Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development

pp 493-493

Developmental Norms

  • Marie C. McGrathAffiliated withDepartment of Graduate Psychology, Immaculata University Email author 


Age equivalents; Developmental milestones; Developmental stages; Grade equivalents


Defined standards of typical performance by which a child’s development in a variety of domains can be measured.


Developmental norms are used to assess whether infants, toddlers, children, and/or adolescents are developing cognitive, communication, motor, socioemotional, and adaptive skills at approximately the same rate as their peers. Developmental measures establish typical levels of performance for the test’s target population (based on the performance of the test’s norm sample) in each of the age group or grade levels that the target population comprises; test-takers are assigned age equivalent or grade equivalent scores based on the median raw score for that chronological age or grade level. For example, a 36-month-old child whose overall performance on a measure of motor functioning was equivalent to that of the typical 24-month-old child in ...

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