Publication Details

Howard, S. J. & Melhuish, E. (2017). An early years toolbox for assessing early executive function, language, self-regulation, and social development: Validity, reliability, and preliminary norms. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 35 (3), 255-275.


Several methods of assessing executive function (EF), self-regulation, language development, and social development in young children have been developed over previous decades. Yet new technologies make available methods of assessment not previously considered. In resolving conceptual and pragmatic limitations of existing tools, the Early Years Toolbox (EYT) offers substantial advantages for early assessment of language, EF, self-regulation, and social development. In the current study, results of our large-scale administration of this toolbox to 1,764 preschool and early primary school students indicated very good reliability, convergent validity with existing measures, and developmental sensitivity. Results were also suggestive of better capture of children's emerging abilities relative to comparison measures. Preliminary norms are presented, showing a clear developmental trajectory across half-year age groups. The accessibility of the EYT, as well as its advantages over existing measures, offers considerably enhanced opportunities for objective measurement of young children's abilities to enable research and educational applications.



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