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Child Care Health Dev. 2001 Mar;27(2):187-200.

Biological, social, and environmental correlates of preschool development.

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Population Health Sciences, Research Institute, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Baseline data from the Canadian National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY, a population-based study of child health, development and well-being), were used to determine biological, social and environmental correlates of poor development among preschool children. A total weighted sample of 1233 500 (n = 6982 unweighted) children aged from birth to 3 years were studied. Developmental attainment was measured by the motor, social and development (MSD) scale. Children scoring amongst the lowest 15% for their age group were categorized as having poor developmental attainment (PDA). Correlates of PDA were determined using logistic regression. The MSD scale may not be discriminatory enough to identify PDA in children aged < 1 years. Among children aged between 1 and 3 years, biological factors remain important correlates of PDA, whereas the timing of social and environmental factors appears important to their effects on developmental attainment. The findings suggest a complex relationship between risk factors and developmental outcomes. Correlates of PDA vary according to the age of a child. Social and environmental factors appear to play a larger role among older children. Prospective studies are required to determine the effect of change in risk factor profiles on child development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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