Open Access Research article

Developmental screening in a Canadian First Nation (Mohawk): psychometric properties and adaptations of ages & stages questionnaires (2nd edition)

Carmen Dionne1*, Suzie McKinnon2, Jane Squires3 and Jantina Clifford4

Author Affiliations

1 Canadian Research Chair on Early Intervention, Department of Psychoeducation, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, P.O. Box 500, Trois-Rivières, Quebec G9A 5H7, Canada

2 Department of Psychoeducation, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Trois-Rivières, Canada

3 Early Intervention Program, Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, University of Oregon, Eugene, USA

4 Early Intervention Program, Department of Special Education, University of Oregon, Eugene, USA

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BMC Pediatrics 2014, 14:23  doi:10.1186/1471-2431-14-23

Published: 28 January 2014



The need for early intervention tools adapted to the First Nation culture is well documented. However, standards derived from First Nation communities are absent from the literature. This study examines the psychometric properties of an adaptation of a caregiver-completed screening tool, the Ages & Stages Questionnaires (ASQ), for the Mohawk population.


Participants who completed the questionnaires include 17 teachers, along with the parents of 282 children (130 girls and 152 boys) between the ages of 9 and 66 months who attend the Child and Family Center Mohawk Territory, Quebec.


For the internal consistency of the four questionnaires (36-, 42-, 48- and 54-month intervals), Cronbach’s alphas varied between .61 and .84. Five results were below 0.60: “gross motor” (Q36 and Q42), “problem solving” (Q36) and “personal-social” (Q36 and Q42). A comparison of the results shows that parents and teachers agreed in 85% of the cases concerning the referral of the child for further evaluation. Moreover, the group discussion with the parents revealed that the use of the questionnaire was appreciated and was deemed appropriate for use within the community.


The results show that the ASQ is a screening test that may be appropriate for use with children from communities that are seemingly very different in terms of geographic, climatic and cultural backgrounds. This preliminary study with the Child and Family Center appears to support further study and the use of the ASQ with the Mohawk population.

Children; First nation; Developmental delay; Screening; ASQ