Norms for developmental milestones using VABS-II and association with anthropometric measures among apparently healthy urban Indian preschool children

Authors : Selvam S, Thomas T, Shetty P, Zhu J, Raman V, Khanna D, Mehra R, Kurpad AV, Srinivasan K

Publication Year : 2016

Abstract :

Assessment of developmental milestones based on locally developed norms is critical for accurate estimate of overall development of a child's cognitive, behavioral, social, and emotional development. A cross-sectional study was done to develop age specific norms for developmental milestones using Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (VABS-II) (Sparrow, Cicchetti, & Balla, 2005) for apparently healthy children from 2 to 5 years from urban Bangalore, India, and to examine its association with anthropometric measures. Mothers (or caregivers) of 412 children participated in the study. Age-specific norms using inferential norming method and adaptive levels for all domains and subdomains were derived. Low adaptive level, also called delayed developmental milestone, was observed in 2.3% of the children, specifically 2.7% in motor and daily living skills and 2.4% in communication skills. When these children were assessed on the existing U.S. norms, there was a significant overestimation of delayed development in socialization and motor skills, whereas delay in communication and daily living skills were underestimated (all p < .01). Multiple linear regression revealed that stunted and underweight children had significantly lower developmental scores for communication and motor skills compared with normal children (? coefficient ranges from 2.6-5.3; all p < .01). In the absence of Indian normative data for VABS-II in preschool children, the prevalence of developmental delay could either be under- or overestimated using Western norms. Thus, locally referenced norms are critical for reliable assessments of development in children. Stunted and underweight children are more likely to have poorer developmental scores compared with healthy children.