Co-ocurrence of developmental delays in a screening study of 4-year-old Finnish children

Authors

  • Riitta Valtonen,

    Corresponding author
    1. LicPsych, Clinical Neuropsychologist, Department of Psychology/Child Research Centre, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland.
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  • Timo Ahonen PhD,

    1. Professor of Developmental Psychology, Department of Psychology/Child Research Centre, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland.
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  • Paula Lyytinen PhD,

    1. Professor of Developmental Psychology, Department of Psychology, Department of Psychology/Child Research Centre, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland.
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  • Heikki Lyytinen PhD

    1. Professor of Developmental Neuropsychology, Department of Psychology/Child Research Centre, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland.
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* Correspondence to first author at Myllytie 9, 44100 Äänekoski, Finland. E-mail: riitta.valtonen@pp.inet.fi

Abstract

The aim of this population study was to examine the severity and prevalence of co-occurring developmental delays in 4-year-old children, the rate of overlapping problems, and sex differences. A sample of 434 children (196 males, 238 females; mean age 4 years 3 months, SD 1 month) were administered the‘Lene’test: a comprehensive neuro-developmental screening test. Results suggest that co-occurrence of attention-behavioural, motor-perceptual, and language delays occurring in school-aged children could already be detected at the age of 4 years. Isolated delays were usually mild, but co-occurring difficulties were mostly moderate or severe. Overlap between developmental delays depended on the severity of the problems. It emerged that males had more severe and more often co-occurring problems than females. Co-occurrence of developmental delays as a risk factor at the early stage of development is discussed.

List of abbreviations :
ADHD

Attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder

DAMP

Deficits in attention, motor control, and perception

DCD

Developmental coordination disorder

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