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Peabody Developmental Motor Scale Second Edition (PDMS-2)
Please visit this website for more information about the instrument: Peabody Developmental Motor Scale Second Edition
Supplemental: Mitochondrial Disease (Mito) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Exploratory: Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)-Pediatric (ages 0-5 years)
Short Description of Instrument
The Peabody Developmental Motor Scale Second Edition (PDMS-2) (Folio and Fewell 2000) is an early childhood motor development program that provides (in one package) both in-depth assessment and training of remediation of gross and fine motor skills.
The assessment is composed of six subtests (Reflexes, Stationary, Locomotion, Object Manipulation, Grasping and Visual Motor Integration) that measure interrelated motor abilities that develop early in life. It is designed to assess the motor skills of children from birth through 5 years of age.
Administration Time: 45-60 minutes
Administration: This assessment test is composed of six sub-tests that include special instructions on how each is administered to the preschool-age child. To keep the results of the test reliable and precise, the actual instructions on how the test will be conducted are only given to the test administrators and psychologists. This will prevent the parents from "preparing" their child to pass the test. The PDMS-2 can be used by occupational therapists, physical therapists, diagnosticians, early intervention specialists, adapted physical education teachers, psychologists, and others who are interested in examining the motor abilities of young children.
Administration Skills: MA (psychologist, OT, speech pathologist, social work, special education) or BA Occupational therapies with certification.
Comments/Special Instructions
The third edition of the PDMS, PDMS-3 was released in May 2023.
Scoring and Psychometric Properties
Scoring: Scores include 1) a Gross Motor Quotient which is a composite of the Reflexes, Stationary, Locomotion and Object Manipulation subtests, 2) a Fine Motor Quotient, a composite of the Grasping and Visual-Motor Integration subtests, and 3) a Total Quotient, a combination of the gross and motor subtests.
Scores are reported as standard scores, percentile ranks, and age equivalents.
Psychometric Properties: Internal consistency 0.85-0.98; balance in children aged 3-4 years 0.71; test-retest reliability 0.82-0.96 and interrater reliability 0.96-0.99. Correlation with age 0.80-0.93, correlates with other scales for early development 0.73-0.91. 39% of the children with fine motor problems according to PDMS-2.
Strengths: Relatively wide age range, reference values for normal children available, good psychometric properties.
Assesses both qualitative and quantitative aspects of gross and fine motor development in young children; recommends specific interventions.
Weaknesses: The PDMS-2 is limited to children of preschool age or five years old and younger. Sometimes, it can be used with children who are as old as eight years old, but this assessment tool cannot be used to diagnose motor skill dysfunctions in older children and adults.
Developed for the follow-up and screening of healthy children, requires a lot of time.
Valid up to age 5 years. Not yet validated in mitochondrial disease.
Key Reference:
Folio MR and Fewell RR. (2000). Peabody Developmental Motor Scales, Second Edition (PDMS-2). Available from developmental-motor-scales-second-edition-pdms-2.html. Accessed 03 October 2023.
Additional References:
Australian Council for Educational Research. (2012). Peabody Developmental Motor Scales Second Edition (PDMS-2) Summary Report. Available from Accessed 03 October 2023.
Connolly BH, Dalton L, Smith JB, Lamberth NG, McCay B, Murphy W. Concurrent validity of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development II (BSID-II) Motor Scale and the Peabody Developmental Motor Scale II (PDMS-2) in 12-month-old infants. Pediatr Phys Ther. 2006 Fall;18(3):190-6.
Markusic M. (2012). Assessing Motor Skills in Early Childhood - Using the PDMS. Available from: Accessed: 03 October 2023
Pediatric References:
Connolly BH, McClune NO, Gatlin R. Concurrent validity of the Bayley-III and the Peabody Developmental Motor Scale-2. Pediatr Phys Ther. 2012 Winter;24(4):345-52.
Darrah J, Magill-Evans J, Volden J, Hodge M, Kembhavi G. Scores of typically developing children on the Peabody Developmental Motor Scales: infancy to preschool. Phys Occup Ther Pediatr. 2007;27(3):5-19.
Gebhard AR, Ottenbacher KJ, Lane SJ. Interrater reliability of the Peabody Developmental Motor Scales: fine motor scale. Am J Occup Ther. 1994 Nov-Dec;48(11):976-81.
Hinderer KA, Richardson PK, Atwater SW. Clinical implication of the peabody developmental motor scales: a constructive review. Phys Occup Ther Pediatr. 1989;9(2):81-106.
van Hartingsveldt MJ, Cup EH, Oostendorp RA. Reliability and validity of the fine motor scale of the Peabody Developmental Motor Scales-2. Occup Ther Int. 2005;12(1):1-13.
Wang HH, Liao HF, Hsieh CL. Reliability, sensitivity to change, and responsiveness of the peabody developmental motor scales-second edition for children with cerebral palsy. Phys Ther. 2006 Oct;86(10):1351-9.
Document last updated March 2024