Healthy socioemotional child development is universally gaining recognition as a crucial factor in life-time health. A teacher-completed measurement of child development status, the Early Development Instrument (EDI), was applied in seven communities in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, and in three communities in Peru to assess the social and emotional development of preschool children (4 to 6 years of age). In both countries indicators of socioeconomic status (SES) were collected together with the teacher-rated children's outcomes. Three main issues were addressed: (1) the validity of the measure used, (2) areas of socioemotional development that contribute most to children's vulnerability, and (3) the association between social and emotional outcomes and indicators of sociodemographic risk, such as age, gender, and SES. Results indicated high internal consistencies and test-retest validity in both countries. Moreover, similar patterns of vulnerabilities in relation to specific areas of socioemotional development as well as associations with sociodemographic variables were observed in both countries, although some country differences were also observed. Overall, the measure is proving to be reliable and valid, as well as consistent in international contexts, and therefore can provide a basis for promotion, prevention, and early intervention in South America.

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