The Early Motor Questionnaire (EMQ): a parental report measure of early motor development

Children’s early motor skills are critical for development across language, social, and cognitive domains, and warrant close examination. However, examiner-administered motor assessments are time consuming and expensive. Parent-report questionnaires offer an efficient alternative, but validity of parent report is unclear and only few motor questionnaires exist. In this report, we use cross-sectional and longitudinal data to investigate the validity of parent report in comparison to two examiner-administered measures (Mullen Scales of Early Learning, MSEL; Peabody Developmental Motor Scales, PDMS-2), and introduce a new parent-report measure called the Early Motor Questionnaire (EMQ). Results indicate strong correlations between parent report on the EMQ and a child’s age, robust concurrent and predictive validity of parent report with both the MSEL and PDMS-2, and good test-retest reliability of parent report on the EMQ. Together, our findings support the conclusion that parents provide dependable accounts of early motor and cognitive development.

Keywords: Autism; Motor development; Parent report; Questionnaire.