Early Literacy Research Library (ELRL) - Metric

Survey of Well-being of Young Children (SWYC)™


Access: FREE/Open Access

evaluation focus

Child Development (milestones, behaviors, emotions) and Family Risk Factors

applicable ages

0-60 months; 0-5 years

available language(s)

English, Spanish, and 10+ Others (Arabic, Burmese, Chinese, Chuukese, Haitian-Creole, Khmer, Nepali, Portuguese, Samoan, Somali, Tagalog, Vietnamese)


FREE download through the library

additional materials

SWYC – User Manual


The Survey of Well-being of Young Children (SWYC)™ is a tool that can be used for general developmental surveillance and screening of young children in the pediatric primary care context. This tool may be aid in identifying a young child’s risk of developmental-behavioral issues and in informing interventions through conversations between the child’s caregiver and provider.


Domains Assessed:

    • Developmental milestones
    • Behavioral/emotional development
    • Family risk factors
    • Optional: Autism specific screening

Administration Format: parent/caregiver self-report

Administration Time: ~15 minutes


Reliability and Validity (Perrin 2016, User Manual): through initial reliability and validity research, the SWYC was found to be comparable to older and familiar developmental screening instruments.

    • Milestones: concurrent validity testing suggested SWYC milestone forms had moderate to large correlations with Ages & States Questionnaire, 3rd Edition (ASQ-3) (0.40 – 0.70), excluding the 2 month form. Accurately detected parent report of developmental delays comparable to using other screening instruments. The overall sensitivity was 76% and specificity was 77%.
    • Behavioral Development (baby): factor analysis identified 3 BPSC subscales (irritability, inflexibility, difficulty with routines) based on child’s behavior and reliability testing suggested adequate Cronbach’s alpha across subscales, excluding irritability (<0.70). Test-retest reliability was also adequate across the three scales (0.70 for “Irritability,” 0.81 for “Inflexibility,” and 0.78 for “Difficulty with Routines”). Correlation was mild to moderate for subscales across other metrics (ASQ:SE, PHQ-2, PSI-SF).
    • Behavioral Development (preschool): factor analysis identified one bifactor model and thus a single PPSC score. Reliability testing suggested adequate Cronbach’s alpha across samples (86 – 0.92). Test-retest reliability was also adequate, with an interclass correlation coefficient of 0.75. PPSC scores were compared across other metrics (ASQ:SE, CBCL) and consistently found high sensitivity and specificity.
    • Autism Screening: adequate internal reliability was found with a Cronbach’s alpha ranging from 0.83 – 0.86, SWYC sensitivity in primary care contexts (89%) was significantly higher than the M-CHAT’s (71%), and somewhat higher in referral (83% versus 94%).
    • Family Risk: these questions were not separately validated as part of the SWYC.

NOTE: though the instrument is freely-available, any changes to the components of the SWYC are strongly discouraged. In unusual circumstances, requests for exceptions will be considered by the authors (theswyc@gmail.com). If you are interested in translating the SWYC, please email theSWYC@gmail.com to request a free license.

Available for Download: https://pediatrics.tuftsmedicalcenter.org/The-Survey-of-Wellbeing-of-Young-Children/Overview.aspx


Source: https://pediatrics.tuftsmedicalcenter.org/The-Survey-of-Wellbeing-of-Young-Children/Overview.aspx

supporting literature

Sheldrick, R.C., Schlichting, L.E., Berger, B., Clyne, A., Ni, P., Perrin, E.C., Vivier, P.M. (2019) Establishing New Norms for Developmental Milestones. Pediatrics, 144(6), e20190374.
PDF: SWYC – 1 – Sheldrick 2019
Link: https://publications.aap.org/pediatrics/article/144/6/e20190374/76997/Establishing-New-Norms-for-Developmental?autologincheck=redirected

Moreira, R.S., Magalhães, L.C., Siqueira, C.M., Alves, C.R.L. (2019) Cross-Cultural Adaptation of the Child Development Surveillance Instrument "Survey of Wellbeing of Young Children (SWYC)" in the Brazilian Context. Journal of Human Growth and Development, 29(1), 28-38.
PDF: SWYC – 2 – Moreira 2019
Link: http://pepsic.bvsalud.org/scielo.php?pid=S0104-12822019000100005&script=sci_abstract&tlng=en

Salisbury, L.A., Nyce, J.D., Hannum, C.D., Sheldrick, R.C., Perrin, E.C. (2018) Sensitivity and Specificity of 2 Autism Screeners Among Referred Children Between 16 and 48 Months of Age. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 39(3), 254-258.
PDF: SWYC – 3 – Salisbury 2018
Link: https://journals.lww.com/jrnldbp/Abstract/2018/04000/Sensitivity_and_Specificity_of_2_Autism_Screeners.9.aspx