4 Decades of Development

Shot of an enthusiastic little boy wearing a raincoat outside

A timeline of ASQ.

Designing a precise, trustworthy screening system doesn’t happen overnight. It takes equal parts vision, research, development, and expertise to make it work efficiently and accurately.

Check out the story behind ASQ—from its beginning to its ongoing evolution as the premier screening system.

1970s  
Dr. Diane Bricker from the University of Oregon heeds the call to design economical, valid and culturally sensitive screening tools for young children at risk for developmental delays. She handpicks a team of fellow University researchers to join her quest.

1979
A landmark study (Knobloch, 1979) reveals the opportunities that parent-completed reports could bring: lower costs and higher accuracy.

1980s – 1990s
Dr. Bricker and Dr. Jane Squires perform deep industry research. Identify set of skills easily observed or elicited by parents and highly likely to occur in a home setting.

A new breed of questionnaires is created, each specifically crafted for a different stage of development that asked parents simple questions about their child’s observable behaviors.

Refinements and evolution of questionnaires per validity and utility data gleaned from its users (project staff, interventionists, parents, nurses, and pediatricians).

1995
Questionnaires first published by Brookes Publishing as the Ages & Stages Questionnaires® (ASQ): A Parent-Completed, Child-Monitoring System. The tool had 8 questionnaire intervals ending at 48 months.

Increasing demands for social-emotional screening spark the development for a companion tool to ASQ—Ages & Stages Questionnaires®: Social-Emotional (ASQ:SE). Items in ASQ:SE are developed using multiple sources, such as standardized social-emotional and developmental assessments, textbooks and other resources in developmental and abnormal psychology, language and communication materials, and education and intervention resources.

1996
Validity, reliability, and utility studies on a field-test version ASQ:SE are initiated.

1997
Demand for screening increases with the passage of Individual with Disabilities Act (IDEA) of 1997 amendments which established Child Find requirements for states.

1997 – 1998
Work continued on the developmental screener ASQ as the following intervals were developed: 10, 14, 22, 27, 33, 42, 54, and 60 months.

1997 – 2001
ASQ:SE item review in progress by a wide breadth of experts in psychology, psychiatry, education, early childhood development, pediatrics, nursing, and mental health.

Approximately 50 programs across the U.S. also are using the test version of ASQ:SE with a diverse population of children and parents.

Validity, reliability, and utility studies continue to determine the psychometric properties of the screening instrument.

A Migrant Head Start program in Oregon translates the final ASQ:SE into Spanish. The translation is used with 153 children whose families are non-English speakers.

1999
Revised and expanded 2nd edition of ASQ is published—informed by continuing research and user feedback.

2000
International research begins in earnest. Early studies are conducted in Finland and Norway. Extensive research, including standardization, are later undertaken in China, Portugal, and Brazil.

2002
Ages & Stages Questionnaires®: Social-Emotional (ASQ:SE): A Parent-Completed, Child-Monitoring System for Social-Emotional Behaviors is first published commercially by Brookes Publishing.

2004
Data collection begins on the 3rd edition, ASQ-3. Over 4 years, approximately 18,000 ASQ-3 questionnaires are collected on children from all 50 states and several U.S. territories.

2006
American Academy of Pediatrics revises its policy on developmental screening with an algorithm that includes screening at 9-, 18-, and 30-month well child visits in the article Identifying Infants and Young Children With Developmental Disorders in the Medical Home: An Algorithm for Developmental Surveillance and Screening. Statements of reaffirmation were published in 2010 and 2014.

2009
Ages & Stages Questionnaires®, Third Edition (ASQ-3™) is published. Among the many changes, this edition features new 2 and 9 month questionnaires, expanded administration windows, new standardization with a sample that includes 15,138 children whose parents completed 18,232 questionnaires, revised cutoff scores, monitoring zone, and much more.

The debut of ASQ Online management and questionnaire completion for ease of use, resource savings, and improved accuracy.

Work on the 2nd edition of ASQ:SE begins. Over a 2-year period, 16,424 questionnaires were completed by parents and caregivers across the United States and Canada.

2012
Final item set for ASQ:SE-2 is decided, and investigation of convergent validity and test-retest reliability outcomes started.

2015
Ages & Stages Questionnaires®: Social-Emotional, Second Edition (ASQ:SE-2™) is published. Several changes align ASQ:SE-2 with ASQ-3 including a new 2 month questionnaire, monitoring zone, and parent engagement materials. Additional changes include a new standardization sample, revised cut-off scores, and an improved Spanish translation.

Present
Our research is ongoing. By continuing to gather insights and data, we will ensure that ASQ questionnaires continue to be an accurate, effective, and family friendly tool for screening.

  • A boy raises his hand as a girl claps.

    What ASQ Users are Saying

    “What I love about the ASQ is that it allows our staff to catch delays quickly and allows us to get our clients the early intervention programs that they sometimes need. In many cases [ASQ] helps us catch children up before they start kindergarten, therefore providing children with the start that they deserve.

    Sharon Gee, Supervisor, Healthy Families Niagara