Informing context and change in young children's sociobehavioral development - the national Adjustment Scales for Early Transition in Schooling (ASETS)
This article recounts the design and validity evidence for contextually-specific measures of early childhood social and behavioral adjustment within school using the Adjustment Scales for Early Transition in Schooling (ASETS). Through primary analyses of data from the Head Start Impact Study, a representative nationwide sample (N = 3077) of randomly selected children from low-income families was used to inform developmental-transitional stability and change in adjustment across numerous school contexts. Longitudinal exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses yielded reliable and temporally continuous behavioral dimensions assessing the pervasiveness of Peer, Learning, and Teacher Context Problems. Each context dimension was equated vertically through IRT, with Bayesian scoring across two years spanning prekindergarten through 1st grade. Multilevel modeling provided support for the concurrent validity of ASETS contextual scales and their ability to assess future risk of academic and behavioral problems. ASETS scales are also shown to reveal differential, contextually-based, change trajectories across four years of early school transition. (author abstract)
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