Purpose: Relative age effect (RAE) is a bias usually observed in young athletes and in academia, where participation is higher among those born early in the year. We aimed to determine RAE in undergraduate students of sport science. Methods: The birth dates of a sample of undergraduate students (N = 11,280) at the University of Torino (Italy) were collected. Students belonged to sport science (N = 5229) and other faculties (N = 6051; law, arts, and economics). All students were divided into four groups depending on their birth date, and the distribution of the birth dates was compared with the general population by means of Chi square test. Results: The observed distribution was different from that expected for male undergraduate students of sport science (P = 0.009), where most students were born in the first few months of the year. Differently, in female students of sport science and students belonging to other faculties, the birth dates were more normally distributed (P > 0.05). Conclusion: In conclusion, we observed a skewed distribution of the birth dates in male, but not in female, undergraduate students of sport science. Probably, the physical advantages of the young males born at the year beginning may have oriented the choice of sport science degree, an academic field where physical capacities provide some advantages. © 2017, Springer-Verlag Italia.

Relative age effect in males, but not females, undergraduate students of sport science

Boccia, Gennaro;Brustio, Paolo Riccardo
2017

Abstract

Purpose: Relative age effect (RAE) is a bias usually observed in young athletes and in academia, where participation is higher among those born early in the year. We aimed to determine RAE in undergraduate students of sport science. Methods: The birth dates of a sample of undergraduate students (N = 11,280) at the University of Torino (Italy) were collected. Students belonged to sport science (N = 5229) and other faculties (N = 6051; law, arts, and economics). All students were divided into four groups depending on their birth date, and the distribution of the birth dates was compared with the general population by means of Chi square test. Results: The observed distribution was different from that expected for male undergraduate students of sport science (P = 0.009), where most students were born in the first few months of the year. Differently, in female students of sport science and students belonging to other faculties, the birth dates were more normally distributed (P > 0.05). Conclusion: In conclusion, we observed a skewed distribution of the birth dates in male, but not in female, undergraduate students of sport science. Probably, the physical advantages of the young males born at the year beginning may have oriented the choice of sport science degree, an academic field where physical capacities provide some advantages. © 2017, Springer-Verlag Italia.
gender differences; maturation; relative age effect; sport science; university
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/978261
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