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July 1963

Predicting Intellectual Potential in Infancy: Some Variables Affecting the Validity of Developmental Diagnosis

Author Affiliations

Hilda Knobloch, MD, Children's Hospital, 561 S 17th St, Columbus 5, Ohio.; Director, Clinic of Child Development, Department of Mental Hygiene and Correction and Children's Hospital; Professor of Pediatrics, Ohio State University College of Medicine (Dr. Knobloch); Director of Research, Psychiatric Institute and Hospital; Professor of Psychiatry, Ohio State University College of Medicine (Dr. Pasamanick).

Am J Dis Child. 1963;106(1):43-51. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1963.02080050045009

Much confusion still exists in the literature and in practice concerning the use of infant evaluations in the prediction of later intellectual functioning. The concern with the reliability and validity of developmental behavioral assessment has increased greatly with the recent upsurge in interest in mental subnormality climaxed by the report of the President's Panel on Mental Retardation. This paper will therefore discuss some aspects of the responsibility of the physician for diagnosis, the early detection of mental subnormality, areas of infant behavior which are important in prediction, and some of the variables which affect behavioral development.

There are several factors accounting for the current disbelief in the validity of infant evaluations. The predictions in the past have generally been based on tests devised and administered by psychologists. These tests consist of a restricted number of items at each age; they are mostly motor items with some language and personal-social behavior