Table 1

Child physical and developmental health indicators

ConstructAge group (years)Child measure (source)Additional information*
Physical health measures
General health0–1, 2–3, 4–5, 6–7Rated current health from the Child Health Questionnaire30 (P)Single item. Poor, fair or good=1; very good or excellent=0
Special healthcare needs0–1, 2–3, 4–5, 6–7Screener of Special Health Care Needs31 (P)Single derived item from 6 component items on child's medical and healthcare needs. Yes=1; No=0
Illness with wheeze0–1, 2-3, 4–5, 6–7Illness with wheezing in the chest, lasting 1 week or more in the last 12 months (P)Single item. Yes =1; No=0
Sleep problems0–1, 2–3, 4–5, 6–7Two or more sleep problems, four or more nights per week (P)Difficulty getting to sleep; not happy sleeping alone; waking during the night and restless sleep. Yes to any two=1; No=0
Injury0–1, 2–3, 4–5, 6–7Injury or accident requiring medical attention, in the last 12 months (P)Single item. Yes=1; No=0
Developmental health measures
Socio-emotional competence2–3Brief Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment (BITSEA), Competence Scale32 (P)Parent report of social functioning: 11 items (3-point scale: ‘not true/rarely’ to ‘very true’). α=0.64
4–5, 6–7Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), Prosocial Scale33 (P)Parent report on social functioning: 5 items (3-point scale: ‘not true’ to ‘certainly true’). α=0.81 for 4–5y; 0.69 for 6–7 y
Socio-emotional difficulties2–3Short BITSEA, Problems Scale32 (P)Parent report on emotional problems: 23 items (3-point scale: ‘not true/rarely’ to ‘very true’). α=0.74
4–5, 6–7SDQ, Total Problems score33 (P)Parent report on emotional problems: 20 items (3-point scale: ‘not true’ to ‘certainly true’). α=0.84 for 4–5 y, 0.59 for 6–7 y
Communication skills0–1Communication and Symbolic Behaviour Scale (CSBS)34 (P)Parent report on emergent communication skills: 24 items (3 point scale – ‘not yet’ to often’ or frequency rating on some items). α=0.89.
2–3 (a)McArthur-Bates Communication Development Index III (MCDI-III), grammatical markers35 (P)Parent report on child's usual grammar usage presented through forced choice on 12 presented sentence pairs. α=0.90
2–3 (b)Communication Skills Scales (CSS)36(P)Parent report on communication on 6 items (3-point scale: ‘never’ to ‘always’). α=0.74
6–7Child Communication Checklist, version 237 (P)Parent reports on syntax, coherence, semantics and speech; each scale with 7 items (4-point: ‘less than once a week’ to ‘always’). α=0.71
Vocabulary skills2–3MCDI-III, vocabulary35 (P)Parent report of child vocabulary use from a list of 98 words
4–5, 6–7Short Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT-III)38 (DA)Direct assessment of receptive vocabulary on a short form (40 items) of the PPVT-III
Emergent literacy skills4–5Who Am I?39 (DA)Direct assessment of emergent literacy skills (writing, copying and symbol recognition). Person separation reliability=0.89
6–7 (a)Teacher Academic Rating Scales (TARS), Mathematical Thinking40 (T)Teacher rating of mathematical competence: 8 items (5-point scale: ‘not yet’ to ‘proficient’). α=0.95
6–7 (b)TARS – Language and Literacy40 (T)Teacher rating of language and literacy competence: 10 items (5-point scale: ‘not yet’ to ‘proficient’). α=0.96
  • * For continuous measures, Cronbach's α.

  • DA, direct assessment; P, parent report; T, teacher report.