Early Literacy Research Library (ELRL) - Article

Early Relational Health: Innovations in Child Health for Promotion Screening, and Research

Willis, D.W., Eddy, J.M. (2022) Early Relational Health: Innovations in Child Health for Promotion, Screening, and Research. Infant Mental Health Journal, 43(3), 361-372.,

Access: Institutional Access

Publication year


study description


core topic(s)

Early Relational Health

Exposures, Outcomes, Other

Child Development (general) , COVID-19 and Pandemic Impact , Parent-Child Relationships/Interactions , Screening and Tools , Technology and Digital/Screen-Based Media


To bring together papers about a journey of co-discovery between researchers, clinicians, and parents during the development and refinement of new video- and interview-based dyadic relational screening and monitoring tools.


Early Relational Health Screen (ERHS).

outcomes evaluated

ERHS development and application.


The collection of papers addresses a range of topics including early relational health (ERH), development and validation of the Early Relational Health Screen (a novel video-based, dyadic relational screening and monitoring tool), its application within research and clinical settings, and thoughtful discussions from multiple perspectives. Informed by the diversity informed tenets, this journey highlights not only science-informed approaches, but also co-development with families of equitable approaches to understanding and serving children and their caregivers.




The child health and public health sectors have turned their attention to the first 1000 days of life and the primacy of caregiver and child interactions as foundational for social emotional development and future health, educational achievement, and wellbeing. New observational tools and clinical approaches to support and advance early relational health, mindful of equity and the family experience, are in various stages of development and are urgently needed post COVID for both the child health and public health sectors.


New measurement tools of ERH must simultaneously be useful, meaningful, and impactful. To achieve this within a multicultural society, such tools must be developed with a commitment to anti-racist, equity-based and culturally responsive practice, must have a solid grounding in neurodevelopmental and scientific methodology, and must be created through a process that both listens to and values the voices of families. A focus on ERH within child health offers the promise of ensuring not only health equity, but also improved child and family wellbeing and flourishing across the lifespan.


Not discussed.