Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Psychomotor development disorders in apparently healthy children and considerations of family evaluation

José Antonio Prieto, Sofía Cueto, Aida Carballo-Fazanes, Cristian Abelairas-Gómez



Difficulties that paediatricians find when evaluating psychomotor development at an early age result in the possibility that, at the school stage, seemingly healthy children can conceal development disorders, thereby complicating their detection, even within their own family environment. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of developmental disorders in children without a prior diagnosis and the consistency between family perception and the real state of development. 187 pupils (51.3% boys) with an average age of 4.3 years (DT = 1.2) took part in the study. The real state of psychomotor development was evaluated using the Battelle-2 Inventory, while family perception was assessed using the Age and Stages Questionnaires. Results revealed an average prevalence of 10% for impaired developmental, while 13.3% displayed delayed motor development. Regarding family perception, families attributed the above-average performance to their children in all aspects. Therefore, the level of correlation between family perception and real development was light in all the dimensions analysed. The results of this study emphasize the excessive number of children with developmental disorders that have gone undetected, as well as the limitations of evaluation tools for parents when used for children with no apparent risk.


Motor development; Family perception; Evaluation; Battelle-2 developmental inventory; Age and Stages Questionnaires


Álvarez Gómez, M. J., Soria Aznar, J., and Galbe Sánchez-Ventura, J. (2009). Importance of the developmental surveillance by Primary Care pediatricians: review of the topic and experience of follow up in a practice in Navarra. Pediatr Aten Primaria, 11(41), 65-87.

American Academy of Pediatrics, Council on Children with Disabilities, Section on Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics, Bright Futures Steering Committee, and Medical Home Initiative on Children with Special Needs Project Advisory Committee. (2006). Identifying infants and young children with developmental disorders in the medical home: an algorithm for developmental surveillance and screening. Pediatrics, 118(1), 405-420.

Angarita, A., Martínez, A., Rangel, C., Betancourt, M.V., and Prada, G.E. (2014). Determinantes de la subestimación de la percepción de los padres sobre el peso de sus hijos en hogares infantiles del ICBF de Floridablanca, Colombia, 2012. Rev Chil Nutr, 41(4), 372-382.

Bear, L. M. (2004). Early identification of infants at risk for developmental disabilities. Pediatr Clin North Am, 51(3), 685-701.

Boyle, C.A., Cordero, J.F., and Trevathan, E. (2012). The National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities: Past, Present, and Future. Am J Prev Med, 43(6), 655-658.

Cano Cappelacci, M., Oyarzún Alfaro, T., Leyton Artigas, F., and Sepúlveda Muñoz, C. (2014). Relación entre estado nutricional, nivel de actividad física y desarrollo psicomotor en preescolares. Nutr Hosp, 30(6), 1313-1318.

Cueto, S., Prieto, J.A., Nistal, P., Abelairas-Gómez, C., Barcala-Furelos, R., and López, S. (2017). Teachers' Perceptions of Preschool Children's Psychomotor Development in Spain. Percept Mot Skills, 124(4), 725-739.

Garibotti, G., Comar, H., Vasconi, C., Giannini, G. and Pittay, C. (2013). Desarrollo psicomotor infantil y su relación con las características sociodemográficas y de estimulación familiar en niños de la ciudad de Bariloche, Argentina. Arch Argent Pediatr, 111(5), 384-390.

Hamilton S. (2006). Screening for developmental delay: reliable, easy-to-use tools. J Fam Pract, 55(5), 415-422.

Herranz Barbero, A., Reyes Lopez de Mesa, M., and Azcona San Julian, C. (2013). Percepción de padres e hijos de la calidad de vida relacionada con la salud de niños según el estado ponderal en Navarra, España. Arch Argent Pediatr, 111(6), 508-515.

Hurley K.S., and Burt T.L. (2015). Development of physical competence through motor skill acquisition for children and youth with disabilities: Parental perceptions. Health Psychol Rep, 3(1), 1-12.

Jee, S. H., Szilagyi, M., Ovenshire, C., Norton, A., Conn, A. M., Blumkin, A., and Szilagyi, P. G. (2010). Improved detection of developmental delays among young children in foster care. Pediatrics, 125(2), 282-289.

Koch, G., and Landis, J. (1977). The measurement of observer agreement for categorical data. Biometrics, 33(1), 159-174.

Newborg, J. (2005). Battelle developmental inventory. Spanish. (2nd ed). Itasca, IL: Riverside Publishing.

Newborg, J., Stock, J., and Wnek, L. (1996). Inventario de desarrollo Battelle. Madrid: TEA.

Peet, S.H. (1995). Parental Perceptions of the Use of Internal Sources of Information About Children's Development. Early Educ Dev, 6(2), 145-154.

Piña Díaz, D.A., Ochoa-Martínez, P.Y., Hall-López, J.A., Reyes Castro, Z.E., Alarcón Meza, E.I., Monreal Ortiz, L.R., Sáenz-López Buñuel, P. (2020). Effect of a physical education program with moderate-to-vigorous intensity on motor development in preschool children. Retos, 38(38), 363-368.

Plomgaard, A. M., Hansen, B. M., and Greisen, G. (2006). Measuring developmental deficit in children born at gestational age less than 26 weeks using a parent‐completed developmental questionnaire. Acta Paediatr, 95(11), 1488-1494.

Romero Otalvaro, A. M., Grañana, N., Gaeto, N., Torres, M. L. A., Zamblera, M.N., Vasconez, M. A., Misenta, C., Rouvier, M. E., and Squires, J. (2018). ASQ-3: Validation of the Ages and Stages Questionnaire for the detection of neurodevelopmental disorders in Argentine children. Arch Argent Pediatr, 116(1), 7-13.

Sand, N., Silverstein, M., Glascoe, F.P., Gupta, V.B., Tonniges, T. P. and O'Connor, K. G. (2005). Pediatricians' reported practices regarding developmental screening: do guidelines work? Do they help? Pediatrics, 116(1), 174-179.

Sarmiento Campos, J. A., Squires, J., and Ponte, J. (2011). Universal developmental screening: Preliminary studies in Galicia, Spain. Early Child Dev Care, 181(4), 475-485.

Schonhaut, L. B., Álvarez, J.L., and Salinas, P.A. (2008). El pediatra y la evaluación del desarrollo psicomotor. Rev Chil Pediatr, 79(1), 26-31.

Schonhaut, L. B., and Armijo, I. R. (2014). Applicability of the Ages & Stages Questionnaires (ASQ) as a developmental screening tool for psychomotor delay. Rev Chil Pediatr, 85(1), 12-21.

Schonhaut, L., Armijo, I., Schönstedt, M., Alvarez, J., and Cordero, M. (2013). Validity of the ages and stages questionnaires in term and preterm infants. Pediatrics, 131(5), e1468-e1474.

Sices, L., Drotar, D., Keilman, A., Kirchner, H.L., Roberts, D., and Stancin, T. (2008). Communication about child development during well-child visits: impact of parents' evaluation of developmental status screener with or without an informational video. Pediatrics, 122(5), e1091-e1099.

Sices, L., Feudtner, C., McLaughlin, J., Drotar, D., and Williams, M. (2004). How do primary care physicians manage children with possible developmental delays? A national survey with an experimental design. Pediatrics, 113(2), 274-282.

Silva, S.D., Flôres, F.S., Corrêa, S.L., Cordovil, R., Copetti, F. (2017). Mother's Perception of Children's Motor Development in Southern Brazil. Percept Mot Skills, 124(1), 72-85.

Simard, M.N., Luu, T.M., and Gosselin, J. (2012). Concurrent validity of ages and stages questionnaires in preterm infants. Pediatrics, 130(1), e108-114.

Skellern, C. Y., Rogers, Y., and O'callaghan, M. J. (2001). A parent‐completed developmental questionnaire: follow up of ex‐premature infants. J Paediatr Child Health, 37(2), 125-129.

Squires, J., and Bricker, D. (2009). Ages & Stages Questionnaires. (3rd Ed) (ASQ-3): A parent-completed child-monitoring system. Stanford: Paul Brookes Publishing Company.

Teixeira Costa, H.J., Barcala-Furelos, R., Abelairas-Gómez, C., Arufe-Giráldez, V. (2015). The influence of a structured physical education plan on preschool children's psychomotor development profiles. Australas J Early Child, 40(2), 68-77.

Teixeira Costa, H.J., Abelairas-Gómez, C., Arufe-Giráldez, V., Pazos-Couto, J.M., Barcala-Furelos, R. (2015). Influence of a physical education plan on psychomotor development profiles of preschool children. J Hum Sport Exerc, 10(1), 126-140.

Vericat, A., and Orden, A. B. (2010). Psychomotor Development Screening Tools in Latin America. Rev Chil Pediatr, 81(5), 391-401.


Copyright (c) 2018 Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.