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Psychometric properties of the Brazilian-adapted version of the Ages and Stages Questionnaire in public child daycare centers

Well-designed screening assessment instruments that can evaluate child development in public daycare centers represent an important resource to help improve the quality of these programs, as an early detection method for early developmental delay. The Ages and Stages Questionnaire, 3rd edition (ASQ-3), comprises a series of 21 questionnaires designed to screen developmental performance in the domains of communication, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, problem solving, and personal-social ability in children aged 2 to 66 months. The purpose of the present work was to translate and adapt all of the ASQ-3 questionnaires for use in Brazilian public child daycare centers and to explore their psychometric characteristics with both Classical Test Theory and Rating Scale analyses from the Rasch model family. A total of 18 Ages & Stages Questionnaires -- Brazilian translation (ASQ-BR) questionnaires administered at intervals from 6 to 60 months of age were analyzed based on primary caregiver evaluations of 45,640 children distributed in 468 public daycare centers in the city of Rio de Janeiro. The results indicated that most of the ASQ-BR questionnaires had adequate internal consistency. Exploratory factor analyses yielded a one-factor solution for each domain of all of the ASQ-BR questionnaires. The only exception was the personal-social domain in some of the questionnaires. Item Response Theory based on Rating Scale analysis (infit and outfit mean squares statistics) indicated that only 44 of 540 items showed misfit problems. In summary, the ASQ-BR questionnaires are psychometrically sound developmental screening instruments that can be easily administered by primary caregivers. (author abstract)
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