This study is the first to evaluate balance abilities from a functional and cultural perspective in Pakistani children. The effect of gender and socioeconomic status (SES) on balance development of these children was documented. One hundred eighty subjects developing typically (10 boys, 10 girls) between the ages of five and 13 years were recruited per age group. Balance abilities were evaluated through the Functional Reach Test (FRT), the Timed Up and Go (TUG), Running Speed and Agility (RSA), and Balance (BA) subtests of the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (BOTMP). Performance scores on these four balance tests were reported for the Pakistani children. Age-related differences in balance development were documented. There were significant differences in balance abilities of male and female children belonging to high and low SES. Boys performed better on balance tests than girls. Effect of gender was more pronounced in the high than low SES and was statistically significant. Findings indicate the importance of developing culturally sensitive norms for balance abilities, so that therapists can better serve children from different cultural backgrounds, when evaluating their motor competencies that require balance control.
(C) 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.