Children at risk for developmental delay can be recognised by stunting, being underweight, ill health, little maternal schooling or high gravidity.
Abubakar A., Holding P., Van de Vijver FJ., Newton C., Van Baar A.
AIMS: To investigate markers of risk status that can be easily monitored in resource-limited settings for the identification of children in need of early developmental intervention. METHODS: Eighty-five children in Kilifi, Kenya, aged between 2 and 10 months at recruitment, were involved in a 10-month follow-up. Data on developmental outcome were collected through parental report using a locally developed checklist. We tested for the unique and combined influence of little maternal schooling and higher gravidity, anthropometric status (being underweight and stunting) and poor health on the level of developmental achievement and the rate of acquisition of developmental milestones. RESULTS: A model with all five predictors showed a good fit to the data (chi(2)(21, N = 85) = 23.00, p = .33). Maternal schooling and gravidity and child's stunting were found to predict the rate of developmental achievements (beta = .24, beta = .31, and beta = .41, respectively). Being underweight, ill-health, stunting and gravidity predicted initial developmental status (beta = -.26, beta = -.27, beta = -.43, and beta = -.27). CONCLUSIONS: Slow rates of developmental achievement can be predicted using these easy-to-administer measures and the strongest relationship with risk was based on a combination of all measures.