Ages & Stages Questionnaires: Social-Emotional (ASQ:SE)

Assessment Rating:
A – Psychometrics Well-Demonstrated
See entire scale

Jane Squires, PhD, Diane Bricker, PhD, and Elizabeth Twombly, MS

Description / Purpose:

Ages & Stages Questionnaires®: Social-Emotional (ASQ:SE) was developed to help home visiting, early intervention, Early Head Start, Head Start, child welfare agencies, and other early childhood programs accurately screen and assess infants and young children to determine who would benefit from an in-depth evaluation in the area of social-emotional development. ASQ:SE can also be used in comprehensive Child Find systems to screen large groups of children for the early detection of potential social or emotional problems.

ASQ:SE is a screening tool that identifies infants and young children whose social and emotional development requires further evaluation to determine if referral for intervention services is necessary. Eight questionnaires are available for different age groups: 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, 36, 48, and 60 months of age. Each screens for self-regulation, compliance, communication, adaptive behaviors, autonomy, affect, and interaction with people.

Target Population: Children between the ages of 3-66 months

Time to Administer: Approximately 10-15 minutes

Completed By: Parents and caregivers

Modalities Available: Pen and paper and online

Scoring Information: Scoring sheets are included. Computer scoring is available.

Languages Available: English, Norwegian, Spanish — the rating for the measure is based solely on the English version of the measure.

Training Requirements for Intended Users: There is no minimum degree or license requirement to administer the scale.

Availability: The questionnaire is available for a fee at the ASQ's website.

Contact Information

Company: Brookes Publishing Co.
Phone: (800) 638-3775
Fax: (410) 337-8539

Summary of Relevant Psychometric Research

This tool has received the Measurement Tools Rating of "A – Psychometrics Well-Demonstrated" based on the published, peer-reviewed research available. The tool must have 2 or more published, peer-reviewed studies that have established the measure’s psychometrics (e.g., reliability and validity, sensitivity and specificity, etc.). Please see the Measurement Tools Rating Scale for more information.

Show relevant research...

de Wolff, M. S., Theunissen, M. H., Vogels, A. G., & Reijneveld, S. A. (2013). Three questionnaires to detect psychosocial problems in toddlers: A comparison of the BITSEA, ASQ: SE, and KIPPPI. Academic Pediatrics, 13(6), 587-592.


Participants — 2,106

Race/Ethnicity — Not Specified; study conducted in the Netherlands


The aim of this study was to assess which of 3 short questionnaires—the Brief Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment (BITSEA), the Ages and Stages Questionnaires: Social-Emotional (ASQ:SE), and the KIPPPI (Brief Instrument Psychological and Pedagogical Problem Inventory)—was most suitable as a routine screening tool for identification among toddlers. Parents of children aged 6, 14, or 24 months at routine well-child visits were randomized to complete either the BITSEA or the KIPPPI; all filled out the ASQ:SE and the Child Behavior Checklist. For each questionnaire, we assessed the internal consistency, validity with Child Behavior Checklist–Total Problems Score (CBCL-TPS) as a criterion, and added value to identification compared to clinical assessment alone. Results indicate that at the age of 6 and 14 months, none of the instruments studied was a good indicator of problems as measured by the CBCL. At the age of 24 months, the BITSEA discriminated appropriately between children with and without problems as measured by the CBCL-TPS. In addition, the BITSEA at this age offered most added value to the identification of psychosocial problems by CHPs’ clinical assessment alone. However, the differences between the BITSEA and the ASQ:SE were not statistically significant. None of the questionnaires could appropriately support the identification of psychosocial problems in children aged 6 and 14 months. This finding contrasts with that of US-based studies, which reported higher sensitivity indices for both the BITSEA and the ASQ:SE in this age group.

Squires, J., Bricker, D., Heo, K., & Twombly, E. (2001). Identification of social-emotional problems in young children using a parent-complete screening measure. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 16, 405-419


Participants — 3,014

Race/Ethnicity — 58.87% White, 8.85% Black, 8.64% Hispanic, 6.25% Asian/Pacific Islander, 1.09% Native American, 16.02% mixed ethnicity


The aim of this study was to report on the reliability, validity, and utility of the Ages and Stages Questionnaires: Social-Emotional (ASQ:SE). In terms of reliability, internal consistency of the tool was generally high, with coefficient alpha ranging from 0.67 to 0.91, with an overall alpha of 0.82. Internal consistency was generally high, with an overall alpha of 0.82.Test-retest reliability between parents’ classifications was 0.94. Sensitivity ranged from 0.75 to 0.89 with 0.82 overall sensitivity; specificity ranged from 0.82 to 0.96 with 0.92 overall specificity. Parents reported easy understanding and high satisfaction with the questionnaires.

Yovanoff, P. & Squires, J. (2006). Determining cut-off scores on a developmental screening measure: Comparison of receiver operating characteristics and item response theory approaches. Journal of Early Intervention, 29 (1), 48-62.


Participants — 1,059

Race/Ethnicity — 73% White; 6.5% Hispanic; 1.8% Black; 13.5% Mixed ethnicity


This study uses information from previous studies [(Squires, J., Bricker, D., Heo, K., & Twombly, E. (2001) and Squires, J., Bricker, D., & Twombly, E. (2004)], to compare two different theoretical approaches were to determine the optimal cutoff scores for the Ages and Stages Questionnaires: Social-Emotional (ASQ: SE). Cutoff scores based on statistical decision theory modeling, Receiver Operator Characteristics (ROC), were compared with cutoff scores obtained using Item Response Theory (IRT) measurement theory modeling. The purposes of this comparison were (a) to offer alternative perspectives on the computation and function of cutoff scores, and (b) to obtain appropriate cutoff scores for the ASQ: SE screening test. For the ASQ: SE data obtained from the present study sample, the two approaches to estimating cutoff scores yielded similar results. Cutoff scores determined by IRT procedures produced cutoff scores consistent with those determined by ROC procedures.

Squires, J., Bricker, D., & Twombly, E. (2004). Parent-completed screening for social emotional problems in young children: Effects of risk/disability status and gender on performance. Infant Mental Health. 25(1), 62-73.


Participants — 2,479

Race/Ethnicity — 59% White, 9% African American, 9% Hispanic, 6% Asian/Pacific Islander, 1% Native American, and 16% mixed ethnicity


This study presents results of psychometric studies on the Ages and Stages Questionnaires: Social Emotional (ASQ:SE), a parent-completed screening tool for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. The ability of the ASQ:SE to distinguish risk and disabilities groups, and the relationship of gender and ASQ:SE scores were examined. Results indicate that no/low risk, at risk, developmental disabilities, and social emotional disability groups were significantly different at all eight age intervals (i.e., 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, 36, 48, and 60 months). Significant differences were found between males and females at the 30-, 36-, 48-, and 60-month age intervals. These data support the ASQ:SE as a valid screening test to assist in early identification of social and emotional problems in young children.

Kucuker, S., Kupci, E., & Uslu, R. (2011). Evaluation of the Turkish version of the ages and stages questionnaires: Social-emotional in identifying children with social-emotional problems. Infants & Young Children, 24(2), 207–220.


Participants — 608

Race/Ethnicity — 100% Turkish


This study examines the applicability of the Age and Stages Questionnaires: Social Emotional for Turkish children. Overall sensitivity and overall specificity were 83.7% and 89.9%, respectively. Test retest reliability, assessed by classifying children as “at risk” or “not at risk” for social-emotional development, was 87%. The interrater reliability between mothers’ and teachers’ classifications was 83.6%. The results revealed that the psychometric properties of the ASQ-SE in Turkish children are comparable to those reported in previous studies in US populations. Low levels of mothers’ education, but not of the family income, were found to be linked to social-emotional problems. In the light of the findings, it is concluded that the ASQ-SE can be utilized to screen the social emotional competencies and problems of Turkish children and to identify various risk and protective factors that affect social emotional development.

Jee, S., Conn, M. Szilagyi, P., Blumkin, A., Baldwin, C., & Szilagyi, M. (2010). Identification of social-emotional problems among young children in foster care. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 51(12), 1351–1358.


Participants — 351

Race/Ethnicity — 183 African-Americans; 94 Caucasians; 82 Other/Unknown, 22 Hispanic


The current study examined: (1) whether systematic use of the Ages and Stages Questionnaires: Social Emotional (ASQ:SE),a social-emotional screening tool improves the detection rate of social-emotional problems, compared to reliance on clinical judgment; (2) the relative effectiveness of two validated instruments to screen for social-emotional problems; and (3) the patterns of social-emotional problems among children in foster care. Results indicate use of the screening tool identified 24% of the children as having a social-emotional problem, while provider surveillance detected 4%. Results also identified significantly more children with social-emotional problems using the ASQ-SE than using the ASQ, and agreement between the instruments ranged from 56% to 75%, when data were stratified by age group. Multivariable modeling showed that preschool children were more likely to have a social-emotional problem than toddlers and infants.

Heo, K. & Squires, J. (2012). Cultural adaptation of a parent-completed social emotional screening instrument for young children: Ages and stages questionnaires-social emotional. Early Human Development, 88 (3), 151-158.


Participants — 2,562

Race/Ethnicity — 100% Korean


The present study investigated a Korean translation of the Ages and Stages Questionnaires: Social Emotional (ASQ:SE) by examining the appropriateness of the translation as well as its reliability and validity when studied with a large sample of Korean young children and their parents. Results indicate that internal consistency for the Korean-translated ASQ:SE was strong, with an overall alpha of .68, ranging from .56 to .77. Test–retest reliability was .84 between ASQ:SE questionnaires completed by parents at successive time periods. Overall agreement of two questionnaire classifications (i.e., at risk, OK) completed by parents within one to four weeks was .94. Validity results, which were used to establish cutoff points and measure convergent validity, were also adequate.

Date Reviewed: February 2015 (Originally reviewed in February 2015)