Development of postural control during gait in typically developing children: The effects of dual-task conditions

Sujitra Boonyong, Joseph Ka-Chun Siu, Paul van Donkelaar, Li Shan Chou, Marjorie H. Woollacott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to investigate the typical development of postural control in younger (5-6. yrs) and older (7-16. yrs) children (YTD and OTD) during two gait tasks, including level walking and obstacle-crossing, using a dual-task paradigm, and to compare the results of the children's performance with that of healthy young adults (HYA). Our findings revealed that gait control in typical children requires attentional resources to maintain stability. Moreover, dual-task interference was less in HYA compared to YTD and OTD. Gait performance decrements in the dual-task context were greater in YTD compared to OTD, whereas cognitive performance decrements in YTD and OTD were similar. In addition, dual-tasking affected cognitive performance more in YTD when gait task difficulty was increased. Results suggest a developmental trend in attentional resources used to control gait in typical children. Postural control during gait under dual-task conditions was improved when children were more mature, as attentional resources increased with age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)428-434
Number of pages7
JournalGait and Posture
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2012


  • Development of gait
  • Dual task
  • Gait
  • Gait in children
  • Gait stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation

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