Examining the impact of HIV on infant development: Comparing developmentally delayed children participating in an early intervention program

Lisa A DeDomenico, Fordham University


The goal of this research was (a) to add to the investigation of the impact of the HIV virus on infant development by comparing the cognitive and motor development of an HIV+ group of children to that of an HIV-group of children in an early intervention program and (b) to add indirectly to the literature on the effect of early intervention (EI), although no control group was used for ethical reasons. The literature on HIV/AIDS has shown consistently that motor development has been compromised due to the direct effect of HIV on the CNS (Diamond et al., 1990; Hittelman et al., 1993; Levenson et al., 1992; Msellati et al. 1993). However, cognition has been difficult to evaluate because of the impact of motor development on cognitive development and particularly on the assessment of “cognitive milestones” such as object permanence (Hittelman et al., 1993; Msellati et al., 1993; Nozyce, et al. 1994). This study utilized archival data collected from clinical charts in an early intervention program. Two groups of children were compared. The first group consisted of 36 children infected with HIV and delayed and the second group consisted of 39 who were not infected with HIV and delayed, consisting mostly of preterm children. Neurodevelopment was assessed using the Bayely Scales of Infant Development, Stanford Binet Scales, and the McCarthy Scales of Children's Abilities. Cognitive and motor functioning differences between children with HIV and children without HIV were found at entry to this study. An analysis of covariance was conducted controlling for Gestational Age. Results indicated that Gestational Age was the variable most predictive of developmental outcome. Growth curve analyses was utilized in order to further examine findings. Results indicate that both the children with HIV and children without HIV tend to benefit from EI services. When examining placement after EI it was found that significantly more children with HIV were not found eligible to receive special educational services. They had improved enough to be able to be placed in a regular day care or to stay home. Motor development in the children with HIV tended to decline over time.

Subject Area

Developmental psychology|Physiological psychology|Cellular biology|Public health|Families & family life|Personal relationships|Sociology

Recommended Citation

DeDomenico, Lisa A, "Examining the impact of HIV on infant development: Comparing developmentally delayed children participating in an early intervention program" (1999). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9917507.