Purpose: To screen, diagnosis and evaluate early development Age: Birth to years Time: Full BDI: hours; Screening Test: minutes The Battelle. Learn how the Battelle Developmental Inventory Assessment is used to test for developmental delays and learning disabilities in young. Agenda. ▫Overview of BDI ▫Demonstrations and Structured Group. Practice. ▫ Common Administration Errors. ▫Scoring the Protocol.

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InCongress passed Public Law 99—, which provided incentives for states to develop early childhood intervention programs for qualified infants and toddlers from birth through 2 years of age and their families. Eligibility criteria are defined by each state, but they typically include documentation of delay in one or more areas of development listed in the federal law, including cognitive, adaptive self-helpphysical eg, gross and fine motorcommunication, and social-emotional development.

This is the process of program planning. Although such information is can be useful for determining whether a child has a developmental delay, knowledge that a child can or cannot perform such test items often is not useful for program planning purposes. One tool that has been used for both determining children’s eligibility for services and measuring change longitudinally for program-based studies is the Battelle Developmental Inventory BDI.

Each of the domains is further divided into subdomains, which can be scored separately. In addition to covering the 5 areas of development listed in the law, an advantage of the BDI is that it covers an age range from birth to 8 years, which is a wider range than that of many other tests that can be used with infants.

The wide age range facilitates longitudinal comparisons of the same measure over a longer period of time than is possible with most other tests. Examiners can administer the items for each domain separately, or they can test all 5 domains of development. This aspect of the BDI is useful if different team members evaluate different domains of development.

A physical therapist, for example, might administer items in the motor domain, an occupational therapist might administer the adaptive items, a speech-language pathologist might administer the communication items, and a teacher might administer the personal-social and cognitive items. The BDI has 3 administration formats: The authors provide detailed instructions for the structured administration procedure, making it, in our opinion, the most clear-cut format to administer and score, followed by observation and then the interview approach.

Battelle Developmental Inventory, Second Edition (BDI-2)

It also allows some deviation from the exact words if the child does not understand the instructions. The availability of 3 test formats increases the likelihood that children receive the highest possible score for all skills they can perform. If a child does not perform well or refuses to perform activities during the structured administration format, the examiner may ask the child’s parents or teachers whether the child can perform certain tasks.

If the primary interest is in identifying all that the child is able to do, not invejtory what the child is willing to do in a testing situation, then the 3 test formats are a benefit. Depending on the extent to which the examiner uses one format or another, the results could differ.

Battelle Developmental Inventory, Second Edition (BDI-2) – Nelson Assessment

Data obtained through parent report, for example, are not always consistent with results from standardized administration. The scoring process is complicated, particularly establishing and scoring basal levels. Based on the results of their study, the authors recommended that people who administer the BDI receive training in administration and scoring of the test.

The BDI is administered by first finding a basal level, which is the age level at which the child gets full credit for all items in a subdomain.

Subdomains are specific skill areas that make up a domain, such as the locomotor subdomain of the motor domain. The ceiling is the level of item difficulty at which a child would get a score of 0. The items are scored on a 3-point system. A score of 2 indicates the child’s response meets the specified criteria. A score of 1 means the child attempted the item but did not meet all criteria. A score of 0 is given when the response is incorrect or there is no response or opportunity to respond.

This system of scoring allows examiners to determine whether children display emerging skills on which they can build. The examiner’s manual includes chapters on scoring and interpretation that show how to apply BDI scores. It is possible to profile domain and subdomain scores and compare strengths and weaknesses in various areas. These profiles can be used to help determine whether a child’s deficit is due to weaknesses in all areas of development or in one specific area such as fine motor skills.

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The standardizing process of the BDI consisted of testing a norming sample of children, with approximately children 50 male and 50 female at each 1-year age level from birth to 8 years. There was no difference in scores when gender or race was considered in this sample. The size of the sample also was potentially limited. The sample consisted of 50 children each in the 0-to 5- 6-totoand to month-old age ranges and children in the to month-old range, for a total of children in the 0-to month-old range.

Particularly at these lower age ranges, because young children’s development can be so rapid, the wide age spans can cause age-related discontinuities. Examiners should be cautious when testing young children who are close to the age cutoff levels to avoid inappropriate eligibility and intervention decisions.

Another problem with BDI scoring is that procedures recommended to calculate extreme scores of children who have severe and profound disabilities do not appear to be adequate. Bailey et al 9 noted that the tables for calculating deviation quotients DQs do not provide DQs less than If children’s scores are lower than 65, the test manual gives a method to extrapolate a DQ. Using this method, however, some children can receive a negative DQ. A child 22 months of age, for example, who received a raw score of 20 for the motor domain would have a DQ of —45, if calculated using the formula in the manual.

The test manual does not explain why negative scores occur or how they should be interpreted or reported. The BDI test manual reports the standard error of measurement SEMtest-retest reliability, and interrater reliability. Instead of the SEM, the manual provided directions for calculating the standard error of the mean.

The authors corrected this error in the printing of the BDI manual, so it is important to know which publication of the test is being used. The developers of the BDI determined test-retest reliability by retesting children of the children in the sample within 4 weeks of the initial test.

Test-retest reliability of BDI total scores was between. The authors did not identify the statistic s used, which makes interpretation of the data somewhat difficult.

Newborg et al 5 examined interrater reliability by having a second rater score the tests of children. They found interrater reliability to be high, ranging from.

Subsequent studies of interrater reliability correspond well to these results.

McLean and colleagues 11 found interrater reliability to be. Snyder et al 12 tested 78 inventogy with severe disabilities and, using generalizability theory, estimated internal consistency reliability to be.

Validity refers to the degree to which a meaningful interpretation can be inferred from a test. Newborg et al 5 explained that they selected the items from a pool of ihventory, items from other developmental tests. When selecting items, Newborg et al 5 stated that they considered the importance of the items in the functioning of the child’s everyday life, support for the items in the literature, the educational practitioner’s acceptance of the skill as a milestone in a child’s development, and whether therapists and educators could intervene on the item.

Ina pilot study of children was conducted to refine the BDI items. The authors supported the content validity of the developmental nature of the BDI with t-test comparisons between age groups on parts of the BDI.

Battelle Developmental Inventory | Physical Therapy | Oxford Academic

Correlations were high and positive for total BDI scores against 30 subdomain categories, providing support for the belief that a child’s performance should be consistent across domains.

The correlations were between. The lower correlation between the total BDI scores and the muscle control subdomain was attributed to an item ceiling, in which all children received the highest possible score for all items at 18 months of age, which restricted the size of the correlation.

Factorial validity was described by Newborg et al 5 as a type of construct validity. They measured factorial validity through a invntory analysis of invebtory pilot study data and found that the factor structure differs depending on the age of the child. Intercorrelations among domains showed that 5 BDI domains are more accurate for children over the developmetal of 2 years.

For children under 24 months of age, it appears there are 3 general factors which the manual does not specifyso it is important to administer the entire BDI to children under 2 years of age. For children above 24 months of age, the gattelle analysis supports the structure of the 5 domains, although the communication and cognitive domains overlap.


Snyder et al 12 tested the construct validity of the BDI. The subject sample consisted of 78 children with disabilities tested over a 5-year period. The results of the study suggested that examiners should be cautious about obtaining and reporting isolated scores in the social-emotional, cognitive, and communication domains because they appear not to reflect unique developmental domains.

These correlations bei not as consistently high as those found by McLean et al, 11 whose sample consisted of children with disabilities under the vevelopmental of 30 months. Boyd et al 15 found Pearson product-moment correlations of. The results were supported by another study of 70 children with disabilities deevlopmental 30 months of age in which correlations between the Bayley Scale and BDI scores, using canonical analyses, ranged from.

Although most studies support the concurrent validity of the BDI with the Bayley Scales, Gerken et al 16 found a Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient of —. The low correlation between the 2 tests suggests that they measure different elements of development. Other researchers have related BDI scores invventory scores of other tests.

The results generally indicated significant relationships between the tests and the individual domains of the BDI, although some of the correlations were not high. They found the strongest and most consistent relationships between the cognitive, personal-social, and communication domains of the BDI and the other tests. Smith 18 tested 30 developnental developing preschool children aged 3 years 11 months to 6 years 2 months using the BDI cognitive domain, the Stanford-Binet Intelli-gence Scale, 27 and the Kaufman Assessment Battery.

Mott did not specify the statistic used, but found correlations supporting the concurrent validity of the total communication domain and the expressive language subdomain of the BDI. These correlations for the total communication score and the expressive communication subdomain score support using the BDI for testing children who have general speech and language problems.

The BDI receptive communication subdomain did not correlate with any of the language measures, so it is important to use the entire communication domain when testing children who have suspected speech problems. These tools can lead to the identification of children who are not functioning within age-appropriate or performance-based expectations.

Predictive validity refers to the ability of a measure to be used to predict some future event. If the BDI has good predictive validity, then it provides a basis on which decisions are made by predicting outcomes and future behaviors. Guidubaldi and Perry 17 investigated the predictive validity of the BDI with kindergarten children who they retested in the first grade using the WRAT.

The children entered the study at ages 2 to 5 years and were retested at a 2-to 3-year interval. They concluded that interpretations and decisions based on BDI results are limited in the area of future social-behavioral development. The authors did not states the statistic used to calculate the correlation coefficients. When children were tested at age 3 years and older, correlations remained stable; for example, Pearson product-moment correlations between BDI-computed DQ total scores at ages 3, 4, 5, and 6 years and corresponding WJR-ACH Broad Knowledge scores at ages 9, 10, 11, and 12 years were.

The BDI does not demonstrate good predictive validity for children younger than 18 months of age. The test developers list the purposes of the BDIST as general screening of preschool and kindergarten children, monitoring children’s progress, identifying strengths and weaknesses of children to determine which children would benefit from a comprehensive assessment, and making placement and eligibility decisions.

They also found the BDIST time-consuming to administer, but they did not report mean times of administration. McLean and colleagues 48 studied 65 children aged 7 to 72 months. They found that the BDI accurately identified only 13 of the 35 subjects without disabilities, with 22 children referred for further testing. Sensitivity was much higher. Of the 30 children with disabilities, 29 children were referred for further testing.

Little research has been conducted with the BDIST, but the work that has been done suggests that its use results in over-referral of children for further testing.