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Adaptation and validation of the MacArthur-Bates CDI Gesture Scale for the UK

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Conference paperpeer-review

Publication date09/2013
<mark>Original language</mark>English
EventBritish Psychological Society, Developmental and Social Sections Conference - University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom
Duration: 4/09/20136/09/2013


ConferenceBritish Psychological Society, Developmental and Social Sections Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


The MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventory: Words and Gestures (CDI-WG) is a parental report research tool that has greatly contributed to the study of language development in young children aged 8-18 months throughout the world. CDI-WG is a checklist of vocabulary and gesture items which parents complete according to their child’s current communication profile. A Gesture Scale is included as the development of gesture is key to early communication, may contribute to later language development, and may help identify children at risk of language delay. There is currently no standardised version of the CDI-WG for the UK. Language development research in the UK has used various non-standardised British adaptions of the MacArthur-Bates CDI-WG. Exclusive authorisation was granted to produce this UK adaptation, which will become the first standardised UK-CDI for parents of children from 8-18 months. This paper describes the piloting and development of the Gesture Scale. During the pilot phase of this study, UK parents (n=100) of children 8-18 months completed the UK-CDI. The content validity of the gesture scale was established by selecting gesture items from 3 existing gesture checklists: MacArthur-Bates CDI-WG, Communication and Symbolic Behavior Scales Developmental Profile Infant/Toddler Checklist (Wetherby & Prizant, 2001) and a previous adaptation of the MacArthur-Bates CDI-WG in the UK, with reference to the developmental literature. In addition, although previous versions of the CDI have included extensive validation of the vocabulary sections, this has not been the case for the gesture sections – not even for the original US version. Validation of the Gesture Scale in our study involves correlation of scores against children’s performance on laboratory tests of gesture and object use. We discuss the validation and construction of the Gesture Scale, comparing its measurement properties to those of the vocabulary sections and to previous versions of the Gesture Scale from other settings.