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Article Title

DIFFERENCES IN COUNTERMOVEMENT VERTICAL JUMP HEIGHT BETWEEN STRONGER AND WEAKER FEMALE POLICE OFFICERS

Abstract

J. Jay Dawes1, Quincy Johnson1, Cody Diehl1, Robin M. Orr2, Robert G. Lockie3, Charles L. Kornhauser4, Ryan J. Holmes4, Roger Kollock5, 1Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, USA 2Bond University-Tactical Research Unit, Robina, QLD, AUS 3California State University Fullerton, CA, USA 4Colorado State Patrol Training Academy, Golden, CO, USA 5University of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK, USA

Strength and power are essential for performing tasks related to law enforcement. However, at this time the relationship between absolute and relative strength and power has yet to be investigated among female law enforcement officers. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the differences in relative (REL) measures of strength to countermovement vertical jump (CMJ) height in stronger and weaker female law enforcement officers. METHODS: Retrospective data for 26 female (age = 35.46 ± 9.22yrs; height = 168.1 ±6.01cm; body mass = 73.48 ± 15.35kg) officers from one agency were provided for analysis. Measures included isometric leg/back dynamometer (LBD) strength and CMJ height. Relative strength was calculated by dividing LBD scores by body mass (LBDr). The officers were then categorized into above (LBDr ≥1.6) and below average (LBDr < 1.6) strength groups based on their mean LBDr score. An independent samples t-test and a Cohen’s effect size calculation were used to assess mean score differences in vertical jump height by group. RESULTS: An independent samples t-test revealed no significant differences between CMJ performance (38.4±4.8 vs. 35.8±4.3) between groups. However, a medium-large (d= .57) effect size was discovered between the stronger and weaker groups. DISCUSSION: These results suggest that stronger female officers have a greater propensity to jump higher than their weaker counterparts. This could impact job-specific performance where lower-body power is required (e.g. suspect pursuit, obstacle clearance). This investigation also highlights the need to utilize advanced statistical methods, such as effect size calculations, to determine the least amount of worthwhile differences in performance when analyzing smaller sample sizes.

KEYWORDS: Muscular Strength; Law Enforcement; Occupational

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