During the 1960s the Griffiths scales, which were originally designed to measure children from birth to two years, were extended to cover birth to eight years and a sixth scale (Practical Reasoning) was added to the five scales comprising the measure for the early years. The first edition was published in 1970 and revised in 1984. The third and most current edition was published in 2006.
The six sub-scales include:
Sub-scale A: Locomotor: Gross motor skills including the ability to balance and to co-ordinate and control movements.
Sub-scale B: Personal-Social: Proficiency in the activities of daily living, level of independence and interaction with other children.
Sub-scale C: Language: Receptive and expressive language.
Sub-scale D: Eye and Hand Co-ordination: Fine motor skills, manual dexterity and visual monitoring skills.
Sub-scale E: Performance: Visuospatial skills including speed of working and precision.
Sub-scale F: Practical Reasoning: ability to solve practical problems, understanding of basic mathematical concepts and understanding of moral issues.
A kit of standardised equipment is required to administer the items in the Griffiths scales. The kit consists of 39 pieces which are fitted into a carrying case. In addition a drawing book and a record form are supplied.
Detailed instructions for administering and scoring the items are given in the Administration Manual. Interpretation of the raw scores requires reference to the Analysis Manual.
Scores on individual items are written into a record book. The items in the record book are colour coded to draw attention to items of a similar kind. Working through sequences of similar items allows a simpler, more time-efficient administration that proceeds from item to item as they appear in order of development. An administration key is supplied with an explanation of the colour coding.
The Record booklet and the Administration Manual also identify which items in the sub-scales:
- Should be demonstrated
- Can be given two trials
- Must be administered after a practice item
- Can be scored on the basis of parental/caregiver report.
In addition to detailing responses to individual items, the record form allows sight of the whole profile at a glance either by using the scoring grid or by plotting the scores graphically.
Raw scores are computed for each individual sub-scale and can be converted to four types of standard score:
- Percentiles (using look-up tables in the Analysis Manual or the graphs provided in the record books)
- Z-Scores (using look-up tables in the Analysis Manual)
- Age Equivalents or Mental Age (using look-up tables in the Analysis Manual)
- General Quotient or GQ (using look-up tables in the Analysis Manual).
The scales are supplied only to paediatricians and health professionals who have successfully completed a training course accredited by the Association for Research in Infant and Child Development (A.R.I.C.D.). For information on training dates go to www.aricd.org.uk/courses