The survey of well-being of young children: Results of a feasibility study with American Indian and Alaska Native communities

The tribal early childhood research center SWYC community of learning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study examined the feasibility of the Survey of Well-Being of Young Children (SWYC), a new screener for socioemotional and developmental problems and family risk in children birth to age 5 years, for use in American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) communities. A Community of Learning within the Tribal Early Childhood Research Center, composed of university researchers, tribal early childhood program staff and evaluators, and federal partners, utilized a community-based participatory research approach to guide this qualitative study. Thirty-two focus groups and 20 key informant interviews (N = 199) were conducted with staff from Head Start, Home Visiting, and Child Care programs; pediatricians; behavioral health providers; parents of young children; tribal leaders; and other stakeholders in seven diverse AIAN communities. Three themes emerged: (a) a strong need to screen early for socioemotional and developmental problems and family risk; (b) the importance of a carefully designed process for screening; and (c) the importance of examining the content of the SWYC for cultural fit specific to tribal communities. Findings support two recommendations: (a) the development of guidelines for using the SWYC in tribal early childhood settings and (b) a full-scale validation study to determine appropriate use with and norms for children in tribal communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)483-505
Number of pages23
JournalInfant Mental Health Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015



  • Alaska Native
  • American Indian
  • Culture
  • Developmental screening
  • Validity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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