Objective: The aim of the study was to examine the relationship between social withdrawal behaviour at one year and motor and language milestones.
Materials and methods: One-year old children from the EDEN French population-based birth cohort study (Study on the pre- and postnatal determinants of the child's development and prospective health Birth Cohort Study) were included. Social withdrawal at one year was assessed by trained midwives using the Alarm Distress BaBy (ADBB) scale. Midwives concurrently examined infants' motor and language milestones. Parents reported on child's psychomotor and language milestones, during the interview with the midwife.
Results: After adjusting for potential confounding factors, social withdrawal behaviour was significantly associated with concurrent delays in motor and language milestones assessed by the midwife or the parents.
Discussion: Higher scores on social withdrawal behaviour as assessed with the ADBB were associated with delays in reaching language milestones, and to a lesser extent with lower motor ability scores. Taking the contribution of social withdrawal behaviour into account may help understand the unfolding of developmental difficulties in children.