Does muscular weakness account for younger children's enhanced force variability?

Jacob J. Sosnoff, Katherine M. Deutsch, Karl M. Newell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined the degree to which younger children's greater variability in force control is associated with muscular weakness. Children aged 6, 8, and 10 years and adults aged 18-22 years produced isometric force via index finger metacaro-phalangeal joint flexion to varying force levels (5%, 15%, 25%, and 35% maximal voluntary contraction). The force output of the younger children was more variable and had greater time dependent structure compared to that of the adults at all force levels. However, the effect of age on variability was significantly reduced, but not eliminated when absolute muscular strength was taken into account. It is concluded that age-related changes in children's force control result from a multitude of developmental processes including increases in muscular strength.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-405
Number of pages7
JournalDevelopmental psychobiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2007


  • Developmental age
  • Force control
  • Muscle strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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