Abstract

Background.

Identifying young children at risk for socio-emotional developmental problems at an early stage, to prevent serious problems later in life, is crucial. Therefore, we need high quality measures to identify those children at risk for social-emotional problems who require further evaluation and intervention.

Objective.

To systematically identify parent report measures of infant and toddler (0–24 months) social-emotional development for use in primary care settings.

Methods.

We conducted a systematic review applying a narrative synthesis approach. We searched Medline, PsychInfo, Embase and SocIndex for articles published from 2008 through September 2015 to identify parent-report measures of infant and toddler social-emotional development. Data on the characteristics of the measures, including psychometric data, were collected.

Results.

Based on 3310 screened articles, we located 242 measures that were screened for eligibility. In all 18 measures of infant and toddler social-emotional development were included. Ten of the measures were developed specifically for measuring social-emotional development, and eight were measures including subscales of social-emotional development. The measures varied with respect to, e.g. the time of publication, number of items, age span, cost and amount of psychometric data available.

Conclusions.

Several measures of infant and toddler social-emotional development have been developed within the last decade. The majority of psychometric data are available through manuals, not peer-reviewed journals. Although all measures show acceptable reliability, the most comprehensive and psychometrically sound measures are the Ages and Stages Questionnaires: Social-Emotional—2, Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment, Brief Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment and Child Behaviour Checklist 1½—5.

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