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Research Article  |   March 2007
Identifying Gravitational Insecurity in Children: A Pilot Study
Author Affiliations
  • Teresa A. May-Benson, ScD, OTR/L, is Research Director, The SPIRAL Foundation, and Clinical Specialty Director, Occupational Therapy Associates—Watertown, P.C., 124 Watertown Street, Watertown, MA 02472; tmay-benson@alum.bu.edu. At the time of this study, she was Graduate Student, Occupational Therapy Department, Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Boston University, Boston
  • Jane A. Koomar, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Owner and Executive Director, Occupational Therapy Associates— Watertown, P.C., Watertown, MA, and Board President, The SPIRAL Foundation. At the time of this study, she was Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy, Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Boston University, Boston
Article Information
Conceptualizing and Identifying Sensory Processing Issues
Research Article   |   March 2007
Identifying Gravitational Insecurity in Children: A Pilot Study
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March/April 2007, Vol. 61, 142-147. doi:10.5014/ajot.61.2.142
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March/April 2007, Vol. 61, 142-147. doi:10.5014/ajot.61.2.142
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. This study developed an observational assessment of gravitational insecurity (GI), the GI Assessment, and examined its preliminary reliability and validity evidence.

METHOD. The GI Assessment consisted of 15 activities that created conditions characterized as fear-inducing for children with gravitational insecurity. Three behavioral categories—avoidance, emotional, and postural responses—were scored for each activity. Participants were 18 children with gravitational insecurity, ages 5–10 years, and a matched group of children who were typically developing. Forty-eight preschoolers who were typically developing, ages 2–4 years, were examined for developmental trends.

RESULTS. Significant differences were found between groups. Discriminant analysis classified 83% of the gravitationally insecure group and 100% of the typical group. Interrater reliability for the total test was .79. Performance of preschool children suggested a developmental age trend.

CONCLUSION. The GI Assessment is a promising clinical tool for objectively identifying children with gravitational insecurity.