Assessment of Neuropsychological Trajectories in Longitudinal Population-Based Studies of Children
White, R. F.
Knox, S. S.
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CitationWhite, R F, R Campbell, D Echeverria, S S Knox, P Janulewicz. "Assessment of neuropsychological trajectories in longitudinal population-based studies of children" Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 63(Suppl 1): i15-i26. (2008)
This paper provides a strategy for the assessment of brain function in longitudinal cohort studies of children. The proposed strategy invokes both domain-specific and omnibus intelligence test approaches. In order to minimise testing burden and practice effects, the cohort is divided into four groups with one-quarter tested at 6-monthly intervals in the 0–2-year age range (at ages 6 months, 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0 years) and at annual intervals from ages 3–20 (one-quarter of the children at age 3, another at age 4, etc). This strategy allows investigation of cognitive development and of the relationship between environmental influences and development at each age. It also allows introduction of new domains of function when age-appropriate. As far as possible, tests are used that will provide a rich source of both longitudinal and cross-sectional data. The testing strategy allows the introduction of novel tests and new domains as well as piloting of tests when the test burden is relatively light. In addition to the recommended tests for each age and domain, alternative tests are described. Assessment methodology and knowledge about child cognitive development will change over the next 20 years, and strategies are suggested for altering the proposed test schedule as appropriate.