Nonorganic failure to thrive: developmental outcomes and psychosocial assessment and intervention issues. Academic Article uri icon


  • Serious growth problems, such as Nonorganic Failure to Thrive (NFTT), place an infant/toddler at significant risk for poor developmental outcomes. Evidently, an NFTT child's malnutrition and subsequent poor growth and development are accentuated by a family context of impoverishment, dysfunctional relationships, inadequate education, and a dearth of developmentally enriching experiences. The purpose of this review is to describe NFTT, to present development outcomes, and to discuss psychosocial assessment and intervention issues relevant to this developmental disability of early childhood. An ideographic approach to case conceptualization, evaluation, and treatment is suggested to achieve successful developmental outcomes and to guide research endeavors.

published proceedings

  • Res Dev Disabil

author list (cited authors)

  • Heffer, R. W., & Kelley, M. L.

citation count

  • 21

complete list of authors

  • Heffer, RW||Kelley, ML

publication date

  • January 1994