Developmental and behavioral problems in pediatric primary care: Early identification

Mathilda van den Heuvel

Research output: ThesisPhd-Thesis - Research and graduation external


This thesis focuses on the early identification of developmental and behavioral problems in pediatric primary care. The social environment is considered a fundamental determinant of early child development. In our study countries with generous redistributive policies had a better organization of early child development services such as higher maternal leave allowances and more preventive child healthcare visits. The importance of screening and surveillance for developmental problems in children is widely recognized. In our study we examined two instruments used in pediatric primary care to identify developmental and behavioural problems. First, we examined the validity the Nipissing District Developmental Screen (NDDS) to identify communication problems in infants. We demonstrated that the NDDS did not have adequate psychometric characteristics and therefore the use of the 18-month NDDS cannot be supported in pediatric primary care. Second, we investigated the reliability and validity of the teacher’s version of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ-T) to identify emotional and behavioral problems by teachers. Obtaining teacher’s SDQ ratings is valuable because this can be of help in the management of these problems. Our research demonstrated that the SDQ-T is a reliable and valid instrument to identify emotional and behavioral problems in primary school children and in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). Teacher ratings indicated a higher risk of emotional and behavioral problems in children with DCD compared with their peers. In conclusion, the use of the SDQ-T can be supported in pediatric primary care.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
  • Reijneveld, Menno, Supervisor, External person
  • Jansen, Danielle E.M.C., Co-supervisor, External person
  • Flapper, Boudien C., Supervisor, External person
Award date7 Dec 2016
Print ISBNs978-94-6299-476-8
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

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