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Social-Emotional Assessment/Evaluation Measure (SEAM™), Research Edition








SEAM™, Research Edition
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SEAM Technical Appendix
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How can you develop effective goals for young children’s social and emotional development?

Use the SEAM™ assessment tool

SEAM logoThe Social-Emotional Assessment/Evaluation Measure (SEAM™) is a functional tool for assessing and monitoring social-emotional and behavioral development in infants, toddlers, and preschoolers at risk for social-emotional delays or problems. It can be used in tandem with screening instruments such as the Ages & Stages Questionnaires®: Social-Emotional (ASQ:SE).

SEAM yields in-depth information on children’s social-emotional skills and deficits as well as their caregivers’ strengths and areas of need. It was developed to assist in the early identification of social-emotional difficulties and behavior disorders and to prevent problems by building positive partnerships with families and optimizing positive parent–child interactions in the first years of life.

Early childhood teachers, home visitors, and early intervention or early childhood special education personnel can use the SEAM results to develop high-quality and developmentally appropriate social-emotional goals and objectives for children and their families.

Watch the recorded webinar

Learn how your program can use SEAM!

WEBINAR: Using the Social-Emotional Assessment/Evaluation Measure (SEAM™) with Young Children

PRESENTED BY: Jane Squires and Misti Waddell, two of the SEAM developers

See the webinar

Download SEAM At A Glance

Download a sample SEAM form

Download a sample Family Profile







At a glance

What does it assess?

SEAM is an assessment tool for measuring children’s social-emotional development and parenting competence

Who are the developers?

SEAM was developed by some of the key developers and trainers for the Ages & Stages Questionnaires®: Social-Emotional (ASQ:SE) screener: Jane Squires, Ph.D., Diane Bricker, Ph.D., Misti Waddell, M.S., Kristin Funk, M.A., LCSW , Jantina Clifford, Ph.D., and Robert Hoselton.

What is the age range of children assessed?

2–66 months

What are the components?

  • The SEAM™ Tool – includes three intervals with different developmental ranges: Infant (2–18 months), Toddler (18–36 months), and Preschool (36–66 months) and helps identify a child’s strengths, concerns for the family that need monitoring, and agreed-on focus areas
  • The SEAM™ Family Profile – also has three developmental intervals and assesses parent and caregiver strengths and helps identify areas in which they need more supports and resources to foster their child’s social-emotional skills

(The SEAM system also includes SEAM with Ages, an alternate version of the tool annotated with a helpful list of age ranges for each item.)

What does it examine?

For each interval, the Tool assesses 10 child benchmarks critical to social-emotional competence:

  1. Child participates in healthy interactions
  2. Child expresses a range of emotions
  3. Child regulates social-emotional responses
  4. Child begins to show empathy for others
  5. Child attends to and engages with others
  6. Child explores hands and feet and surroundings (for infants)/demonstrates independence (for toddlers/preschoolers
  7. Child displays a positive self-image
  8. Child regulates activity level
  9. Child cooperates with daily routines and requests
  10. Child shows a range of adaptive skills

The Family Profile also measures four benchmarks key to a nurturing home environment for each interval:

  1. responding to needs
  2. providing activities and play
  3. providing predictable routines and an appropriate environment, and
  4. ensuring home safety

Where is it conducted?

In early childhood programs, homes, or other settings where children are served

Who conducts it?

Early interventionists, early childhood teachers, Head Start & Early Head Start staff, home visitors, parent educators, and mental health professionals

How long does it take to complete?

15–30 minutes (SEAM/SEAM with Ages)
10–15 minutes (Family Profile)

What languages is it available in?

English and Spanish (both are included on the CD-ROM)

Is it research-based?

Yes, SEAM has been researched with 2,200 children from 49 U.S. states and Canada

How can the results be used?

Qualitative data from the Tool and Family Profile can be used to determine areas for greater intervention; answers can be converted to numerical values for progress monitoring