Abstract

The purpose of this investigation was to examine clinical observations hypothesized to reflect vestibular integrity in children in an attempt to clinically separate otolithic from semicircular canal functioning. Based on the assumption that prone extension is an otolithic function, two experimental groups and one control group were identified; the groups had varying abilities for prone extension. Using a discriminant analysis, four variables (equilibrium sitting, equilibrium kneeling, eyes crossing the midline, and teacher’s impression) were found to predict group membership. Only equilibrium sitting by itself was significantly different between groups. The variables selected by the analysis were originally hypothesized to measure semicircular canal functioning. This was thought, at least in part, to reflect insensitivity of scoring and/or lack of validity of the variables measured. Descriptively, tentative support existed for a division of static from dynamic vestibular function. Therefore, further study is indicated.

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