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Vol.

40(3) September, 2016

Print: ISSN 0304 4904


Online: ISSN 2305-820X

PAKISTAN
PEDIATRIC
JOURNAL

A JOURNAL OF PAKISTAN PEDIATRIC ASSOCIATION


Indexed in EMBASE/Excerpta Medica & Index medicus WHO IMEMR
www.pakpedsjournal.org.pk

http://www.pakmedinet.com/PPJ

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Mothers Knowledge about Child Development


ATIQ UR REHMAN, SYEDA FARHANA KAZMI, FARRUKH MUNIR

-----------------------------------------------------------------Pak Pediatr J 2016; 40(3): 176-81

ABSTRACT
Objectives: The first objective of this study was to assess mother'
knowledge about child development and the second objective was to
identify their sources of knowledge.
Correspondence to:
Atiq Ur Rehman
Department of Psychology,
Govt. Post Graduate College,
Jaranwala, District Faisalabad,
Pakistan
Email: atiq0004@yahoo.com
Received: 4th March 2016;
Accepted for publication:
16th Sept. 2016

Study Design: Cross sectional survey research design.


Place and duration of study: The study was conducted among the
urban community of Faisalabad and Jaranwala during the month of
January 2016.
Participants & Methods: A sample of 392 mothers was taken by
convenient sampling technique among the urban community of
Faisalabad and Jaranwala. The Caregiver Knowledge of Child
Development Inventory with the addition of five questions taken from
Developmental Milestones; Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North
America about child development was used to assess the mothers'
knowledge about child cognitive, sensory, motor and language
developmental milestones.
Results: It was observed that mothers have inadequate knowledge
about child development. It was observed that knowledge of majority
of the mothers is based on informal experiences only. Only 3.57%
mothers claimed that their source of knowledge about child
development was formal education/experiences and 9.44% mothers
told that their source of knowledge about child development was
television, radio, magazines and discussing with a pediatrician.
Conclusion: It was concluded that mothers' knowledge about sensory
and motor development was better than language and cognitive
development. Mothers need to be more knowledge about child
development. Knowledge of majority of the mothers is only based on
informal experiences.
Key words: Mothers' Knowledge, Child Development, Language and
Cognitive Development, Sensory and Motor Development, Community.

INTRODUCTION
Mothers knowledge about child development is
assumed to play a key role in motivating how
mothers behave with respect to their children.
Mother child interactions involve several domains
of development1. Awareness of mothers, support
a broad scope of positive developmental
effects2. Still a very inadequately is realized about

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Pakistani
Mothers
knowledge
of
child
development and key matters of parenting and
their state of mind about being a mother. Similar
not as much is known about how mothers
educate themselves about child development &
parenting and exactly, how capable they
wisdom in the parenting task.
The level of knowledge to which mothers are
capable to be aware of their children, is mostly

Mothers Knowledge about Child Development

subjective to their family credentials, culture and


generation. Mothers from different cultures act in
their own way to get information about children3.
Cultural environments affect the approach, how
parents believe about their children, their
parenting ambitions and values4.
A mother who has the proper knowledge of a
childs development, may be helpful for early
screening of developmental delays of her
children. The previous studies exhibit that mothers
with better knowledge of child development, are
more probable to deliver developmental
incentive to their children. The children of such
mothers
consequently
have
healthier
developmental outcomes5.
It is essential for mothers to be aware of their
child's necessities, individuality and development.
Mothers should have knowledge that every child
is unique in his/ her abilities. Mothers having more
knowledge about child`s uniqueness, bring up
and development proves to be more efficient
mothers. Researchers have realized that those
parents who have knowledge about the child's
development is positively reported to their
competence to conceive homes with learning
conditions and to cooperate with their children in
manners that accelerate positive development.
Furthermore, health care professionals may be
dependent in somewhat on parents knowledge
about the development and health of their
children for counseling and recommendations6.
Parents are well capable to don liability for their
childrens development if they are informed of
the effect of a constructive and fostering home
environment and convinced in their capabilities
to provide their childrens learning7.
Children who born with a low birth weight below
2500 grams are more probable to suffer a
massive physical and developmental problems
as well as
delay in motor and social
development8 and such children remain poor in
intelligence and lower in school performance9.
Children who born under 1500 grams birth weight
are at higher risk of dying within a year10. Children
with a low birth weight are at higher risk for iron
deficiency in their childhood11 and hold lower IQ
scores12.
Awareness about child development is improving
in developing countries. The agencies are
supporting the primitive child development
programs for low birth weight children13 and

177
developmental delays14 as well as supporting the
children born in a poor income environment15.
Child development facts are regularly recorded
in child development monitoring charts.
For
the
purpose
to
calculate
normal
development among healthy children, world
health organization has construed frames of
milestone development with variation in the
ages16. Developmental delay means children's
development behind an ascertained normal
span for their age. A child's physical
development
delay
may
disrupt
child's
behavioral, emotional, cognitive and social
development as compared to normal children.
Mostly children crawl with the age of 8 months
and walk before the age of 18 months17, if a child
4 or 5 months behind in attaining these milestones
is said to developmental delayed concerned to
mobility. The mothers who suffer with medical
complication during the pregnancy and at the
time of delivery their children may have more
chance
to
be
encountered
with
the
developmental problems. The children of such
mothers may be kept in a follow-up plan to track
their progress within a certain developmental
period.
Mostly children assume to speak the first words
before attaining the age of 18 months and speak
short sentences by the age of 3 years, if a child is
behind in attaining these milestones is said to
developmental delayed concerned to speech18.
The educational and social development is also
effected with delayed speech and language
development. The children with developmental
disabilities, speech and language development
delays are mostly prevalent, hence without delay
detection and intervention is crucial. With other
possible cause of delayed speech and
language, congenital hearing loss can be the
one of the causes of delayed speech and
language. Children with the most hearing loss
have the most language deficits. If the earlier the
hearing loss is detected, then it has better
curative. Cognitive abilities also affected among
those children who diagnosed with delayed
speech and language development. It is
believed that a relationship exists among sensory,
motor,
cognitive,
social
and
language
Delays in language and
development19.
cognitive development may be the cause of
deficits in a Neuro development. In such

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178

Rehman AUr, Kazmi SF, Munir F

situations, a child may be suffering in visual spatial


perceptual disabilities.

version and resident of urban areas of Faisalabad


or Jaranwala cities.

Early motor developmental delay may be a most


frequent indicator of neurological dysfunction. If
a child is reported with largely motor delays,
cerebral palsy20, spina bifida, taxia, myopathy
and spinal muscular atrophy may be appeared21.
If a motor delay coexists with delays in added
developmental capacities, the child may be
assessed for visual deficiency or mental
impairment. Grown up children with inadequate
motor abilities may be markedly lower than in
their cognitive abilities19.

The exclusion criteria of the sample were the


mothers whose age were under 19 years and
above 60 years and who cannot read the
inventory at least in Urdu version and not residing
under the urban area of Faisalabad or Jaranwala
cities. The data were analyzed in the form of
frequency and percentage through the SPSS
version 20.

OBJECTIVES
The first objective of this study was to assess
mother' knowledge about child development
and the second objective was to identify their
sources of knowledge.

METHODOLOGY
This study is based on cross sectional survey
research design. A sample of 392 mothers was
taken by convenient sampling technique among
the urban community of Faisalabad and
Jaranwala during the month of January 2016. The
Caregiver Knowledge of Child Development
Inventory with the addition of five questions (The
age at which a child can hold his/her head at
900 in ventral position, the age at which child can
sit alone without support, the age at which a
child can stand, the age at which a child can
climb stairs and the age at which child can kick a
ball) taken from Developmental Milestones;
Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America22,
23 about child development was used, to assess
the mothers ' knowledge about child cognitive,
sensory, motor and language developmental
milestones. The Caregiver Knowledge of Child
Development Inventory has a good reliability and
as internal consistency of the item scale, = 0.61
was observed5.
The participants of the study were also asked
about their source of knowledge about child
development.
Information
about
the
demographic characteristics of sample was also
recorded in the form of age, educational level
and vocation of the participants. The inclusion
criteria of the sample were the mothers whose
age were above 18 years and below 61 years
and who can read the inventory at least in Urdu

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RESULTS
A sample of 392 mothers was the part of this
study with the age 19 year to 60 year,
educational level below secondary to post
graduation level and four major types of
vocations. The detail classification of age,
educational level and vocation in the form of
frequency and percentage has been presented
in table 1.
TABLE 1: Demographic Characteristics of Sample
Demographic Character
Age
19-30 years
31-40 years
41-50 years
51-60 years
Educational Level
Below secondary level
Secondary level
Higher secondary level
Graduation level
Post graduation level
Vocation
Teachers
Bank employees
Lady health workers
Housewives

Number

Percentage

031
097
147
117

07.91
24.74
37.50
29.85

012
076
134
103
067

03.06
19.39
34.18
26.28
17.09

112
039
017
224

28.57
09.95
04.34
57.14

As depicted in table 1, the maximum part of the


sample according to age was 37.50% mothers
were 41-50 year, followed by 29.85% mothers
were 51-60 year and the least part of the sample
according to age was 7.91% mothers were 19-30
year. The maximum part of the sample according
to educational level was 34.18% mothers were
inter followed by 26.28% mothers were graduated
and the least part of sample 3.06% mothers were
below secondary level. Similarly the 57.14%
mothers were housewives followed by 28.57%
mothers were teachers/ professors and the least

179

Mothers Knowledge about Child Development

part of sample 4.34% mothers were lady health


workers.
In response to the question about the source of
knowledge of mothers about child development,
only 14 mothers (3.57%) claimed that their source
of knowledge about child development was
formal education/experiences and 37 mothers
(9.44%) told that they have gained knowledge

about child development from television, radio,


magazines and discussing with a pediatrician
while 341 mothers (86.99%) told that they have
obtained knowledge from involving oneself in
such deeds as watching, have a discussion with
relatives and cooperating with siblings.

TABLE 2: Language and Cognitive Developmental Milestones (n = 392)


Q.

Language and Cognitive Developmental Milestones

1.
2.

The age at which brain of a child makes a start to develop and learn?
The age at which a child starts to vocalize, in reply to somebody speaking to
him?
The age at which a child starts to smile with response to other persons in smile
face?
The age at which a child starts to speak solo meaningful words?
The age at which mothers should start to talk with their children?
The age at which mothers should start to train their children for counting?
The age at which mothers should start to educate their children about colors?

3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

As depicted in table 2, the highest correct


answered (57.14%) question was, the age at
which mothers should start to train their children
for counting, followed by (53.83%) the question
the age at which mothers should start to
educate their children about colors. The lowest

Correct
Answers F
64
127

Correct
Answers %
16.33
32.40

116

29.59

186
125
224
211

47.45
31.89
57.14
53.83

correct answers (16.33%) question was, the age


at which brain of a child makes a start to
develop and learn. Overall correct answered
percentage about language and cognitive
development was assessed 38.37%.

TABLE 3: Sensory & Motor Developmental Milestones (n = 392)


Q.

Sensory & Motor Developmental Milestones

1.
2.

The age at which a child begins to see?


The age at which a child start to track a moving person with his/her eyes or when
he/she hears a sound?
The age at which a child is able to approach for a toy, putting before him?
The age at which a child starts to grip little objects with his/her fingertips?
The age at which a child starts to walk by him/ herself in a good way?
The age at which mothers should start to display colorful things before their
children for the purpose of practice to reach?
The age at which mothers should begin to hand a spoon their children for eating
themselves?
The age at which mothers should start to train their children for drawing and
coloring?
The age at which child can sit with curved back or with support?
The age at which child can hold his/her head at 900 in ventral position?
The age at which child can sit alone without support.
The age at which child can stand?
The age at which child can walk alone?
The age at which child can climb stairs?
The age at which child can kick a ball?

3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.

As depicted in table 3, the highest correct


answered (69.39%) question was, the age at
which a child begins to see, followed by the
(63.26%) the question the age at which child

Correct
Answers F
272
232

Correct
Answers %
69.39
59.18

203
192
240
134

51.79
48.98
61.22
34.18

191

48.72

226

57.65

221
247
234
239
244
230
248

56.38
63.01
59.69
60.97
62.24
58.67
63.26

can kick a ball. The lowest correct answers


(34.18%) question was the age at which mothers
should start to display colorful things before their
children for the purpose of practice to reach.

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180

Overall correct answered percentage about


sensory & motor development was assessed
57.02%.
The
comparison
about
child
development knowledge was made on the basis
of age, education and vocation of participants
but no significant difference was observed on
these three factors.

DISCUSSION
The countries such as Pakistan, where health
facilities are not delivering about developmental
surveillance in a right way, it is the obligatory for
parents to detect developmental delays of their
children. We have observed that a large number
of mothers were deficient in knowledge about
developmental milestones of their children as
they thought that generally developmental skills
and movements befall at delayed than
normative ages. Overall correct answered
percentage about language and cognitive
development was assessed 38.37% and about
sensory & motor development was assessed
57.02%. Only 16.33% mothers rightly know about
the age at which brain of a child makes a start to
develop and learn. If mothers consider that
developmental proficiencies acquire in a later
age as compared to normative age, so they
cannot be as much to be expected from their
children.
In this study it was seen that only 3.57% mothers
claimed that their source of knowledge about
child development was formal education/
experiences. Formal education/ experiences
means the knowledge learned from experts in
academic/ professional institutes, i.e. schools,
colleges and universities.
According to this study, it was observed that
knowledge of majority of the mothers is only
based on informal experiences. Informal
experiences means knowledge evolves from
involve one self in such deeds as watching, have
a discussion with relatives and cooperating with
siblings. Only the 9.44% mothers told that they
have
obtained
knowledge
about
child
development from television, radio, magazines
and discussing with a pediatrician.
The comparison about child development
knowledge was made on the basis of age,
education and vocation of participants but no
significant difference was observed on these
three factors. In our view points perhaps its may

www.pakpedsjournal.org.pk

Rehman AUr, Kazmi SF, Munir F

be due to mostly mothers knowledge is based on


informal
experiences,
within
a
family
conversation, with relatives and watching siblings.
MacPhee24 conducted a study to know how
parents acquired knowledge about their child
development and found that the most parents
developed their knowledge through other
parents, books, relatives and pediatricians.
Parents with low socioeconomic position
obtained information within a family, i.e.
conversation with relatives and watching siblings
while middle class parents obtained knowledge
from formal experiences. In the study of
MacPhee, it was observed that the knowledge
obtained from formal experiences was more
accurate as compared to knowledge obtained
from informal experiences.

CONCLUSION
It was concluded from this study, mothers have
inadequate
knowledge
about
child
development as overall correct answered
percentage about language and cognitive
development was assessed 38.37% and about
sensory & motor development was assessed
57.02%, so mothers need to be more
knowledgeable about child development.
Knowledge of majority of the mothers is based on
informal experiences alone.

LIMITATIONS
This study was conducted on a small scale
sample only among the two cities of Punjab,
Faisalabad and Jaranwala. Secondly the data
were collected from the residents of the urban
areas of these cities. In future a large scale study
should be conducted at country level, including
Azad Jammu and Kashmir territory.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Information about child development should


be made as a part of school and college
syllabus.

Lady health workers should be properly


educated about child development so that
they may better educate the community.

Informational
Programs
about
child
development should be launched on
television, radio and newspapers.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------Authors affiliations

Mothers Knowledge about Child Development

Atiq Ur Rehman
Department of Psychology, Govt. Post-Graduate
College, Jaranwala, District Faisalabad, Pakistan
Syeda Farhana Kazmi,
Department of Psychology, Hazara
Manserha, Khyber Puktunkhwa, Pakistan

University,

Farrukh Munir,
Institute of Education and Research, University of the
Punjab, Lahore.

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