urrent status and assessment of quantitative and qualitative one leg balancing ability in 3-6 year old children

  • D. Du Toit
  • A.E. Pienaar


Qualitative assessment (the developmental quality of the movement), of the one leg balance is not as commonly used as quantitative assessment (the measurable time in seconds), possibly prohibiting the accurate identifying of balance problems. The purpose of this study was to determine the current status of the quantitative and qualitative balancing ability in a selected group of South African children, and to examine the interrelationships between the quantitative and qualitative results of 3-6 year old children as to propose a more accurate assessment of the one leg balance. The subjects (N=514), aged 3-6 years, were quantitatively and qualitatively assessed using valid norms and criteria found in the literature. The effect sizes measuring the relationship between the quantitative and qualitative assessments as determined by the Phi-score, showed a large effect for the 4 year olds (ES>0.8), and small effects for the 5 and 6 year olds (ES>0.2). A relatively large percentage (44.10%) of 3 year olds scored well above the average level for their age in both the quantitative and qualitative assessment, indicating that the norms and criteria used might not be appropriate for 3 year olds. Relatively large percentages (25.27%-27.47%) of the 6 year olds scored below the average level for 5 year olds in the qualitative assessment, suggesting developmental balance delays or disorders that might not have been identified by means of only a quantitative assessment. These findings indicate that, when evaluating the one leg balance in children aged 3-6 years, a quantitative and qualitative assessment should be used in combination together to assure a more accurate assessment.

(S. African J. for Research in Sport, Physical Ed. and Recreation: 2001 23 (2): 51-62)

Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 0379-9069