, and 1 indicates a perfect positive correlation (Cox, 2009). The study determined that there was a moderate negative correlation between BMI and balance (balance scores decreased as BMI increased) (Sasidharan, Vijayappan, Pillai, & Khan, 2014).

 

Independent variable: Body mass index

Dependent variable: Pediatric reach test score

Null hypothesis: There is no correlation between BMI and pediatric reach test scores.

Alternative hypothesis: BMI is associated with linear changes in pediatric reach test scores.

 

The Pearson’s correlation coefficient assumes that all data is interval or ratio data. This assumption is met because BMI is ratio data, and the pediatric reach test is interval data (there are negative scores with this test). A “medium” correlation indicates an r value of 0.3 to 0.5, or -0.3 to -0.5 for positive or negative correlations, respectively. The test also assumes that data is normally distributed, that there is a linear relationship between the variables, and that outliers are minimized or removed from the data (Laerd Statistics, 2013). The data also meets these requirements, so this test was appropriate in this case. The test results seem to be valid, and the test did indicate a significant negative correlation between BMI and pediatric reach test scores.

 

Cox, T. (2009). An introduction to multivariate data. (1st ed.). London, England: Wiley.

Laerd Statistics. (2013). Pearson product-moment correlation – when you should run this test, the range of values of the coefficient can take and how to measure strength of association. Retrieved from https://statistics.laerd.com/statistical-guides/pearson-correlation-coefficient-statistical-guide.php

Sasidharan, A., Vijayappan, V., Pillai, S., Khan, F. (2014). Correlation between obesity and balance in school children. International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 21(1), 36-39.

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