Risk of Developmental Delay

Parents’ responses to questions about the eight specific concerns described on the preceding page were used to assess the child’s risk for behavioral, developmental, or social delays. Depending on the child’s age, parents’ concerns in specific areas that are the most likely to predict delays are used to determine a child’s level of risk for future delays. Children whose parents have concerns in one area that is predictive of a delay are considered to be at moderate risk, and children whose parents have concerns in two or more areas are considered to be at high risk. Children whose parents have concerns, but those concerns are not predictive of delays, are classified as low risk. The concerns of the parents of 26.2 percent of children were significant enough to indicate that their child is at moderate or high risk for delay.

The percentage of children at moderate or high risk of developmental or behavioral delays also varied by sex and race/ethnicity. Overall, boys were slightly more likely to be at moderate or high risk for delay than girls (29.1 versus 23.0 percent, respectively; data not shown in graph images or in data tables on this site). Nearly one-third of Hispanic children (32.5 percent) were at moderate or high risk of delay, as were 29.8 percent of non-Hispanic Black children and 29.4 percent of non-Hispanic children of other races. Of non-Hispanic White children, 21.2 percent were reported to be at moderate or high risk of delays.