THE INVERTED RELATIVE AGE EFFECT IN KOREAN GYMNASTS
Keywords:inverted relative age effect, Korean gymnasts, RAE, birth month
Students born in earlier months likely have higher academic achievement than those born later even though they are in the same grade (relative age effect, RAE). Some studies reported no RAE in gymnastics. This study aimed to determine the RAE in Korean gymnasts. Data were collected on the birth month of 806 Korean gymnasts: 482 elementary (181 men; 301 women) and 324 middle-high (189 men; 135 women) school gymnasts registered by the Korea Gymnastics Association. Four quarters were used: Q1 (January–March), Q2 (April–June), Q3 (July–September), and Q4 (October–December). The χ2 test and its probability were applied for hypothesis testing. Overall, 164 (20.3%) gymnasts were born in Q1, 191 (23.7%) in Q2, 220 (27.3%) in Q3, and 231 (28.7%) in Q4. We could not confirm the birth frequency of Q1 as high. Descriptive data of RAE showed that the frequency of Q1 was the lowest among the quarters of participants. Contrary to RAE expectations, Q4 showed the highest frequency in both elementary and middle-high (χ2 elementary=2.431, p-value=0.487; χ2 middle high=17.827, p-value=0.001) school gymnasts, and this appeared like an ‘inverted relative age effect’. The inverted RAE was more pronounced in middle and high school gymnasts.
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