HUMAN MATURATION: PROGRAMMING DIFFERENTIATIONS IN HIGH LEVEL COGNITION AND GENERAL DEVELOPMENT
A widely held assumption is that measures of general development provide relatively accurate estimation of cognitive/intellectual functioning. While this possibly holds true with the so-called normal child, this study demonstrates that such may not be the case for either high risk children or developmentally disabled individuals with mental ages below 4 years. One hundred and twenty infants, children, and adults either diagnosed as being retarded or suspected of having a maturational problem and with mental age below 4 years were evaluated to afford a scrutiny of programming needs. The population was subdivided into three separate categories: a high risk infant and preschool group (n = 34); a developmentally disabled primary school age group (n = 24); and a developmentally disabled adult group (n = 62) which included a hospitalized group (n = 18), a nonhospitalized group (n = 13), and a cerebral palsy group (n = 13). All subjects were evaluated with the Kaufman Infant and Preschool Scale (K.I.P.S.), a high level cognitive measure; the Vineland Social Maturity Scale; and the Kaufman Development Scale. The Mental Scale of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development was administered to only 12 subjects in the infant and preschool group while the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale was administered to all subjects with the exception of those in the infant and preschool group and the cerebral palsy group. All empirical measures, excluding the K.I.P.S., were considered by this researcher to be measures of general development. Mean comparison of empirical measures revealed that scores on the high level cognitive measure (K.I.P.S.) were significantly lower (at p < .01 or < .05) than those on all general developmental measures in all groups with one exception: mean scores on the K.I.P.S. were higher than those on the developmental measures in the cerebral palsy group. The empirical data and contemplations will hopefully prompt those individuals instrumental in the evaluation and programming of infants, children, and the mentally retarded to consider the concepts of intelligence and general development as relatively separate aspects of maturation, at least for the purposes of understanding behavior and programming needs. Conceivably, through an understanding of cognitive versus developmental functioning, programming can be tailored to enable each individual to fully realize his potentialities.
THOMAS CHARLES FUGETTE,
"HUMAN MATURATION: PROGRAMMING DIFFERENTIATIONS IN HIGH LEVEL COGNITION AND GENERAL DEVELOPMENT"
(January 1, 1981).
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