Social Indicators Research

, 103:193 | Cite as

Bioecological Theory, Early Child Development and the Validation of the Population-Level Early Development Instrument

  • Martin GuhnEmail author
  • Hillel Goelman


The Early Development Instrument (EDI; Janus and Offord in Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science 39:1–22, 2007) project is a Canadian population-level, longitudinal research project, in which teacher ratings of Kindergarten children’s early development and wellbeing are linked to health and academic achievement variables at the individual level, and to demographic, cultural, and socioeconomic variables at the community level. In this article, we draw from Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological theory of human development to create a coherent theoretical framework for guiding validation research within a population-level approach to child development research in general and for the EDI project in particular. The discussion draws from a range of social and health sciences as well as validity theory. The paper seeks to align complex conceptual, theoretical, methodological, and psychometric considerations, to provide specific design, methodology, and validation recommendations for a population-level approach to studying children’s development and wellbeing, and to discuss the strengths and challenges of this approach.


Bioecological theory of human development Validation research framework Early Development Instrument (EDI) Interdisciplinary child development theory Urie Bronfenbrenner 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Human Early Learning PartnershipUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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