Foot laterality in children, adolescents, and adults

Carl Gabbard*, Misaki Iteya

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Citations (Scopus)


This investigation reviewed 14 studies describing the trichotomous distribution of foot preference behaviour spanning early childhood to adult years. Findings suggest that a substantially greater percentage of children are mixed-footed in comparison to older individuals. A significant shift towards right-sidedness appears to occur sometime during late childhood, after which, behaviour remains relatively stable. The incidence of left-footedness is similar across the lifespan. In comparison to handedness, substantially more (about twice as many) young children are mixed-footed compared to mixed-handed. A similar pattern is noted during adolescence and adulthood, but the differences are smaller. Values for left-sidedness (upper and lower limbs) are comparable across the lifespan. Of the existing theoretical models, Annett's Right-shift hypothesis with additional propositions related to environmental influences (Collins, 1977; Porac, 1993; Provins, 1992) provides partial explanation for the findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-206
Number of pages8
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)


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