ECMap research contributes to local, regional, provincial, national, and international conversations about early childhood development. ECMap researchers write papers for internationally renowned scholarly journals and present the project’s work at meetings and conferences from Red Deer, Alberta to Christchurch, New Zealand. ECMap also creates a range of other research documents, such as briefing papers that provide background on specific research or policy issues.
Our research documents and information briefings are listed and linked below. Join us in the conversation on early childhood development research in Alberta and beyond.

Research papers

ECMap research papers are primarily written for academic conferences or publications. Papers explore important topics in early childhood development and propose new, exciting and evidence-based approaches to understanding early childhood development contexts and outcomes – and to acting on this information in an informed way. 
The 14 decimal places (default) in EDI’s Norm II cut-off values: They do it, but do they increase accuracy?
by Vijaya Krishnan, PhD; May 9, 2014
This technical brief gives the reasons why the cut-points for the five areas of development of the Early Development Instrument (EDI) should take into account rounding before calculation, especially when classifying children’s scores into categories such as as developing appropriately, experiencing difficulty, and experiencing great difficulty. The process can reduce bias in estimates of children falling into the two extremes and increase accuracy and precision.

Setting the scope for Early Child Development Instrument (EDI): A psychometric re-examination of the tool with Alberta data

by Amin Mousavi and Vijaya Krishnan, PhD; April 22, 2014
This paper looks at the 2011 EDI data for the province of Alberta and analyzes all 103 items on the EDI questionnaire using factor analysis and classical test theory to investigate the relevance of items to vulnerability as defined by the EDI developers. The authors recommend the implementation of a shorter, 59-item questionnaire and present evidence to show that it's more reliable.  (Published by Springer, Social Indicators Research, July 27, 2014)

Applications of Differential Item Functioning (DIF) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) on Alberta’s Early Childhood Development Instrument (EDI) Data
by Hollis Lai, PhD and Vijaya Krishnan, PhD, April 15, 2013
This report is based on a project funded by the Community-University Partnership for the Study of Children, Youth and Families (CUP), Faculty of Extension, U of A to understand the issues and challenges in adapting the EDI tool in a multi-cultural/ethnic population, such as Alberta. The results were indicative of the risks involved in assessing young minority children’s communication  and general knowledge skills using the EDI.

Harvesting the Wisdom of Coalitions: Literature Review
by Samantha Berger, November 2013
This literature review looks at the studies that have been written on the sustainability and effectiveness of coalitions. It outlines the different kinds of coalitions, organizational models and evaluation tools. This is a timely report given the increasing popularity of coalitions as a way of organizing around social issues and the fact that many funding agencies are now focussing on coalition-based projects.

The Early Development Instrument (EDI): An Item Analysis Using Classical Test Theory (CTT) on Alberta’s Data
By Vijaya Krishnan, January 2013
This report addresses the Classical Test Theory (CTT) by providing a description of the approach. The results of analysis of the EDI data, covering four waves or 66,990 kindergartners are presented within the CTT framework. The report concludes with an examination of the EDI’s problematic items and the steps to be taken in order to serve better Alberta’s children.

Living Conditions Index (LCI): A Context-based Measure to Understand Children’s Developmental Outcomes
By Vijaya Krishnan, Shea Betts, and Xian Wang, June 2012  
This paper describes the development of a composite measure of living conditions for Alberta, using the 2006 Census variables. The Living Conditions Index (LCI), was developed as a standardized aggregate score that summarizes 18 indicators and five components into a single number.

Alberta’s Children in Their Early Years of Development: An Analysis of the Early Development Instrument (EDI), 2010
By Vijaya Krishnan, Huaitang Wang, Oksana Babenko, & Sue Lynch, December 2011
This report documents the developmental aspects of 16,176 kindergartners in Alberta, based on the EDI Wave 2 (2009/10) data.  The report gives a snapshot of the socio-demographic characteristics, type of child care arrangement, and special skills and talent of kindergartners in the province.

Early Development Instrument (EDI), A Drilled-down Report: Edmonton West, 2009 & 2010
By Vijaya Krishnan, Huaitang Wang, Oksana Babenko, & Sue Lynch, December 2011
This report documents the developmental aspects of 1304 kindergartners in Edmonton West community, based on the EDI Wave 2 (2009/10) data. The report gives an overview of the socio-demographic characteristics, type of child care arrangement, and special skills and talent of kindergartners in the community and sub-communities, wherever possible.

Early Development Instrument (EDI) Technical Report: Alberta 2009
By Vijaya Krishnan, Huaitang Wang, Oksana Babenko, & Sue Lynch, December 2011
This report documents the developmental aspects of 9641 kindergartners in Alberta, based on the EDI survey of 2009.  The report gives a snapshot of the socio-demographic characteristics, child care arrangement, and special skills and talents of children.

Weighting the Alberta EDI Community Data 
By Vijaya Krishnan, October 2011
This report provides a brief description of the what, why and how of weighting survey data, with reference to the Early Development Instrument (EDI) data for Alberta.

Teachers’ Assessment of Preschoolers’ Social and Emotional Competence:  Does Sex of Children Matter in Developmental Outcomes?  
By Vijaya Krishnan, September 2011
This study examines gender-specific determinants of social competence and emotional maturity in teachers’ assessments of 7,938 kindergarten children. While initial age-adjusted analysis revealed that boys scored consistently lower in all developmental areas than girls, when other variables were controlled, higher rates of independence and attentiveness predicted higher rates of social and emotional competence among boys and girls. (Published in  the proceedings of the World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology​, Year 7, Issue 79, 2011, pp. 1622-1632.)

A Comparison of Principal Components Analysis and Factor Analysis for Uncovering the Early Development Instrument (EDI) Domains
By Vijaya Krishnan, July 2011
Principal Components Analysis (PCA) and Factor Analysis (FA) are often employed in identifying structures that underlie complex psychometric tools. The analysis revealed that PCA summarized the structure better than FA (maximum likelihood), and the paper concluded that an important task in analyzing the well-regarded EDI domains involves the identification of items that do not contribute to our understanding of child development, either theoretically or methodologically. 

Introducing a School Preparedness Index for a Canadian Sample of Preschoolers without Special Needs 
By Vijaya Krishnan, May 2011
This paper is an attempt to offer a combined index comprising five dimensions of development – physical health and wellbeing, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive development, and anxiety and fearfulness – using a weighting system.

Guidelines to Follow When Working with Small Numbers
By Vijaya Krishnan, April 2011
Small numbers are a major concern in community and sub-community level analyses of the Early Development Instrument (EDI) data. This report provides a brief description of the rationales for adopting sample sizes (minimum 30) and participation or coverage levels (minimum 74%).

Social Cohesion Literature: A Background Paper and Annotated Bibliography 
By Stephanie Benger, December 2010
This document provides an overview of Canadian and international research on social cohesion, focusing on the most influential and pertinent literature as well as looking to the literature of social capital and its connections to social cohesion. The paper addresses major concepts, intellectual and practice histories, and the measurement social cohesion, and is accompanied by an annotated bibliography.

Early child development: A conceptual model
By Vijaya Krishnan, May 2010
This paper proposes a new, holistic model for understanding the individual and contextual factors that influence the development of young children.  Building on Bronfenbrenner’s ‘ecological’ conceptualization of early childhood, the paper proposes a model that might have relevance for program and policy development at the community level. (Presented at the Early Childhood Council Conference in Christchurch, New Zealand in May 2010).

Constructing an Area-based Socioeconomic Index: A Principal Components Analysis Approach 
By Vijaya Krishnan, May 2010
This paper explores the creation of a new socioeconomic index that can be used to more fully understand the contexts of early childhood development outcomes in Canadian communities. The index utilized the principal components approach, employing 26 indicators from the Canadian Census. (Presented at the Early Childhood Intervention Conference in Canberra, Australia in May 2010)