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ERIC Number: EJ825933
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 19
ISSN: ISSN-1525-0008
Evidence of Early Strategies in Learning to Walk
Snapp-Childs, Winona; Corbetta, Daniela
Infancy, v14 n1 p101-116 Jan 2009
Learning to walk is a dynamic process requiring the fine coordination, assembly, and balancing of many body segments at once. For the young walker, coordinating all these behavioral levels may be quite daunting. In this study, we examine the whole-body strategies to which infants resort to produce their first independent steps and progress over the first months of walking experience. Six infants were followed weekly from the onset of independent upright locomotion for 8 weeks, and then every other week until 4 months of walking experience. The walking kinematics from the infants' earliest steps were cluster-analyzed and the infants were classified into 3 groups. Follow-up comparisons with kinematics recordings were used to quantify the infants' strategies more precisely and track how these early forms of walking evolved over time. Results revealed that in the first weeks of independent walking, 3 infants used a stepping strategy, 1 used a twisting strategy, and 2 used a falling strategy to move their body forward and perform their first unsupported steps. As the infants gained walking experience, their walking patterns became more similar. These findings indicate that infants discover different solutions to use their body and control their balance when beginning to walk. With time, infants adopt a more efficient solution that incorporates and integrates elements of the different strategies. (Contains 2 tables, 5 figures and 1 footnote.)
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A