Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology



First Advisor

Allan Berman


The biological and environmental influences on sensorimotor/cognitive development were studied. Participants were 100 children with developmental disabilities between the ages of 2 and 28 months and their families. Scores from the Rochester Research Obstetric Scale (ROS), Pediatric Complications Scale (PdCS), and Home Observation for the Measurement of the Environment (HOME) were used as independent variables in a multiple regression analysis. The dependent variable was the Mental Development Index (MDI) from the Bayley Scales of Infant Development. Results indicate there is a significant, but moderate relationship between the independent and dependent variables. Very little overlap was found among the independent variables. Total explained variance in MDI was 28%. Pre-, peri- and postnatal factors, measured by the ROS, contributed a negligible amount to this variance. Medical problems (PdCS) experienced after the neonatal period contributed 58% to the variance in MDI, while the HOME contributed 42%. The bivariate relationship between PdCS scores and MDI was inverse, indicating that higher scores on one are associated with lower scores on the other. The relationship between HOME scores and MDI was positive, meaning higher scores on one are associated with higher scores on the other. Caution is given regarding efforts to generalize or operationalize this multiple regression system.



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