Harmonic Scale of Development. A proposal of integration by which to assess child development. Francisco J. Professionals interested in the area of psychological assessment are becoming increasingly sensitive towards the need for instruments capable of integrating the systemic and epigenetic character of the developmental process into its design.
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This is due to the fact that many scales are based on distinct constructs; evaluate different functions, although related; and present diverse application methods and measurement units. An exception to this limitation would be the Escala observacional del desarrollo EOD Secadas, , which reaches the age of 17 years although incorporating a methodological change which we consider significant as it uses self-report since the age of Due to their specificity, the latter and the McCarthy scale omit adaptation and socio-affective development.
In turn, it has been noticed that the origin of the items included in the different scales is multidisciplinary, which leads us to think that a new scale should take this point into account. Referring to the level of specialization of the users, we have found that the majority of the scales are of individual application and require a high level of psychological or medical qualification for their use.
This analysis proves the procedural challenge faced by professionals involved in evaluation of child development when it comes to carrying out a prolonged monitoring of individual or intergroup change.
It is also important to note that the advances in the interpretation of development have not been reflected in traditional tools, whose actualizations have been aimed towards the adaptation of standards to the new generations and a revision of the items at best, remaining attached to the theoretical positions upon which they were built. The difficulties encountered motivated us to devise a new tool for development evaluation which could solve the problems detected and would adapt to the current theoretical frame.
We believe that it is necessary to introduce elements responsive to the dynamism of the ontogenetic process, as currently conceived, as the results of an evaluation can be used as a guide for our interventions, and, therefore, ultimately affect the developmental course of the child subject to intervention DeRobertis, Our scale therefore takes on some of the standpoints and key concepts of this approach, such as the dialectic character of development, its interdependence with the context in which it is produced -hence the inclusion of multiple items for the same level of behavioral complexity in each function studied- and the concept of attractor state.
A description of the scale is introduced further below in the section of tools. In both cases, the frequency of usage has been a priority selection criteria. For the general scale, we have considered the similarity in application methods with the SHD a relevant point to take into account.
Two groups were used in order to validate the SHD. The first was used to examine the factorial structure of the scale, it was made up of children with an average age of 3. The average period of gestation of the children was The average age of the parents was Regarding their profession, The gender distribution was 36 boys The following were deferral criteria: pregnancy having been high-risk or having been born prematurely before 37 works of gestation , weighing less than 2.
In this second group, Regarding domicile, 4. A socio-demographic questionnaire was elaborated to collect the necessary data from the children and their direct relatives anonymously. Each questionnaire was complemented with an appendix, which contained the information concerning the dichotomic items in it, which were answered by the parents. If in spite of all this the doubts remained, the answer was left for another day, after the parents had done an appropriate observation of the behavior.
The same socio-demographic questionnaire was used with the second sample although some questions related to school integration and language development were added. Once the fact that the participant had not suffered from any condition, which affected development, was confirmed, they underwent the Abstract Reasoning test. Once their inclusion in the study was decided, they underwent evaluations of their general development with the IDB and their linguistic competence with the BLOC Screening.
The SHD is based on a two dimensional matrix of 20 rows by 10 columns in which 20 levels of age are listed as well as 10 development functions. The description of infant development is expressed through 4 equivalent items in each one of the intersections of rows by columns, making up a total of items.
Regarding the functions represented in the 10 columns, we chose those those, according to our experience in evaluating child development, would be of more use for the analysis of the processes inscribed in the 4 areas used by most of the scales analyzed. Thereby, the motor area is integrated by three dimensions: muscular tone T: state of tension or relaxation of the muscular layer when prepared to start motor action and while performing it , general motor coordination CO: motor action performed by the big muscles which serve body movement and motor precision P: motor action of small muscles which coordinate to perform technical gestures such as speaking, looking or manipulating.
The perceptual-cognitive area is integrated by internal perception PI: capacity of representing the internal world from somatic sensations to metacognitive processes , external perception PE: progressive capacity of representing the external world from sensory imput to the acquisition of conceptual universe and neuropsychological modulation M: maturation of the CNS informative power due to the stabilization of neurological rhythms and the myelination and cortical hemispheric lateralization processes.
The area of language is made up of communicative expression E: capacity of emission of signals and messages originated in empathic linkage up to acquisition of speech and articulated verbal language and communicative comprehension CP: capacity for reception of significant messages through the different methods of communication and languages present in the environment: gestural, oral, written, mathematical.
Lastly, the adaptive area makes a distinction between identity and personal development ID: individual psychological development: awareness of self-identity and gradual acquisition of personal autonomy for resolution of needs and social integration IT: development as a social subject: from the perception of otherness to the feeling of belonging and participation in the different ecological circles.
From this, the average age of development and, in relation to the chronological age, the average development quotient of each participant assessed with the scale can be found.
The age of application range goes from 0 to 8 years. It is made up of items and the direct scores are obtained through observation, structured test situations and interviewing parents or teachers. The items are graded with 0, 1 or 2 points. A basic level two consecutive items graded 2 and a maximum level two consecutive items graded 0 are established, thereby obtaining the gross grading for each of the 22 subareas, 5 areas, and the Inventory as a whole.
The last count of the scores is taken to the normalized tables, which provide percentages, deviation quotients, T ratings and z ratings equivalents of a normal curve and age equivalent. Regarding the first, the precision of measurement was proven as relatively low values were obtained compared to the corresponding average scores of the group.
Logical and conceptual analysis were carried out for the validation off the original BDI test Newborg et al, regarding three categories: validity of content, construct and criteria.
In order to guarantee the validity of content a thorough process was followed. This included the identification of the areas of general abilities that were to be assessed, the selection or development of items and, subsequently, the verification of results by experts. Construct validity shows up to where the test measures the theoretical constructs that are being evaluated; general theory of development was used by the BDI to deduce the predictions that had to be verified.
The data obtained proved that this scale is a valid tool for evaluating development, as it makes a distinction between behaviors, which lie within the limits of normality, and those, which characterize clinical problems.
Finally, validity of criteria, expressed in correlation coefficients, which indicate the degree of linkage between the test and another chosen as criteria. We used the Screening test from the BDI 96 items as a tool for our study as it can be done in between 10 and 30 minutes, while the complete Inventory takes from 1 to 2 hours.
The printed edition is very complete, including independent books for both the screening test and each of the five areas. Each of the items in the assessment procedure structured, observation or information and the grading criteria is described according to percentages of achievement of conduct.
The instructions are clear and complete. Furthermore, the IDB includes case studies, which exemplify the whole process, including the interpretation and use of the information to elaborate stimulation programs as well as curricular decision making. It is a test, which detects language problems and informs about altered communication and linguistic conducts both quantitative and qualitatively, enabling the elaboration of intervention plans.
It can be applied to an age internal of 5 to 14 years, exploring both expression and comprehension in your aspects of language: morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics. The whole battery can be applied, as well as specific modules or even in blocks. It is made up of a total of items, out of which 45 are examples. Approximately four hours can be invested in the whole application, it consequently is of obvious clinical and educational utility, but too long in those cases in which a wide population has to be assessed of a fast exploration is required.
Therefore, Puyuelo et al. The items selected form the BLOC-C allow for four scores equivalent to the original modules morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics. The selection process determined the best items from a content point of view, as well as its psychometric indicators according to the Rasch model: centered difficulty values, high discrimination parameter and acceptable item characteristic curves. In order to do this, the data from the answers of the first original sample was used scholars between 5 and 14 years of age which allowed the creation of the BLOC-C.
Exploratory analysis was used to determine the minimum number of items for each module, which would offer good psychometric indicators in accordance with the original structure. After this task, the scores obtained by the examined in the short version were compared to those obtained in the complete version and as a last verification; the models from the BLOC-S underwent another test with a pilot sample of 20 individuals, which were given both versions.
The comparison between them confirmed that the evaluation of language carried out which BLOC-S is reliable and does not produce distorted results. The items are graded with 1 correct answer , 0 incorrect or N invalid, for omissions. The exploration is completed in less than an hour and, when the data are introduced; graphic profiles are created automatically by the software, which also calculates the percentage scores for each module separately.
Due to the fact that every 4 items created natural groupings testlets at a development level, it was decided that the dichotomous items would be turned into a single item with a polytomous structure. This way, if the child did not show any of the conducts in the four items of a level it was graded with 0; if they responded to the first item, 1; if they responded to the second one too, 2; if they showed the first three, 3; if they showed all the conducts of the level in the scale it was graded with a 4.
Each of the scales with the 20 levels was then turned into a new structure of 2 polytomous items with four dichotomous items which represent the level of development in each level. Under this new polytomous structure, the minimum score was 0, and the maximum was The SHD was validated through an analysis of items in each of the 10 dimensions, which make it up, evaluating the descriptive statistics and the homogeneity index for each of the items.
If the correlation item-test lied in the interval between [. Furthermore, the internal consistency coefficient Cronbach alpha and the L2 Guttman coefficient were obtained in order to asses the reliability of the scores in each of the dimensions of the SHD. Due to the fact that the SHD is in its preliminary phase of application it was chosen to carry out an exploratory factorial analysis in the interest of determining the factorial structure of the 10 dimensions included in the scale.
In order to do this, the method of principal axes over polychronous correlation matrices to estimate the factorial charge and a GFI Goodness of Fit Index adjustment statistic and a statistic based on residuals MSR, Mean Square Residual were applied to decide the number of interpretative factors in each dimension.
Although several dimensional solutions were tested from 1 to 5 dimensions , it was decided that the best was that whose GFI was higher than. No rotation method was applied as all the solutions were one-dimensional. Table 2 holds the average statistic descriptors and their range, as well as the homogeneity indices and their range for the 20 levels in each one of the dimensions of the SHD.
As shown on the table, the average for right answers on the polytomous items was incremented according to the levels of development in all the dimensions, varying between the lowest levels around 3.
The standard deviation also increased in this case in the average development levels, decreasing significantly at the lowest and highest levels of development this SD behavior would be justified by the higher heterogeneity of the individual developmental courses towards the half of the assessed period, corresponding with the ages of 6 and 7. All the items, grouped in developmental levels, obtained homogeneity indices in the specified interval, except item 1 in all dimensions, which varied between.
Nevertheless, these items were kept in the final scale in order to preserve its integrity. The factorial analysis carried out show that each dimension formed a one-dimensional scale.
Due to the fact that all the GFI were higher than. Nevertheless, this hypothesis must be empirically contrasted. The last dimension of the SHD, Integration, obtained a negative correlation of -. The results prove both the validity of the construct and the internal consistency and reliability of the scores obtained through the scale. Thereby, the results of the factorial analysis goodness of fit indexes -GFI- greater than. Similarly, regarding the inner consistency of the scales, the reliability coefficients obtained in all cases alpha over.
In relation to the concurrent validation process, while significant values of concurrence have been obtained for the majority of the dimensions, others do not seem to have a relation to related measurements obtained in the rest of the tests. As they are different areas, the signification of these concurrencies is low. Although the lack of correlation between our Tone dimension and the Motricity measured by the IDB may seem surprising, we believe this may be due to the mainly postural nature of the items we used in contrast with the cinematic character of the motor evaluation in IDB , which does have some correlation with the motor Coordination measurement of our scale.
The positive correlations found with the Syntax. A correct coordination of the phono-articulatory system is the use of development of the expressive aspects of language, as shown by the positive correlation, marginally significant, when. The correlation obtained between this dimension and both the total score. Nevertheless it is the Internal Perception dimension which directly assess aspects related to cognition which obtained a greater positive correlation with a good level of significance, both with the total score.
External perception refers to the progressive conceptualization and management of experience, including aspects such as time and gender, related to this grammatical dimension. The positive correlation obtained with the Semantics.
2006, Number 4
Key words:. Meisels SJ, Provence S. Screening Assessment. Kaminer R, Jedrysek E. Early identification of developmental disabilities. Pediatr Ann ; American Academy of Pediatrics.
The acquisition of productive vocabulary in Spanish children with Down syndrome.
This is due to the fact that many scales are based on distinct constructs; evaluate different functions, although related; and present diverse application methods and measurement units. An exception to this limitation would be the Escala observacional del desarrollo EOD Secadas, , which reaches the age of 17 years although incorporating a methodological change which we consider significant as it uses self-report since the age of Due to their specificity, the latter and the McCarthy scale omit adaptation and socio-affective development. In turn, it has been noticed that the origin of the items included in the different scales is multidisciplinary, which leads us to think that a new scale should take this point into account. Referring to the level of specialization of the users, we have found that the majority of the scales are of individual application and require a high level of psychological or medical qualification for their use.