Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Kinesiology (MKin)


Kinesiology and Physical Education


Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Dr. Michael Cinelli

Advisor Role



Stone-stepping demands greater attention and visuomotor integration, as it requires precise foot placement. The amount of attention required during locomotion is typically assessed with a secondary task, by analyzing the dual-task cost. Adolescents are suggested to have a greater dual-task cost than young adults and demonstrate balance control impairments while dual-tasking walking. The purpose of the current study was to explore the balance control differences between adolescents and young adults during a stone-stepping paradigm. We hypothesized that adolescents would experience greater balance control deficits while performing the secondary task compared to the young adults, especially while on the uneven terrain. Young adults (n= 20, 22.9 ± 1.84) and adolescents (n= 18, 13.56 ± 1.34) performed the dual-task stone-stepping paradigm across two terrains (even and uneven), with or without the auditory Stroop test. Participants’ full body kinematics were recorded using an Optotrak Certus camera system collected at 100Hz to calculate walking speed, along with trunk pitch and roll variability. Adolescents had a significantly (p uneven terrain (2.7 ± 0.1°) compared to even terrain (1.94 ± 0.10°), whereas young adults had little change from even (1.8 ± 0.1°) to uneven (M=2.3 ± 0.1°) terrain. Average walking speed and trunk roll variability revealed no group differences. These findings suggest adolescents lack adult-like (hip) motor coordination when walking on uneven terrains, however, they were unaffected by the secondary task, consistent with the young adults while performing this paradigm. Thus, although executive function is immature, despite trunk pitch variability, adolescents display adult-like balance control strategies while navigating attentionally demanding environments.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season


Available for download on Thursday, June 29, 2023

Included in

Motor Control Commons