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G598(P) Child development and its assessment: revising the griffiths mental development scales
  1. L Stroud1,
  2. E Green2,
  3. P McAlinden2,
  4. S Bloomfield2
  1. 1Psychology, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
  2. 2Association for Research in Infant and Child Development, London, UK


In 1954, Ruth Griffiths developed the Griffiths Mental Development Scales (GMDS), a developmental assessment measure based on a philosophy of the basic avenues of learning and the observation of children in play. Significantly, modern systemic approaches to developmental assessment remain in line with Griffiths’ (1954) thinking. July 2010 saw the commencement of the revision of the GMDS.

Aim To clarify the direction and content of the revision process.

Methods A qualitative, exploratory and descriptive research approach was chosen to underpin Phase One and encompassed various sub-phases. These included a systematic review of recent literature regarding child development and assessment, the conduction of an Avenues of Learning workshop in which ‘sticky note’ data was collected, the conduction of expert interviews, and the development, distribution and ultimate analysis of a questionnaire to Griffiths Users and non Users.

Results As the GMDS is widely used and recognised throughout the world, this poster/paper serves to highlight the research challenges and triumphs experienced during Phase One.

Themes and trends that emerged from triangulating the data suggested

  • inter alia that developmental theory and knowledge must inform the domains; the screening versus diagnostic nature of the GMDS should be debated;

  • observation and play with reference to the nature of the GMDS must be retained;

  • the age range of the GMDS and the implications for test development was highlighted;

  • and the universality of the link of the GMDS to remediation was expressed.

Conclusion The findings obtained in Phase One were used to guide the development of the blue print of test specifications used in directing the following Five Phases of the revision process.

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