Researchers in early childhood conducting secondary data analysis face a number of challenges shared by other early childhood professionals, including needs for efficient, descriptive language to convey characteristics of individuals’ functioning to varied audiences. These professionals may benefit from a systematic approach for organising and sharing data which can describe children as functioning wholes with skills across many domains. This study explored the ability of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health for Children and Youth (ICF-CY) to address these needs by considering its utility to adequately organise and describe constructs of child functioning in an existing data set.
Variables from a large data set were mapped to chapters of the ICF-CY Activities/Participation component. Factor analysis with a split-half approach was utilised to explore the relative structural integrity of chapter structure as a mechanism for generating a profile of constructs of child functioning.
All variables mapped to chapters of the ICF-CY Activities/Participation component. The factor analyses indicated that variables, which mapped to the same chapter tended to load to the same factor, with the exception of items describing child communication which loaded to all factors. Results further suggested the overlapping nature of children’s skills, such that skills in one area likely impact functioning in other functioning domains.
The ICF-CY provides adequate depth and breadth for use in conceptualising new questions and information in existing data sets. Findings suggest the structure of the ICF-CY Activities/Participation chapters could be used for generating meaningful profiles of human functioning across salient domains.
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