Background

The importance of the home environment in affecting cognitive outcome in early childhood has been abundantly documented in the developmental literature.

The gold standard for the measurement of the home environment, the HOME Inventory, has been shown to be highly related to a variety of cognitive outcomes.

However, the requirement of a home visit can be a barrier to the use of the HOME Inventory. A need has remained for an easy-to-administer instrument that can measure the cognitive home environment across the preschool period.

Over the past five years, a group of pediatricians and psychologists at New York University have collaborated to develop and validate the StimQ, an office-based questionnaire designed to measure cognitive stimulation provided in the home.

StimQ is designed for use with young children between five months and six years old.

StimQ is available in three different forms: one for infants five to 12 months, one for toddlers 12 to 36 months, and one for preschool children 36 to 72 months.

Each form consists of four subscales: Availability of Learning Materials, Reading, Parental Involvement in Developmental Advance, and Parental Verbal Responsivity.

Forms are available in both English and in Spanish, and require 15 to 20 minutes to administer and two to three minutes to score.