Out of the toolbox: Toddlers differentiate wobbly and wooden handrails

Sarah E. Berger, Karen E. Adolph, Sharon A. Lobo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined whether 16-month-old walking infants take the material composition of a handrail into account when assessing its effectiveness as a tool to augment balance. Infants were encouraged to cross from one platform to another via bridges of various widths (10, 20, 40 cm) with either a "wobbly" (foam or latex) or a wooden handrail available for assistance. Infants attempted to walk over wider bridges more often than narrow ones, and attempts were more frequent when the sturdy wooden handrail was available. Infants tailored their exploratory behaviors, bridge-crossing strategies, and handrail-use strategies to the material properties of the rail.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1294-1307
Number of pages14
JournalChild development
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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