Lisa Krijnen MSc

Martinus J. Langeveldgebouw
Heidelberglaan 1
Kamer E2.44
3584 CS Utrecht

Research

A healthy development early in life is crucial for children to reach their full mental and physical potential. In infancy the foundations for a lifelong physical, cognitive and mental health are laid. Multiple screeners and instruments have been developed to monitor infants’ development, such as the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) and the Bayley-III. Even though these instruments are often used and the Bayley-III is considered the ‘golden standard’, it remains unclear whether instruments like these are able to predict later-life outcomes and whether they actually measure what they are designed for. The aim of my project is to gain more knowledge regarding infant development (‘What is a normal development and which factors influence this?’) and the value of the currently used tools for screening and assessment (‘What do the test results tell us?’).
              One part of my project, called ‘Development First!’, focuses on creating Dutch norms for the Ages and Stages Questionnaire 4th (ASQ-4), answered by parents and by day care workers. The ASQ-4 screens functioning of children between ages of 2 to 72 months based on developmental milestones in communication, fine and gross motor functioning, problem-solving and personal social behavior. Norms for screening instruments are seen as essential in order to provide the basis for the assessment of a child’s current level of functioning. The project should lead to Dutch norms and it builds on the project ‘Opmaat’ in which translation and norms for the Bayley-III-NL have been created. For more information, take a look at www.ontwikkelingvoorop.nl or OntwikkelingVoorop!.
              For the other part of my project, existing data will be used to gain more insight into early development of children aged 2 months to 6 years old. Both cross-sectional and longitudinal data has been collected, containing valuable information regarding developmental milestones of young children. Different domains of development have been measured, such as social-emotional development, cognitive, language and motor skills, but also problem behavior, parenting behavior and parent-child interaction. This information enables us to identify which factors influence the development of the child. Furthermore, we will investigate instruments that are commonly used in both practice and research, such as the ASQ and the Bayley, to study how informative these currently used instruments are. In other words: Are we able to predict the development of infants, and what do currently used instruments tell us?
               

Supervisors:

Dr. Marjolein Verhoeven
Prof. Dr. Anneloes van Baar