Previous researchers have proposed that because of their slow muscle-response latencies, 1- to 2-year-old children are unable to control hip-dominant postural responses when responding to balance threats (G. McCollum & T. Leen, 1989). To test that proposition, the authors exposed 41 children to backward support-surface translations and recorded muscle activations and movement kinematics. Children between 10 months and 10 years of age stood on a platform that was unexpectedly moved. Passive hip-dominant responses were observed among the least experienced walkers. In contrast, older children produced an active response, signified by higher levels of abdominal and quadriceps muscle activity and accompanied by larger hip flexor torques. Greater success in withstanding large magnitudes of perturbations were associated with actively generated hip responses.
- Children's motor development