The Inter-Rater and Intra-Rater Reliability of the Actual Aquatic Skills Test (AAST) for Assessing Young Children's Motor Competence in the Water
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As children’s actual aquatic skills are important for the prevention of drowning as well as their engagement in lifelong aquatic physical activity, researchers and practitioners should be able to assess this vital concept accurately and reliably. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the inter-rater and intra-rater reliability of the Actual Aquatic Skills Test (AAST), consisting of 17 different test items for the assessment of young children’s motor competence in the water. Six raters received a training and evaluation session on scoring the AAST, after which five of them assessed four test videos (of various children (n = 38) performing the test items) twice, with one to two weeks in between (i.e., test and re-test). Inter-rater and intra-rater reliability were determined per test video and for the different AAST test items across videos using Gwet’s Agreement Coefficient 2 (Gwet’s AC2). The Gwet’s AC2 for inter-rater reliability at the test varied from 0.414 to 1.000, indicating a moderate to perfect agreement between raters. For intra-rater reliability, it ranged from 0.628 to 1.000, demonstrating a good to perfect agreement between test and re-test scoring. In conclusion, the AAST is a promising tool to reliably assess young children’s actual aquatic skills in an indoor swimming pool.