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Systematic Review of the Psychometric Properties of the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (and ASQ-Social-Emotional)

  • Research Project Team

    Leading team:

    • Miranda Wolpert (CPRU Mental Health Lead)
    • Julian Edbrooke-Childs (Senior Research Fellow)
    • Jessica Deighton (CPRU Senior Research Fellow)


    • Tjasa Velikonja (CPRU Systematic Reviewer)
    • Michelle Sleed (Senior Research Psychologist)


    • Anna Brown, University of Kent (an expert in psychometrics)
    • Helen Bedford (CPRU) (expertise around the information gathered to date relating to ASQ)
    • CPRU colleagues (Catherine Law, Helen Roberts, Ruth Gilbert)
    • colleagues from existing networks (Steve Pilling, UCL, and Jane Barlow, University of Warwick)


  • Background

    Department of Health (DH) have requested a review to appraise the evidence of the reliability and validity of the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ-3rd edition) and ASQ: Social Emotional (ASQ:SE) as a population outcome indicator for child development at age 2.5.

    DH has an objective to have an outcome indicator in place for child development at age 2.5 by 2015. In October 2013, a decision was taken by the DH Programme Management Group (PMG) to select ASQ as the preferred tool. ASQ was developed in the USA and has been adapted and validated for use in some other countries, but not yet in England.

    Our main research questions are:

    1. What is the evidence for the reliability, validity and responsiveness of the ASQ and ASQ-SE?
    2. What is the evidence for the validity of the norms and associated cut-offs for the ASQ and ASQ-SE?
    3. What is the evidence for measurement invariance across different countries and cultural contexts?
  • Aims

    • Examine studies published worldwide relating to the Ages and Stages Questionnaire and ASQ-Social-Emotional,
    • Seek to draw conclusions for the English context,
    • Provide some indication of the generalisability of other countries’ results to proposed use in England,
    • Provide further recommendations about the future use of ASQ and ASQ-SE.
  • Methodology

    Systematic Review

    The search was conducted in the following eight databases: PsycInfo, PubMed, Web of Science, EMBASE, HaPI (Health and Psychosocial Instruments), ERIC, The Cochrane Library and CINAHL Plus, where two sets of search terms were used.

    In addition to the review process involving published scientific literature, the ‘grey’ literature was considered (e.g. conference abstracts, unpublished data).