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Griffiths Mental Development Scales

Author(s): Ruth Griffiths

Publisher: Hogrefe Ltd

Purpose: To measure rate of infant development
Candidates: 0–8 years of age
Administration: Scale 1: 30-45 minutes, Scale 2: 40-70 minutes - Individual
Format: Hand scored


During the 1960s the Griffiths scales, which were originally designed to measure children from birth to two years, were extended to cover birth to eight years and a sixth scale (Practical Reasoning) was added to the five scales comprising the measure for the early years. The first edition was published in 1970 and revised in 1984. The third and most current edition was published in 2006.

The six sub-scales are:

Sub-scale A: Locomotor: Gross motor skills including the ability to balance and to co-ordinate and control movements.

Sub-scale B: Personal-Social: Proficiency in the activities of daily living, level of independence and interaction with other children.

Sub-scale C: Language: Receptive and expressive language.

Sub-scale D: Eye and Hand Co-ordination: Fine motor skills, manual dexterity and visual monitoring skills.

Sub-scale E: Performance: Visuospatial skills including speed of working and precision.

Sub-scale F: Practical Reasoning: ability to solve practical problems, understanding of basic mathematical concepts and understanding of moral issues.

A kit of standardised equipment is required to administer the items in the Griffiths scales. The kit consists of 39 pieces which are fitted into a carrying case. In addition a drawing book and a record form are supplied.

Detailed instructions for administering and scoring the items are given in the Administration Manual. Interpretation of the raw scores requires reference to the Analysis Manual.

Scores on individual items are written into a record book. The items in the record book are colour coded to draw attention to items of a similar kind. Working through sequences of similar items allows a simpler, more time-efficient administration that proceeding from item to item as they appear in order of development. An administration key is supplied with an explanation of the colour coding.

The Record booklet and the Administration Manual also identify which items in the sub-scales:

  • Should be demonstrated
  • Can be given two trials
  • Must be administered after a practice item
  • Can be scored on the basis of parental/caregiver report.

In addition to detailing responses to individual items, the record form allows sight of the whole profile at a glance either by using the scoring grid or by plotting the scores graphically.

Raw scores are computed for each individual sub-scale and can be converted to four types of standard score:

  • Percentiles (using look-up tables in the Analysis Manual or the graphs provided in the record books)
  • Z-Scores (using look-up tables in the Analysis Manual)
  • Age Equivalents or Mental Age (using look-up tables in the Analysis Manual)
  • General Quotient or GQ (using look-up tables in the Analysis Manual).

Please Note: Griffiths manuals 502XR,503XR and 513XR are not included in the kits 004XR and 005XR

*** Griffiths III: Announcement on the re-standardisation of Griffiths Mental Development Scales ***

The Association for Research in Infant and Child Development (ARICD) has embarked on a thorough re-standardisation of the Griffiths Mental Development Scales (GMDS).

The Griffiths III is expected to be published by Hogrefe -The Test Agency (UK), in late 2015 or potentially 2016. This will be a substantially new and improved kit for continuous use from birth to 5 years 11 months, removing outdated test items and replacing with those reflecting contemporary knowledge of child development and child development theories.

There will be no ‘upgrade kit’ and trained users of the Griffiths will need to undergo a conversion course. For new users of the Griffiths there will be a new training course.

The period before the release of a new product is a difficult one for people considering purchasing the existing products. Thus, as per the publisher Hogrefe – The Test Agency, ACER will be offering:

1.           A 25% discount on the existing GMDS complete kits & the corresponding 3 manuals

When purchasing these above materials online, your discount will be processed automatically.

As no update kits are being published, at the time of the Griffiths III release, new complete kits will need to be purchased.

Griffiths Mental Development Scales (GMDS) separate consumables will be available for purchase after the new edition release until further notice. 

Please note: There will be no returns accepted of GMDS kits or manuals purchased at the discounted rate.

The Psychologist Griffiths Mental Development Scales icons indicates items that require qualifications to be purchased. To see what qualifications are required, follow the link to view the product's details. To apply for registration of your qualifications with ACER Press, please follow the instructions here.

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