Being brought up in a harsh environment can lead to delays in the development of children's motor skills, social skills and cognition. To intervene effectively health workers in developing countries, where resources are scarce, need straightforward ways of assessing which children are at risk of delayed development. Amina Abubakar from Tilburg University in the Netherlands studied 85 children in Kilifi, a poor rural area on the Kenyan coast. The children were between 2 and 10 months at the start of the study and were monitored over the next 10 months. Five factors were found to be associated with developmental delay: stunted growth, being underweight, ill health, little maternal education and mothers having been pregnant more often.
Abubakar, Amina ... [et al] - Children at risk for developmental delay can be recognised by stunting, being underweight, ill health, little maternal schooling or high gravidity Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry June 2010, 51(6), 652-659