The aim of this study was to investigate the reliability of obtaining through mailed surveys maternal reports of specific major motor milestones achievement. To accomplish this aim we compared and contrasted mailed survey data and telephone interview data on a series of questions about age at which motor milestones were achieved. We used monthly telephone interviews with mothers of 238 twin pairs, beginning at age 6 months, which ascertained the age at which each specific milestone was met. The contrasting 'through the mail' survey was sent after the second birthday of an independent group of children, and included 463 twin pairs. All twins were born between March 2003 and March 2004. Comparisons were made for the following 5 milestones: sitting without support, hands and knees crawling, turning from back to belly, standing without support, and walking without support. There was no difference between the concurrent telephone interviews and the retrospective through the mail survey on any of the landmarks, except 'standing without support'. From this work we conclude that data on achieving milestones can be reliably obtained through the mail using retrospective surveys when the children are 2 years of age.
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