The symptomatic behaviour screening tool (symbest) for early identification of developmental delays among children age 3-4.


  • Shyielathy Arumugam National Child Development Research Center, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Perak Malaysia
  • Kway Eng Hock Faculty of Human Development Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Perak Malaysia
  • Zainiah@Zaniah Mohamed Isa Faculty of Human Development Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Perak Malaysia



Symptomatic Behaviours, Design & Development, Fuzzy Delphi


This article suggests that developmental screening, especially for behaviour symptoms, should be promptly addressed and the practice must be introduced in the early childhood education programs to reach a justified consensus between the primary care practitioners and the school system. Given that, the primary of this research is to develop a symptomatic behaviour screening tool (SymBest) for early childhood educators to identify children with symptomatic behaviours. The design and development process of SymBest is based on the theory of maturation and the theory of cognitive development along with developmentally appropriate framework (DAP). Fuzzy Delphi analysis was conducted with 18 participants from diverse backgrounds of clinical and education to gain the expert consensus on the suitability of the constructs and items representing SymBest. The findings showed that the experts have a fair degree of agreement on the constructs and the items suggested to form SymBest. The constructs and items with accepted threshold value, percentage of group consensus and fuzzy score are then organised in sequence priority to form the screening tool.


Download data is not yet available.


Baker-eveleth, L., & Stone, R. W. (2015). Usability, expectation, confirmation, and continuance intentions to use electronic textbooks. Behaviour & Information Technology, 3001(34:10), 992–1004.

Baker, B. L., Blacher, J., Crnic, K. A., & Edelbrock, C. (2002). Behavior Problems and Parenting Stress in Families of Three-Year-Old Children With and Without Developmental Delays. American Journal of Mental Retardation., 8017(December).<0433

Brown, M. A., Mcintyre, L. L., Crnic, K. A., Baker, B. L., & Blacher, J. (2011). Preschool Children With and Without Developmental Delay : Risk , Parenting , and Child Demandingness. Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 5864(4), 206–226.

Curtis, S. (2011). “ Tangible as Tissue ”: Arnold Gesell , Infant Behavior , and Film Analysis. Science in Context, 24(3), 417–442.

Deslandes, S. F., Mendes, C. H. F., Pires, T. de O., & Campos, D. de S. (2010). Use of the Nominal Group Technique and the Delphi Method to draw up evaluation indicators for strategies to deal with violence against children and adolescents in Brazil, 10, 29–37.

DiStefano, C. S., & Kamphaus, R. W. (2007). Development and validation of a behavioral screener for preschool-age children. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 15(2), 93–102.

Dobbie, A., Rhodes, M., Tysinger, J. W., & Freeman, J. (2004). Using a Modified Nominal Group Technique As a Curriculum Evaluation Tool. Family Medicine, (June), 402–406.

Don J.F.J, & Gwo H. T. (2012). Social influence on the use of Clinical Decision Support Systems : Revisiting the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology by the fuzzy DEMATEL technique. Computers & Industrial Engineering, 62(3), 819–828.

Dosman, C. F., Andrews, D., & Goulden, K. J. (2012). Evidence-based milestone ages as a framework for developmental surveillance. Pediatric Child Health.

Gesell, A. (1925). The Mental Growth of Preschool Child. New York: The Macmillan Company.

Gesell, A. (1928). Infancy and Human Growth. Toronto: The Macmillan Company.

Gesell, A., Halverson, H. M., Thompson, H., Ilg, F. L., Castner, B. M., Ames, L. B., & Amatruda, C. S. (1940). The first five years of life: A Guide to the Study of the Preschool Child. (1st ed.). London: Harper & Brothers
Guddemi, M., Sambrook, A., Wells, S., Randel, B., Fite, K., Selva, G., & Gagnon, K. (2014). Arnold Gesell’s Developmental Assessment Revalidation Substantiates Child-Oriented Curriculum. SAGE Open, (April-June), 1–18.

Hussain Iman Muhammad Ismail, Ng H. P, & Thomas, T. (2017). Paediatric Protocol.

McConnell, S., McEvoy, M., Carta, J. J., Greenwood, C. R., Kaminski, R., Good III, R. H., & Shinn, M. (1998). Measuring Growth & Development.

Miller, S. (2014). Preschool Teacher Response To Challenging Behavior: The Role Of Organizationl Climate In Referrals And Expulsions.

Miller, S., Smith-bonahue, T., & Kemple, K. (2017). Preschool teachers ’ responses to challenging behavior : The role of organizational climate in referrals and expulsions. International Research in Early Childhood Education, 8(1).

Mohd Ridhuan Mohd Jamil. (2017). Pembangunan Model Kurikulum Latihan SkiVes Bagi Program Pengajian Kejuruteraan Pembelajaran Berasaskan Kerja. University Malaya.

National Association for the Education of Young Children. (2011). Code of Ethical Conduct and Statement of Commitment. Retrieved from Position Statement2011.pdf

Nye, E., Gardner, F., Hansford, L., Edwards, V., Hayes, R., Ford, T., … Edwards, V. (2016). Classroom behaviour management strategies in response to problematic behaviours of primary school children with special educational needs : views of special educational needs coordinators. Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, 21(1), 43–60.

Paediatric Department Hospital Ipoh. (2008). Diagnostic Criteria for Autism Disorder As Per DSM-IV.

Ramesh C. Mishra. (2014). Piagetian Studies of Cognitive Development in India. Psychology Study, 59(September), 207–222.

Rice, C. E., Braun, K. V. N., Kogan, M. D., Smith, C., Kavanagh, L., & Strickland, B. (2014). Screening for Developmental Delays Among Young Children — National Survey of Children ’ s Health , United States, 2007 (Vol. 63).

Stormont, M., Reinke, W., & Herman, K. (2017). Council for Exceptional Children. Council for Exceptional Children, 37(1), 19–29. Retrieved from Accessed:

Thelen, E., & Adolph, K. E. (1992). Arnold L. Gesell: The Paradox of Nature and Nurture. Developmental Psychology, 28(3), 368–380.

Zhang, Q., & Morrison, V. (2018). Early identification within inclusive early childhood curriculum : an ethnographic study from New Zealand. Early Child Development and Care, 0(0), 1–12.




How to Cite

Arumugam, S., Eng Hock, K., & Mohamed Isa, Z. (2019). The symptomatic behaviour screening tool (symbest) for early identification of developmental delays among children age 3-4. Jurnal Pendidikan Bitara UPSI, 12, 1–19.