Child Care and Early Education Research Connections

Skip to main content

Making the invisible visible: Using a contextual measurement approach to identify children with social-emotional and behavioral needs in preschool classrooms


Best practices in early childhood include using measures to identify children’s social-emotional and behavioral needs within routine, naturalistic preschool contexts. Aligned with best practices, we examined the combined utility of two contextual measures, a teacher report and a direct observation of classroom behavior, in the context of interactions with teachers, peers, and learning tasks. Latent profile analysis (N = 527 children) identified four profile groups: (a) well-adjusted and positively engaged, (b) high externalizing and conflict engagement, (c) adequately adjusted/mildly disengaged in learning tasks, and (d) elevated internalizing behavior and low engagement. Children’s profile classification was associated concurrently with emotion regulation and social competence. Teachers independently reported on children’s social-emotional or academic concerns. Teachers’ reports of social-emotional concerns comported for children in the externalizing profile but did not comport for the internalizing group. Findings illustrate the utility of a contextual assessment approach for early identification and intervention, particularly for children who display internalizing behavior. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

Related resources include summaries, versions, measures (instruments), or other resources in which the current document plays a part. Research products funded by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation are related to their project records.

- You May Also Like

These resources share similarities with the current selection.

Making learning visible: Parents perceptions of children's learning outdoors

Reports & Papers

Who pays?: The visible and invisible costs of child care

Reports & Papers

Making the social visible within inclusive classrooms

Reports & Papers
Release: 'v1.55.0' | Built: 2024-02-23 07:59:10 EST