Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Clinical Epidemiology


Larry W. Chambers


This thesis describes the development and preliminary assessment of social function measures applicable to noninstitutionalized children ranging from 2-14 years of age. The measures are to be used in a cohort comparison study to evaluate neonatal intensive care for under 1500 gram birth weight infants. A lack of earlier attempts to develop measures that focus specifically on the social health of children provided the motivation for creating the scales reported in this paper.

The three major divisions of the thesis include a discussion of measurement criteria applicable to new child health scales; a content analysis and evaluation of available measures of social functioning; and the analysis of results from a pilot study designed to assess a battery of instruments created for the neonatal intensive care project.

Emerging from this work are three social function scales. One of the scales assesses the quality of social relationships and applies to children from 2-14 years. Pilot study results suggest, however, that this scale may overlap excessively with measures of emotional function. The remaining social function scales are applicable to children from 4-14 years: they measure quantitative dimensions of social health which include friendships, interpersonal contacts and social activities.

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