Children's developmental problems vary, with some easier to identify than others. The accuracy of caregivers' initial identification of children's developmental problems is important in the timely treatment of those problems by medical professionals. In this study, we investigated the degree to which caregivers' initial identification of children's developmental problems matched the clinical assessment by a team of qualified professionals in a developmental assessment unit of a medical center in Taiwan. The practitioners included a pediatric neurologist, a psychiatrist, a psychologist, an occupational therapist, a physical therapist, and two speech therapists. Caregivers of 943 children (age range: 2-80 months; mean: 37.7 months) who visited the unit for a suspected developmental problem were interviewed about the chief problem that led to the caregivers bringing their children to the unit. The results showed high agreement in the global and the motor domains between the caregivers and the professionals, and low agreement in the cognitive and the speech/language domains. The agreement was significantly related to the caregivers' native origin and socioeconomic status index (SSI). Caregivers with a foreign origin (immigrant mothers) and low SSI were more likely to misidentify their children's problems. It is recommended that pediatric practitioners offer continuing education to caregivers, especially in the domains of cognitive and speech/language development.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology