A Descriptive Study of Social and Emotional Development in Children 0-5 Years Old

Student Author(s)

Angelina Matthews

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Sonja Trent-Brown; Dr. Susan Dunn

Document Type


Event Date



Research shows that screening for social and emotional distress in children is important, yet there is little nursing research on the use of the Ages and Stages Questionnaire/Social and Emotional (ASQ/SE) Screening Tool. The purpose of this descriptive, cross-sectional study was to describe the levels of self-regulation, compliance, communication, adaptive functioning, autonomy, affect, and interaction and differences in these levels in male versus female children. Betty Neuman’s Systems Model is used, as a foundation for this project as it focuses on the clients’ system response to actual or potential environmental stressors and the use of primary, secondary and tertiary nursing interventions to restore, promote and maintain optimal wellness. Data collection took place between August and December of 2012, from patients and their parents that the students and healthcare workers interacted with at a clinic in West Michigan using the ASQ/SE, and chart audit. SPSS 19.0 statistical software was used for analysis using descriptive statistics and independent t-tests. The sample size is 28 children from 0-5 years of age. Results were that males had a higher average ASQ/SE score than females, and self regulation across all age groups had the highest average ASQ/SE scores. Limitations included a small sample size, data collection from only one clinic in West Michigan and data was collected without the availability of the ASQ/SE User’s Guide. Implications are that there will be an increase in the understanding by nurses and healthcare workers of the social emotional needs of this population and potential better development of future programs for children with social emotional delays.

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