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January 1986

Noncooperation of Preschoolers

Author Affiliations

The Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Research Unit Department of Paediatrics and Child Health University of Otago Medical School PO Box 913 Dunedin, New Zealand

Am J Dis Child. 1986;140(1):8-9. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1986.02140150010009

Sir.—We were interested in Dr Schmitt's account1 of preschoolers who refused to be examined, and we would like to report some results concerning a group of sixty 3-year-old children who refused to cooperate during a neurologic examination for "soft signs." These children were part of a larger cohort of 1,037 children, born between April 1, 1972, and March 31, 1973, in Dunedin, New Zealand.2 The study of "soft signs" was part of an extensive investigation of the health and development of the sample at 3 years of age.3

The 60 children (37 boys and 23 girls) represented 5.8% of the sample. There was no significant association between sex of child and refusal to cooperate (ϰ2 analysis [1 df]= 2.13; P>.05). In addition, there was no association between refusal to cooperate and parental socioeconomic status based on a sixpoint index developed for New Zealand4

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