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Battelle Developmental Inventory - Second Edition, Normative Update

The Battelle Developmental Inventory – Second Edition, Normative Update (BDI-2 NU; Newborg, 2016) is an individually administered, norm-referenced instrument used to assess developmental milestones in young children.

Available from Riverside Insights


The Battelle Developmental Inventory – Second Edition, Normative Update (BDI-2 NU; Newborg, 2016) is an individually- administered, norm-referenced developmental instrument used to assess developmental milestones in young children. Designed to identify children at risk for developmental delays between birth through 7 years, 11 months, it measures cognitive, intrapersonal, and interpersonal competencies across five domains, providing a quotient in each: Adaptive, Personal-Social, Communication, Motor, and Cognitive. Each domain consists of two or three subdomains, and all contribute to the Total Developmental Quotient. Subdomain scores are also generated. The updated norms reflect an increase in Hispanic and Latino populations.

The BDI-2 may be administered as a structured test, scored based on observation, conducted as an interview, or as a combination of the three formats. This allows flexibility in gathering information for children who are not responsive in a structured assessment environment. The manual provides information about acceptable testing accommodations. A screening form is available in addition to a complete battery. Hand scoring or software-assisted scoring are both options; in addition, the BDI-2 NU is also available in Spanish. Current BDI-2 users will receive access to the BDI-2 NU norms with the purchase of the Data Manager, and for those who hand-score the BDI-2, tables for obtaining the NU norms will be available in the new BDI-2 NU Examiner’s Manual.


Age: Birth to 7 years 11 months

Time to Administer: Screening: 10- 30 minutes; Complete battery: 60–90 minutes

Method of Administration: Individually-administered, norm-referenced; administration- structured, observation, or scripted interview; screening or complete battery; Spanish version available.
Yields standard scores, percentiles, domain scores; Change-Sensitive Scores (CSS) are available in computer-scoring options.

Subscales: Overall Composite Score: Developmental Quotient
Domain Scores: Adaptive, Personal-Social, Communication, Motor, Cognitive Ability
Subdomain Scores: Self-Care, Personal Responsibility; Adult Interaction, Peer Interaction, Self-Concept Social Role, Receptive, Expressive, Gross Motor, Fine Motor, Perceptual Motor, Attention and Memory, Reasoning and Academic Skills, Perception and Concepts

Autism Related Research

The following studies were conducted using the BD!-2 without the normative update.

Goldin, Matson, Beighley, & Jang (2014)

Age Range: 17–36 months

Sample Size: 325

Topics Addressed:

Relationship between ASD symptoms and scores on the BDI-2

Outcome:Goldin, Matson, Beighley, & Jang (2014)

Regression analyses controlled for the impact of age and IQ on results, severity of symptoms predicted total score on the BDI-2 (R2=0.128, F (1,324) = 47.48, p < 0.001), indicating that higher autism severity scores were associated with greater impairment and in the total scores of the BDI-2 Severity also predicted scores on each of the five domains of the BDI-2; the domains were differentially affected by ASD severity. ASD symptom severity accounted for 13% of the total variance for overall BDI-2 scores and 15.7% of the variance on the Personal-Social domain.

Conclusion: severity of ASD may influence symptom presentation so this should be measured when designing intervention.

Williams, Matson, Goldin, & Adams (2014)

Age Range: 36 months or younger at first BDI-2

Sample Size: 90

Topics Addressed:

Effect of overall developmental quotient (DQ) at first assessment on future DQ scores/ Predictive Validity

Outcome:Williams, Matson, Goldin, & Adams (2014)

The participants in the Low DQ group showed statistically significant greater improvement in overall Total DQ, with an average improvement of 6.46 points, while the scores of those in the Average DQ group essentially remained unchanged. It could be that some of the children who initially showed low scores exhibited regression toward the mean upon subsequent testing; alternately children with greater deficits at the outset may have received more intense and/or variety of services, thus affecting DQ.

Conclusion: there is wide variability in development among young children; future study must investigate factors that influence developmental trajectory among young children.

Sipes, Matson, & Turygin (2011)

Age Range: 17–36 months

Sample Size: 1.668

Topics Addressed:

Utility of BDI-2 for ASD screening

Outcome:Sipes, Matson, & Turygin (2011)

Using 1.5 standard deviations from the mean of the ASD group, a cutoff score of 96 was determined, which had sensitivity of .94 and specificity of .31.

Conclusion: With high sensitivity, these cut-off scores can be used to identify children who require further assessment, and the measure may be useful in identifying treatment targets.