Chapter 12: The Griffiths Scales in South Africa

AUTHOR/S: L. Jacklin, K. Cockcroft

ABSTRACT: The Griffiths scales were developed by Ruth Griffiths O. B. E. The Abilities of Babies was published in 1954 followed by The Abilities of Young Children in 1970.  These scales were used extensively in the United Kingdom and a variety of other countries. Eventually, it became clear that with greater exposure of children to electronic media and early childhood education that there had been acceleration in the development of children. The Griffiths scales had to be updated to keep pace with the changes. This resulted in the publication of the revision of the Birth to 2 years in 1996 and the   Extended Revised Scales for children of between 2 years and eight years in 2006 .This text will describe the history and development of the scales. The Griffiths scales are one of a variety of tests available for assessing the development of young children. What makes them unique is that they can be used to test children from birth up to the developmental age of eight years across all areas of development. They therefore give a complete profile of the development of the child. The strengths and weaknesses of the use of the Griffiths scales as a test and as a research tool in the South African context will be described. The use of the Griffiths scales is controlled by the Association for Research in Infant and Child Development (ARICD) to ensure that the test is administered by suitably trained testers. The training process is described. Assessment and the development of tools is a dynamic process. The future development of the scales is discussed.

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