Assessing development of urban Aboriginal infants


Dr Jennifer Knight, Centre for Health Equity Training Research and Evaluation, PO Box 7103, Liverpool 1871 NSW, Australia. Fax: +61 29612 0762; email:


Aims:  To determine the appropriateness of using the Griffiths' Mental Developmental Scales (birth – 2 years) to assess development in a cohort of urban Aboriginal children at 12 months of age.

Methods:  The Gudaga study is a prospective longitudinal cohort study assessing the health, development and service use of urban Aboriginal infants residing in south west Sydney. All infants receive a full heath and development assessment (including the Griffiths' Mental Developmental Scales) when they are 12 months of age. This study analyses the results of the first 55 infants.

Results:  The distribution of the General Quotient for the first 55 Gudaga infants is normal with a mean of 98.5 (SD 10.5). There is no significant difference between the Gudaga cohort and the Griffiths' standardisation sample for locomotor, personal-social, hearing and language, and eye and hand coordination sub-quotient scores.

Conclusion:  The Griffiths' Mental Developmental Scales may be an appropriate tool to use for the assessment of development in urban Aboriginal infants.