Greenspan Social-Emotional Growth Chart
Overview: Monitor the milestones of social-emotional development in infants and very young children
Qualification Level: B, Q1, Q2
Age Range: 0-42 months (Items are presented according to age typical of mastery.)
Completion Time: 10 minutes
Publication Date: Fall 2004
Greenspan Developmental Milestones by Age Groups
- 0-3 months: Exhibits growing self-regulation and interest in the world
- 4-5 months: Engages in relationships
- 6-9 months: Uses emotions in an interactive, purposeful manner
- 10-14 months: Uses a series of interactive and emotional gestures to communicate
- 15-18 months: Uses a series of interactive and emotional gestures to solve problems
- 19-30 months: Uses ideas to convey feelings, wishes, or intentions
- 31-42 months: Creates logical bridges between emotions and ideas
- Determine the mastery of early capacities of social-emotional growth
- Monitor healthy social and emotional functioning
- Establish goals for early intervention planning
- Monitor progress in early intervention programs
- Detect deficits or problems with developmental social-emotional capacities
Parent/Caregiver QuestionnairesGreenspan Social-Emotional Growth Chart is a questionnaire completed by the child’s parent, educator, or other caregiver to understand how the child uses all capacities to meet needs, deal with feelings, think, and communicate. The questionnaire has the following characteristics:
- Contains 35 items
- Items are ordered developmentally, according to age at which each item is typically mastered
- Prior to mastering a more developmentally advanced behavior, the child is expected to show mastery in the less advanced behaviors that occur at a younger age
- Items are rated using a 5-point scale
- Reported as cut scores
Clinical UtilityThe Greenspan Social-Emotional Growth Chart should be given as a preliminary step in childcare screenings, early identification screenings, and pediatric screenings. It should be used to determine whether further assessment/referral is warranted and can assist in monitoring growth and planning intervention.
Frequently asked questions follow. Click on a question to see the response.
If the Social-Emotional Scale on the Bayley–III is the same as the Greenspan Social-Emotional Growth Chart, why are there different scores available for the two instruments?
The Greenspan Social-Emotional Growth Chart provides only cut scores; the Bayley–III Social-Emotional Scale provides scaled scores that enables you to compare it to other subtest scores in the measure.
What is the difference between rating an item as Can’t Tell (score = 0) and None of the Time (score = 1) for the Social-Emotional Scale?
The respondent should rate the item as Can’t Tell (0) if he or she doesn’t know the child well enough to respond with confidence (lack of familiarity with the child or limited settings in which the respondent has observed the child). The respondent should rate the item as None of the Time (1) if he or she is familiar enough with the child to know that the child never exhibits those behaviors.
Where can I find more information on interpreting scores for the Social-Emotional Scale?
Dr. Greenspan includes some "next steps" within the manual for the Greenspan Social-Emotional Growth Chart. The material is adapted from what is found in books authored by Dr. Greenspan (including Building Healthy Minds and The Functional Emotional Assessment Scale for Infancy and Early Childhood).
When completing the Greenspan Social-Emotional Growth Chart, sometimes the Highest Stage Mastered for a child can be a full stage below what is expected for his or her age, but the Growth Chart Index score indicates Full Mastery. Isn’t this contradictory?When completing the Greenspan Social-Emotional Growth Chart, sometimes the Highest Stage Mastered for a child can be a full stage below what is expected for his or her age, but the Growth Chart Index score indicates Full Mastery. Isn’t this contradictory?
No. It is possible for a child to have achieved Full Mastery of age-expected behaviors while still exhibiting a few behaviors only “some of the time” or “half of the time.” Because of the broad time frame in which mastery for a particular stage can occur, there may be instances in which a child has consistently exhibited mastery in most, but not all, age-appropriate skills identified within the Questionnaire. Further investigation of the caregiver’s responses to the Questionnaire can identify patterns that may suggest the need for further investigation, even if the caregiver responses place the child in the Full Mastery level. Reviewing the responses of this Questionnaire in light of other information (e.g., medical history, additional assessment results) can provide insight into the child’s overall strengths and challenges.The Highest Stage Mastered is a more conservative estimate, indicating the highest stage at which all key behaviors are exhibited consistently. It can serve as a starting point from which to develop activities for less-developed skills. However, this indicator should not be used to determine the child’s developmental age equivalent.
When calculating the chronological age, should I round days to the nearest month?
Days should not be rounded. Instead, use total months only to determine the appropriate stop point. For example, a child whose chronological age is 14 months, 16 days has a stop point at item 17 (the stop point for children 10–14 months old).