Longitudinal study: Following Children in Time

To study the variety of developmental pathways of gross motor development in individual infants, longitudinal research designs are preferred. However, commitment to participating in such studies is challenging due to parental time constraints. During the GODIVA-study, a method using video recordings made by parents to observe their child’s gross motor development at home was developed and validated. Using this method, the current study investigates gross motor trajectories of infants with the Alberta Infant Motor Scale and variables hypothesised to be associated with the rate and level of developmental progress in gross motor performance from birth to 19 months of age.


Research questions

Which, longitudinal measured, gross motor developmental trajectories of healthy Dutch infants can be distinguished, looking at the speed and sequence of the development? Are parental beliefs and motor practices associated to gross motor development of infants, and can they (partially) explain the variety?



To find answers to these questions a longitudinal design is set up. Healthy term born infants (n=100) are being included. Parents are asked to make a home video of their infant, guided by instruction materials, at 3.5, 5.5, 7.5, 9.5, 12.5 and 15.5 months of age. With this home video the gross motor development will be assessed by the researcher/ PPT using the Alberta Infant Motor Scale (AIMS). At the start and after completing the study, parents receive a questionnaire on Parental Beliefs (PB-MD). When the infant is 5.5 months old, they receive a questionnaire on motor habits in daily life.


Data collection has just started. Final results are expected at the end of 2020.


The Pilot Longitudinal trajectories team consists of the following persons:

  1. Marike Boonzaaijer MSc, PhD student
  2. Imke van Maren-Suir MSc, PhD student
  3. Students of the master programme in Pediatric physiotherapy and bachelor Physiotherapy

Advisory panel:

  1. Marian Jongmans, Professor University Utrecht
  2. Chiel Volman, Senior Researcher University Utrecht
  3. Jacqueline Nuysink PhD, Senior Researcher at the University of Utrecht