Adaptive behaviours in children with Down syndrome: A cross-sectional study of developmental trajectories

Josefina Bunster, Marc J. Tassé, Marcela Tenorio, Andrés Aparicio, Paulina S. Arango*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Given the importance of adaptive behaviour (AB) for the identification of intellectual disability and the design of intervention plans for people with Down syndrome (DS), this cross-sectional study explored AB in infants with DS, compared to infants with typical development (TD). Method: we evaluated 60 infants (10–36 months) with ABAS-II (32 with DS, 28 with TD). Using the developmental trajectories method for data analysis, we compared AB between the two groups. Results: We found significant differences between groups in most of the skills assessed, in favour of infants with TD. Three different patterns of trajectories were found for the AB and the relation between the groups: (1) no differences (Leisure and Self-Care Skills); (2) differences at the beginning of the trajectory and then a similar slope (Home Living, Self-Direction, Social and Motor Skills); and (3) a similar starting-point with differences in the trajectories (Communication, Community Use, Pre-Academic, and Health and Safety). Conclusions: This empirical cross-sectional study contributes to the understanding of the development of AB in children with DS, showing both weak areas and skills that continue improving over time in these early years. Contributions and limitations of the study are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-286
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by a Research Aid Fund from Universidad de los Andes, Chile ( Fondo de Ayuda a la Investigación), grant number: FAI INV-IN-2017-03. This work was supported by the ANID Millennium Science Initiative Program Code ICS2019_024.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Australasian Society for Intellectual Disability, Inc.


  • Adaptive behaviour
  • Down syndrome
  • developmental trajectories
  • intellectual disability


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