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Adapting a Developmental Screening Measure: Exploring the Effects of Language and Culture on a Parent-Completed Social–Emotional Screening Test

Chen, Chieh-Yu MA; Chen, Ching-I PhD; Squires, Jane PhD; Bian, Xiaoyan MD; Heo, Kay H. PhD; Filgueiras, Alberto PhD; Kalinina, Svetlana PhD; Samarina, Larissa PhD; Ermolaeva, Evgeniya PhD; Xie, Huichao PhD; Yu, Ting-Ying MEd; Wu, Pei-Fang PhD; Landeira-Fernandez, Jesus PhD

doi: 10.1097/IYC.0000000000000089
Original Research/Study

Ages & Stages Questionnaires: Social–Emotional (ASQ:SE) is a widely used screening instrument for detecting social–emotional difficulties in infants and young children. To use a screening instrument across cultures and countries, it is necessary to identify potential item-level biases and ensure item equivalence. This study investigated the cultural equity of the 60-month interval of the ASQ:SE by examining whether the items functioned differently in the original English version compared with 5 adapted translated versions (i.e., Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese), as well as exploring cultural considerations resulting from identified differences. The research team analyzed differential item functioning (DIF) in a total of 25,042 sixty-month ASQ:SE questionnaires drawn from extant data sets of 6 different language versions. Results indicated that a large portion of items were identified with DIF, suggesting that when participating parents/caregivers rated the social–emotional competence of their children, diverse cultural values, beliefs, and expectations affected their responses. This study provides implications for professionals and developers when using translated/adapted instruments in diverse cultures.

University of Oregon, Eugene (Mr Chen and Dr Squires); Kent State University, Kent, Ohio (Dr Chen); Shanghai Maternal and Child Health Center, Shanghai, China (Dr Bian); Chongshin University, Sadaong-Dong, Donjak-Ku, Seoul, South Korea (Dr Heo); Rio de Janeiro State University, R. São Francisco Xavier, Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil (Dr Filgueiras); Novgorod State University, Veliky Novgorod, Russia (Dr Kalinina); St. Petersburg Institute of Early Intervention, St. Petersburg, Russia (Drs Samarina and Ermolaeva); Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (Dr Xie); New Taipei City, Banqiao Xinban Public Daycare Center, Taiwan (Ms Yu); National Taichung University of Education, Taichung City, Taiwan (Dr Wu); and Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Dr Landeira-Fernandez).

Correspondence: Jane Squires, PhD, 901 E 18th Ave, Ste 139, Eugene, OR (

We thank the many families and children who participated in our research studies.

Jane Squires acknowledges a conflict of interest as the ASQ:SE author who receives royalties for publication of the ASQ:SE. The other authors have indicated they have no financial relationships relevant to this article to disclose and no potential conflicts of interest to disclose.

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