The Maternal Perinatal Scale as a predictor of developmental risk

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Trammell, Beth A.
Dean, Raymond S.
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Thesis (Ph. D.)
Department of Educational Psychology
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With increases in medical technology, infant mortality has decreased, while infant morbidity has increased over the past half century. Moreover, the definition of high-risk pregnancy continues to lack true universal acceptance. Thus, continued research in the area of perinatal complications is warranted. There have been studies that have suggested short-term and long-term deficits considered to be secondary to perinatal complications. Psychologists often gather information about a given child’s perinatal history, but do not always have means to interpret how those complications may impact the child later in life. The Maternal Perinatal Scale (MPS) has been shown to have good reliability and validity in past studies, but a scoring system has yet to be established. This project consisted of two studies. The first study created a preliminary scoring system for the developmental questionnaire, the Maternal Perinatal Scale. This questionnaire has proven to have potential for good clinical utility, but prior to this study, had nothing beyond item-by-item analysis for interpreting the results. To test the validity of the proposed scoring system, a second study was conducted to determine cutoff scores and classification rates for the scoring system on data previously collected with children in elementary school. Results revealed proposed scores for each item on the MPS and classification rates associated with certain developmental disorders later in life.