ASHA journals
3 files

Building a CDI: Review of 43 adaptations (Jarůšková et al., 2023)

online resource
posted on 2023-05-17, 15:45 authored by Lucie Jarůšková, Filip Smolík, Kateřina Chládková, Zuzana Oceláková, Nikola Paillereau

Purpose: This article reviews 43 adaptations of the MacArthur–Bates Communicative Development Inventories (MB-CDIs), a tool used for measuring children’s communicative and language skills. The aim is to provide an overview of different approaches to develop local versions of the instrument (reflecting linguistic and cultural specifics) and to formulate recommendations and suggestions that expand the current guidelines of the MB-CDI Advisory Board. The article also discusses cross-linguistic differences in the structure of this tool, as well as the availability of sources for the language-specific MB-CDI adaptations.

Conclusions: Strategies differ in the construction of the inventory contents and in the norming phase, as well as in documenting reliability and validity. The most frequent strategies in developing the item lists are translations of existing CDIs and pilot administrations; relatively recent strategies include consultations with child development experts. The norming approach varies in, for example, the number of participants and techniques of administrations. When establishing age-related norms, different methods of growth curve construction are used. We recommend methods that consider the complete data set and provide a code example. We suggest that the reliability of the tool should be documented not only as internal consistency but also using test–retest measures, ideally combined with interrater agreement. It is desirable that adaptations establish criterion validity against other measures of language development, such as structured tests, spontaneous language samples, or experimental methods. In summary, by critically reviewing the different adaptation strategies, the present review article provides guidance for teams that adapt the MB-CDI into new languages.

Supplemental Material S1. Examples of creating the smoothed percentile growth curves.

Supplemental Material S2. Test-retest reliability studies: number of participants, children's age, interval and the correlations between the 1st and 2nd session. The table is listed by the interval between 1st and 2nd sessions.

Supplemental Material S3. Validity studies: method, age range and number of participants, and obtained correlations.

Jarůšková, L., Smolík, F., Chládková, K., Oceláková, Z., & Paillereau, N. (2023). How to build a communicative development inventory: Insights from 43 adaptations. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 66(6), 2095–2117.


This work was supported by Grant TL05000458 from the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic within the ETA Programme and by Charles University Grant Primus/17/HUM/19.