Activity and Behavioral Development in Stunted and Nonstunted Children and Response to Nutritional Supplementation

Julie M.Meeks Gardner, Sally M. Grantham‐McGregor, Susan M. Chang, John H. Himes, Christine A. Powell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

It is frequently assumed that undernutrition in young children leads to poor development through reduced activity. 3 groups of 26 1‐year‐old stunted children were studied: nutritional supplementation, supplementation with psychosocial stimulation, and controls. 26 nonstunted comparison children were also studied. Activity levels were measured by extensive observations in the homes, and development using 4 subscales of the Griffith's Mental Development Scales. Initially, stunted children were less active than nonstunted ones (p < .01), but after 6 months they caught up regardless of treatment. The mental ages of the stunted children were lower than those of the nonstunted children initially, and improved with either treatment. Initially, activity levels made a significant contribution to the variance in the locomotor subscale only, but not 6 months later. Activity did not predict change in development over 6 or 12 months, nor did change in activity over 6 months predict change in development over 12 months.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1785-1797
Number of pages13
JournalChild development
Volume66
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1995

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