Predicted maturity offset and age at peak height velocity are increasingly used with youth athletes, although validation studies of the equations indicated major limitations. The equations have since been modified and simplified.
The objective of this study was to validate the new maturity offset prediction equations in independent longitudinal samples of boys and girls.
Two new equations for boys with chronological age and sitting height and chronological age and stature as predictors, and one equation for girls with chronological age and stature as predictors were evaluated in serial data from the Wrocław Growth Study, 193 boys (aged 8–18 years) and 198 girls (aged 8–16 years). Observed age at peak height velocity for each youth was estimated with the Preece–Baines Model 1. The original prediction equations were included for comparison. Predicted age at peak height velocity was the difference between chronological age at prediction and maturity offset.
Predicted ages at peak height velocity with the new equations approximated observed ages at peak height velocity in average maturing boys near the time of peak height velocity; a corresponding window for average maturing girls was not apparent. Compared with observed age at peak height velocity, predicted ages at peak height velocity with the new and original equations were consistently later in early maturing youth and earlier in late maturing youth of both sexes. Predicted ages at peak height velocity with the new equations had reduced variation compared with the original equations and especially observed ages at peak height velocity. Intra-individual variation in predicted ages at peak height velocity with all equations was considerable.
The new equations are useful for average maturing boys close to the time of peak height velocity; there does not appear to be a clear window for average maturing girls. The new and original equations have major limitations with early and late maturing boys and girls.