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Dev Med Child Neurol. 1976 Feb;18(1):54-70.

Cross-sectional study of developmental test items in children aged 94 to 97 weeks: report of the British Births Child Study.


A 10 percent random sample of legitimate children drawn from a national cohort of 16,955 live births were examined between 94 and 97 weeks of age by clinical medical officers, using a screening examination designed to detect children requiring further investigation for developmental delay. Girls were more advanced than boys, particularly at verbal and personal-social items, but care is needed in interpreting the significance of differences found in a single cross-sectional examination when the child is around the mean age for acquiring a particular skill. For many questions mothers also recorded their estimations of their children's abilities; these were appreciably greater than those of the examiner, the difference varying according to the difficulty of the task and whether they were questioned before or after the examiner had carried out the test. It is suggested that the results of a single screening examination at two years will depend upon the skill of the examiner (a) to persuade a child to co-operate or to be able to assess his ability, (b) to interpret the mother's estimation of her child's skill, and (c) to distinguish between late development and delay due to a handicapping condition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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