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n African Journal of Psychiatry - Level of maternal education and performance of Black, South African infants on the 1996 Griffiths Mental Development Scales : original article
Objective: The study compared the performance on the Griffiths Mental Development Scales of Black, South African infants with mothers who had twelve or more years of education and who were professionally employed with infants of mothers with fewer than twelve years of education and who were employed in non-professional jobs.
Method: The sample consisted of 40 infants (aged 13-16 months), to whom the Griffiths Mental Development Scales was administered.
Results: The infants with professional mothers performed significantly better than their counterparts with non-professional mothers on the General Quotient, as well as on the Locomotor Scale. While maternal level of education did not appear to distinguish between infants in terms of social, fine motor, language, hearing, processing speed or practical reasoning, it did discriminate in terms of gross-motor functioning.
Conclusion: It is suggested that, as the infant develops, the skills assessed by the Griffiths Scales, which are initially differentiated, become increasingly interrelated. Consequently, poor gross-motor skills, which may be more likely in infants from a low socio-economic status, may have far-reaching implications. Thus, it is important to consider maternal level of education and the socio-economic status background of the infant, as this may influence overall performance on the Scales.
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