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Preschool children’s communication, motor and social development: Parents’ and educators’ concerns

McLeod, Sharynne; Crowe, Kathryn; McCormack, Jane; White, Paul; Wren, Yvonne; Baker, Elise; Masso, Sarah; Roulstone, Sue

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Sharynne McLeod

Kathryn Crowe

Jane McCormack

Paul White
Professor in Applied Statistics

Yvonne Wren

Elise Baker

Sarah Masso

Sue Roulstone


© 2017, © 2017 The Speech Pathology Association of Australia Limited. Purpose: During early childhood, it is important to identify which children require intervention before they face the increased demands of school. This study aimed to: (1) compare parents’ and educators’ concerns, (2) examine inter-rater reliability between parents’ and educators’ concerns and (3) determine the group difference between level of concern and children’s performance on clinical testing. Method: Parents and educators of 1205 4- to 5-year-old children in the Sound Start Study completed the Parents’ Evaluation of Developmental Status. Children whose parents/educators were concerned about speech and language underwent direct assessment measuring speech accuracy (n = 275), receptive vocabulary (n = 131) and language (n = 274). Result: More parents/educators were concerned about children’s speech and expressive language, than behaviour, social–emotional, school readiness, receptive language, self-help, fine motor and gross motor skills. Parents’ and educators’ responses were significantly correlated (except gross motor). Parents’ and educators’ level of concern about expressive speech and language was significantly correlated with speech accuracy on direct assessment. Educators’ level of concern was significantly correlated with a screening measure of language. Scores on a test of receptive vocabulary significantly differed between those with concern and those without. Conclusion: Children’s communication skills concerned more parents and educators than other aspects of development and these concerns generally aligned with clinical testing.


McLeod, S., Crowe, K., McCormack, J., White, P., Wren, Y., Baker, E., …Roulstone, S. (2018). Preschool children’s communication, motor and social development: Parents’ and educators’ concerns. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 20(4), 468-482.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 16, 2017
Publication Date Jul 4, 2018
Deposit Date Mar 23, 2017
Publicly Available Date Apr 18, 2018
Journal International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Print ISSN 1754-9507
Electronic ISSN 1754-9507
Publisher Informa Healthcare
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 20
Issue 4
Pages 468-482
Keywords children, development, communication, speech, language, behaviour, fine motor,
gross motor, school readiness, parents, teachers, educators, early childhood, screening
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology on 18th April 2017, available online:


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