Denver Developmental Scales

The measure

The Denver Developmental Development Scales  consist of a number of instruments, including the Denver Developmental Screening Test (DDST). It is widely used for assessing  the developmental progress of children from birth to age six years. The test, devised in 1969, reflects what percentage of a specified age group is able to perform a certain task.

Children are assessed in four areas of functioning:

  • Social/personal: aspects of socialization inside and outside the home
  • Fine motor function: eye/hand co-ordination, and manipulation of small objects
  • Language: production of sounds, ability to recognize, understand, and use of language
  • Gross motor functions: motor control, sitting, walking, jumping, and other movements

The test is primarily based upon an examiner’s actual observation rather than parental report and it provides a visual picture on one page of the developmental progress of a child.

The Denver II, published in 1992, was standardized on 2,096 children. The DDST and the DENVER II tests have been translated into numerous foreign languages, as well as re-standardized on over 1,000 children in 12 different countries to obtain national norms.

Frankenburg, W.K., Dodds, J., Archer, O., Shapiro, H., & Bresnik, B. (1992). The Denver II: a major revision and restandardization of the Denver Developmental Screening Test. Pediatrics, 89(1). 91-97.

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