Ages 3 to 5 Years    By Joyce Sprafkin, Ph.D. and Kenneth D. Gadow, Ph.D


The Early Childhood Inventory-5 (ECI-5) is a behavior rating scale that screens for DSM-5 emotional and behavioral disorders in children between 3 and 5 years old.  The ECI-4: Parent Checklist  contains 108 items that screen for 15 emotional and behavioral disorders, and the ECI-5: Teacher Checklist contains 94 items that screen for 13 emotional and behavioral disorders.  The ECI-5 can be scored to derive Symptom Count scores (diagnostic model) or Symptom Severity scores (normative data model).  Scoring is quick and easy with user-friendly score sheets. 

DISORDERS INCLUDED: *AD/HD   *Oppositional Defiant Disorder   *Conduct Disorder   *Generalized Anxiety Disorder   *Social Anxiety Disorder *Separation Anxiety Disorder   *Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder   *Specific Phobia   *Selective Mutism   *Major Depressive Disorder *Persistent Depressive Disorder   *Reactive Attachment Disorder   *Asperger's Disorder   *Motor Tics   *Vocal Tics *Posttraumatic Stress Disorder   *Problems in Eating, Sleeping, Elimination 

RESEARCH:  ECI-5 scores demonstrate satisfactory test-retest reliability, show a high degree of correspondence with psychiatric diagnosis (predictive validity), and correlate well with other commonly used dimensional scales (concurrent validity).  The norm sample for the Parent Checklist (N=531) and the Teacher Checklist (N=398) consisted of children between 3 and 5 years old who attended day care, preschool, and Head Start programs.  T scores and raw scores for males and females are presented separately on Symptom Severity Profile score sheets.

PRODUCT FACTS: The ECI-5: Parent Checklist replaces the ECI-4R: Parent Checklist. The ECI-4R, which was published in 2010, was designed to evaluate DSM-IV-defined disorders. The “R” in ECI-4R means that it is a revised version of the ECI-4, which was originally published in 2000. What makes the ECI-4R different from its predecessor is that it contains a separate impairment question for each DSM disorder in order to determine the extent to which the symptoms of the disorder interfere with daily routines and social functioning.   

            The fifth revision to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association in 2013, resulted in the addition of a few new disorders and changes in symptoms or names of disorders. Many of these changes are reflected in the ECI-5 as outlined below. Because so many clinicians and researchers are currently using the ECI-4R, and some of the DSM-5 revisions are at present controversial or lack extensive research support, the ECI-5 includes all the original ECI-4R items (with their respective item numbers) to ensure a seamless transition from the ECI-4R to the ECI-5.  The ECI-5 can be easily adopted by professionals who are already familiar with the ECI-4 or ECI-4R. 

            The ECI-5: Teacher Checklist replaces the ECI-4: Teacher Checklist. The ECI-5: Teacher Checklist contains the same items as its predecessor plus the impairment questions described above and the DSM-5 associated updates made to the ECI-5: Parent Checklist.

            There are no new norms for the ECI-5 because there were no new multi-item disorders (4 or more items) added to the DSM-5 revision, and the symptoms of the remaining disorders were essentially unchanged. 

New Disorders and Items

            Two, one-item disorders were added to Category E of the ECI-5: excoriation disorder (skin picking) and trichotillomania (hair pulling); the latter disorder appeared in DSM-IV but was not included in the ECI-4.

Two new items were added to autism spectrum disorder.

             Finally, the two types of reactive attachment disorder, inhibited and disinhibited, were redefined as separate disorders in DSM-5, namely, reactive attachment disorder and disinhibited social engagement disorder, respectively. 

New Item Numbers

             As noted above, the ECI-5 includes all the original ECI-4R items (with their respective item numbers).  All new DSM-5-referenced symptom items are denoted with the letter “z.”             

New Names for Disorders

            Changes to the names of disorders in DSM-5 are as follows: persistent depressive disorder (previously dysthymic disorder), social anxiety disorder (previously social phobia), and autism spectrum disorder (previously autistic disorder and Asperger’s disorder).  

Old (DSM-IV) Score Sheets

            Because the ECI-4 items (and their respective item numbers) were maintained in ECI-5, all of the ECI-4 score sheets are still valid for DSM-IV-defined disorders. This includes Symptom Count and the Symptom Severity Score Sheets.  

New (DSM-5) Items

            The new items under Category E are Ez1 (Hair Pulling) and Ez2 (Skin Picking). Ratings of Often and Very often result in a Symptom Count Cutoff Score for each of these items. The Symptom Criterion Score for the Reactive Attachment Disorder and the Disinhibited Social Engagement Disorder categories is ≥2 and =2, respectively. 

Autism Scoring Rules

            The DSM-IV-based scoring rules for autistic disorder and Asperger’s disorder were maintained because DSM-5 states that “individuals with a well-established DSM-IV diagnosis of autistic disorder, Asperger’s disorder, or pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified should be given the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.” Nevertheless, we added two items to Category M (Mz1 and Mz2) to reflect symptoms that were added in DSM-5

Computer Scoring Programs

            For customers using our current computer scoring program, answers to the Impairment Questions as well as to the new, DSM-5-referenced items (“z” items) are not entered into the scoring program. These items are denoted with a green (parent) or yellow (teacher) dot in the right-hand margin of the checklist, which provides a visual cue indicating the items that should be skipped during data entry


PRODUCT INFORMATION:  The ECI-4 Screening Manual is a 117-page book that reviews diagnostic criteria and describes research, scoring guidelines, and clinical applications for Symptom Count scores. The ECI-4 Norms Manual is a 184-page book that presents normative data and describes research, scoring guidelines, and clinical applications for Symptom Severity scores. The ECI-4 Deluxe Kit contains the Screening Manual, the Norms Manual,  25 Parent Checklists, 25 Teacher Checklists, 50 Symptom Count score sheets (with scoring instructions, cutoff scores, and rule out diagnoses), and 50 Symptom Severity Profile (T scores) score sheets for both Parent and Teacher Checklists.


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ECI-DK  ECI-5 Deluxe Kit    $124.00
ECI-SM ECI-4 Screening Manual   $27.00
ECI-NM ECI-4 Norms Manual $27.00
ECI-P50  Parent Checklist (pkg. 50)  $63.00
ECI-T50 Teacher Checklist (pkg. 50) $63.00
ECI-P50SP Parent Checklist in SPANISH (pkg. 50) $63.00
ECI-PSS Symptom Severity Profiles for Parent Checklist (pkg. 50) $17.00
ECI-TSS Symptom Severity Profiles for Teacher Checklist (pkg. 50) $17.00



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Revised: January 23, 2016