The ACDSi – The Analysis of Children’s Development in Slovenia
Research project Analysis of development trends of children and youth in Slovenia (ACDSi) is a cross-sectional study which runs once every 10 years or so, since 1970 (other generations include: 1983, 1993/4, 2003/4, 2013/2014, 2016/17). The ACDSi study is one of the oldest secular trends research of child fitness in the world.
The ACDSi is conducted from the lead research institution, the Faculty of Sport from University of Ljubljana. This study is based on an interdisciplinary approach that includes measurements within the physical anthropology, kinesiology, psychology and sociology disciplines. The aim of the ACDSi study is to monitor secular trends in physical and motor development of children in terms of psychological, social and health factors that shape their modern lifestyles. This has resulted in a large and powerful database comprising of 17 different physical fitness tests and over 25 anthropometric dimensions. Research is then published on the comparisons and links between all variables (e.g. Jurak, Kovač & Starc, 2013). Before beginning any measurements, written parental consent is obtained. Children participate voluntarily and anonymously with the option to freely withdraw from any measurements at any time. The data is collected in 11 elementary schools. When collecting this vast amount of data, the research team is divided into 3 units: anthropometry (i.e. the measurement of physical characteristics of the child), kinesiology (the majority of fitness tests are carried out in a school gym; running (60m and 600m) takes place outside), and psychology (children answer questionnaires via the internet in computer labs under the watchful eye of one or two researchers).
Under the ACDSi study umbrella, additional direct physical activity measurements are also possible (e.g. see measures in 2013/14). For example, the Elementary schoolchildren from all 11 schools were measured in grade-6 (2013) and grade-9 (2016), and children from secondary school in 2014 were also measured previously in their grade-1 time, making longitudinal research of particular generations also possible, in addition to the cohort analyses available over the past 40 years.