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Date of Award


Degree Type

Thesis (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)

First Advisor

Kenneth W. Bush, PhD, PT

Second Advisor

Nancy Cicirello, MPH, PT


Variations in postural control have been found in children with disabilities; however, there is no data of normal children with which to compare these findings. The purpose of this study was to gather data on balance in children without balance deficits in order to provide data that can be used for criterion based comparisons. The study had a sample of 117 subjects ranging in age from 7 to 12 years old. The subjects were randomly selected from physical education classes from four local public schools and divided into groups by age. Parents of each participant signed a permission slip and completed a questionnaire to clear the child of any disability or known balance impairments. In addition, a brief biomechanical screening was also done prior to testing. Five tests were done on each subject using the Chattecx Balance SystemTM: 1) static stance, eyes open, 2) static stance, eyes closed, 3) dynamic stance, eyes open, 4) dynamic stance, eyes closed, and 5) static stance, with a distraction. The amount of postural sway was calculated by the Chattecx System™. This data was then compared among age groups and the varying test conditions. Results showed four main findings: 1 ) The amount of postural sway did not decrease significantly with age except between 7 and 11 year olds in the dynamic eyes closed condition, (p= .0209). 2) Vision played a significant role in postural sway in all age groups. 3) Postural sway increased with a source of distraction in all age groups. 4) Postural sway increased with an anterior-posterior tilt of the footplates, for all age groups. The data suggests that different test conditions may influence balance, (postural sway); however, age does not appear to be a factor.


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