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Identifying Gravitational Insecurity in Children: A Pilot Study. Source: May-Benson, T.A. & Koomar, J. A.(2007). Identifying gravitational insecurity in children: A pilot study. American Journal of Occupational Therapy 61, 142-147. Introduction.
May-Benson, T.A. & Koomar, J. A.(2007). Identifying gravitational insecurity in children: A pilot study. American Journal of Occupational Therapy 61, 142-147.
gravitational insecurity symptoms
Dislike of everyday activities such as
Interfere with children’s participation
in daily life occupations
Ayres stated that
“ a primal threat to the pull of gravity”
“fear, anxiety, and distress whenever a child is in a position to which he is not accustomed…”
“…his fear is not rational; it comes from deep inside his brain where words and rewards have no effect”
Ayres differentiated gravitational insecurity from intolerance to movement and postural insecurity
Intolerance to movement
great discomfort after nonthreatening stimulation of the semi-circular canals of the inner ear, usually accompanied by nausea, vertigo, or headache
extreme caution experienced as a result of decreased postural ability when completing physical challenges involving postural strength and stability…lack fear response associated with gravitational insecurity
gravitational insecurity is conceptualized as
High arousal and irrational limbic system
Fear responses to sudden or disorienting movement experiences
Fear of heights, elevators, crowds, amusement park rides, escalators, and plans- that are commonly found in persons with GI
an abnormal, excessive display of emotion characterized by fear or anxiety when engaged in an activity involving (a) a change in head position; (b) movement onto a raised or unstable surface; (c) movement through space; or (d) disorienting, or lack of visual stimuli
The study was divided into 4 phases.
Phase I: the operational definition may be identified clinically by observing responses to activities that challenge children’s vestibular system
Phase II: Preliminary test activities, item format& scoring criteria were developed …resulting in 15 tasks (table1)
…3 categories of behavior response to be rated for each task (table 2)
Phase II: Interrater by Interclass correlation coefficient
.79 for total score
.91 for postural subscore
.71 for emotion
.23 for avoidance
.49 - .97 for items
Phase III: Discriminative ability of the GI Assessment
2 groups of children, ages 5-10 year old
GI, n= 18
TD, n= 18
One-way Analysies of Variance
GI < TD ,
Mean TD = 132.6, sd =1.33
Mean GI = 123.9, sd =5.87
F(1,34) = 38.035, p <.001
Phase III: Discriminant analysis of total score
were correctly classified.
Stepwise discriminant analysis
Jump off chair- eye closed
Supine on ball – active
Tilt board … 89% GI
Phase 4 : developmental trends