Research Behind ASQ
Supported by decades of careful planning: how ASQ came to life.
ASQ’s development is the result of decades of careful and thorough research adhering to the highest standard of evidence. With a total of 5 editions across 2 screening tools, we’re proud to share our technical details. An at-a-glance summary is below, with more formal resources at the bottom to understand the full picture.
The questionnaires were informed by standardized developmental tests, non-standardized tests focused on early development, psychology textbooks, child development research, education and intervention resources, and other literature focused on early developmental milestones.
From here, particular skills were carefully selected—skills that exemplify a child’s development, yet are easily observable by parents in a home or child care environment.
Once skills were chosen, items were written using familiar, concrete words that did not exceed a sixth-grade reading level, and illustrations and examples were provided for as many items as possible. This ensures parent and caregiver understanding across various cultural and socio-economic groups.
A large pool of potential items was created that encompassed each development area. Psychometrics, research, and science were used to determine the careful balance of developmental ranges, skills, age equivalents, and length of questionnaires.
The field-test versions were prepared for expert review. The items were reviewed by experts in psychology, psychiatry, education, early childhood development, pediatrics, nursing, and mental health. Experts provided feedback on the appropriateness of items, ease of understanding items, scoring format, and content validity.
Concurrently, practitioners managing programs across the United States field-tested ASQ questionnaires with a diverse population of young children and parents.
Tens of thousands of questionnaires were completed by parents of children between the ages of 1 and 66 months in ASQ’s national normative studies for both ASQ-3 and ASQ:SE. Data were garnered from both paper and online methods of completion, and participants aligned with all age segments and demographic subsets.
This snapshot hardly captures the level of detail involved in the development of ASQ questionnaires. To truly appreciate the research behind the ASQ system, view the technical details below.