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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1997 Feb;29(2):225-30.

Prediction of adult stature and noninvasive assessment of biological maturation.

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  • 1Centre for Physical Development Research, Faculty of Physical Education and Physiotherapy, K.U. Leuven, Belgium.


The Tanner-Whitehouse method to predict adult stature uses current stature, current skeletal age (SA), and chronological age (CA), and, if available, change (gain) in stature and SA over the previous year. Since assessment of SA requires invasive techniques, a method is proposed to predict adult stature noninvasively and to use percentage of adult stature as a maturity indicator. Age-specific multiple regression equations were calculated in a sample of 102 Flemish boys 13 through 16 yr who were followed during adolescence and remeasured at 30 yr of age. The proposed procedure, the Beunen-Malina method for prediction of adult stature, includes four somatic dimensions (current stature, sitting height, subscapular skinfold, triceps skinfold) and CA. In this age range multiple correlations (Rs between 0.70 and 0.87) and SEEs (between 3.0 and 4.2 cm) compare favorably with the original Tanner-Whitehouse method. Furthermore, when maturity groups based on percentage of adult stature calculated from the Beunen-Malina predictions are contrasted for somatic dimensions and performance characteristics, differences are similar to those observed when maturity grouping is based on skeletal maturity.

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