Research – Infant/Toddler

Our Infant/Toddler Initiative strives to conduct research to provide the evidence base for our resources, advance the state of knowledge in our field, and to provide information that will contribute to advocacy efforts for infants’ and toddlers’ social and emotional health.

The Devereux Early Childhood Assessment for Infants/Toddlers is a standardized, norm-referenced, strength-based assessment that assesses protective factors and screens for social and emotional risks in very young children.

Comparisons Across Assessments

When comparing a child’s scores over a period of time, it is possible that the child may age out of the DECA used for the pretest rating and be rated on a different DECA at posttest. In these cases, it is still possible to determine the statistical significance of the difference between pretest and posttest scores across two difference DECAs.

Reports, Articles, & Chapters

DCRC Authored
  • Shapiro, V.B. (2015, March). Resilience: Have we not gone far enough? A response to Larry E. Davis [Editorial]. Social Work Research, 39(1), 7-10. View Editorial.
  • Smith, G.T., LeBuffe, P., Alleyne, D., Mackrain, M., & Likins, L. (2014). Bringing a resilience perspective to children in the child welfare system: A curriculum for caregivers. In S. Prince-Embury & D.H. Saklofske (Eds.) Resilience interventions for youth in diverse populations (pp. 159-180). New York, NY: Springer. View Chapter Excerpt. View Book Synopsis.
  • Smith, G.T., Shapiro, V.B., Sperry, R.W., & LeBuffe, P.A. (2014). A strengths-based approach to supervised visitation in child welfare. Child Care in Practice, 20(1), 98-119. View Abstract.
Externally Authored
  • Klem, A.M. and Walker, M. (2020). Action for Early Learning: Strengthening Children and Families through Circles of Support. Philadelphia: Drexel University. View Summary. View Report.
  • Infant Mental Health Journal. (2020). The role of consultative alliance in infant and early childhood mental health consultation: Child, teacher, and classroom outcomes. Washington, D.C.: Annie E. Davis, Sandra Barrueco and Deborah F. Perry. View Abstract.
  • Childrens Institute. (2010). Partners in family care year 2 report. Rochester, NY: Shira Peterson and Melissa Weber. View Report.
  • Childrens Institute. (2011). Partners in family care summary report. Rochester, NY: Shira Peterson and Melissa Weber. View Report.
  • Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2013). Addressing the needs of young children in child welfare: Part C—Early intervention services. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. View Bulletin.
  • Clayton Early Learning Institute. (2011). Annual evaluation report: Clayton Educare. Denver, CO: Mary Maguire Klute. View Report.
  • Early On Michigan. (2008). Early on social emotional tools pilot: Final report. Dewitt, MI.  View Report.
  • Edwards, C.M. (2015). A family visitation program for families involved in the child
    welfare system: A grant proposal. (Master’s thesis). Available from PQDT Open. Retrieved from: View Abstract.
  • Guss, S., Jones-Harden, B., Stein, A., Yazejian, N., & Forestieri, N. (2016). Associations of adversity to indicators of child well being in a high quality early education context. NHSA Dialog18(4), 1-23. View Abstract.
  • Horm, D. M., Goble, C. B., Boatright, M., Decker, C. G., Noble, N., & Norris, D. J. (2009). Oklahoma’s pilot early childhood program birth through three years: Description, evaluation, & policy implications. NHSA Dialog: A Research-to-Practice Journal for the Early Intervention Field, 12(4), 360-373. View Abstract.
  • Michigan Department of Community Health. (2011). An interdisciplinary evaluation report of Michigan’s childcare expulsion prevention initiative. East Lansing, MI: Laurie A. Van Egeren, Rosalind H. Kirk, Holly E. Brophy-Herb, John S. Carlson, Bettery Tableman and Stacy L. Bender. View Report.
  • Schrotberger, H., Clements, A., & Nichols, E. (2013). Helping parents become interventionists through the use of child assessment data.  Family Involvement Network of Educators (FINE) Newsletter, 5(2). Retrieved May 23, 2013, from View Article.
  • Squires, J. K. (2000). Identifying social/emotional and behavioral problems in infants and toddlers. The Transdisciplinary Journal, 10(2), 107-119. View Abstract.
  • Stainback-Tracy, K. (2004). Screening for social and emotional development for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers in Colorado. Retrieved December 21, 2009, from  View Report.
Unpublished Reports

Reviews of Assessments & Resources

“The DECA-I/T provides one of the few means of identification of emotional and behavioral challenges for infants and toddlers available today.”

“The DECA-I/T is easy to administer, interpret and apply in assessing infants and toddlers. There is a separate user’s manual and technical manual, which makes both convenient.”

Devereux Early Childhood Assessment for Infants and Toddlers. (2010). In R. A. Spies, J. F. Carlson, & K. F. Geisinger (Eds.), The eighteenth mental measurements yearbook. Lincoln, NE: Buros Institute of Mental Measurements. What is Buros Mental Measurements Yearbook?

Research Opportunities

The Devereux Center for Resilient Children (DCRC) team is always interested in pursuing partnerships with universities, state and local agencies, and individuals who are planning to embark on research projects involving the DECA Infant/Toddler (DECA-I/T) Program. If you are interested in a partnership, please start by filling out this form.

Student Research Opportunities

DCRC and the Kaplan Early Learning Company are happy to support graduate students undertaking research projects that involve the DECA I/T Program. Support from the DCRC Team and the Kaplan Early Learning Company could include consultation with research staff, networking with other researchers or DECA I/T users in the field, discounted materials, and/or opportunities to present or publish research findings.

Contact us with your two-page research proposal so that we can assess the best way we might be able to support you. Please be sure to include the name of the graduate program in which you are enrolled, the degree sought, and the contact information of your faculty advisor.

Already Doing Research with the DECA- I/T?

Are you already doing research with the DECA-I/T that you’d like to share with us? Contact us to share your work. We would love to hear how you’re using our resources!

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