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BITSEA-CHILDCARE - Brief Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment - Childcare Provider Form

The BITSEA is a brief screener of children's social or emotional behavior problems and competencies based on the Infant Toddler Social Emotional Assessment (ITSEA). As with the ITSEA, it was designed to identify children with deficits or delays in these areas, with positive screens to be followed by administration of the full ITSEA. The measure yields a Problem Total Score and a Competence Total Score. There are two versions, a Parent Form and a Childcare Provider Form, both are reviewed in this database.




Briggs-Gowan, Margaret & Carter, Alice S.

Carter, A.S., & Briggs-Gowan, M. (2005). ITSEA BITSEA: The Infant-Toddler and Brief Infant Toddler Social Emotional Assessment. PsychCorp: San Antonio, TX.

Cost Involved
Domain Assessed: 
Relationships and Attachment
Subcategories of Domains Assessed: 
Competence and Other Measures of General and Psychosocial Functioning
Age Range: 
Measure Type: 
Measure Format: 


Number of Items: 
Average Time to Complete (min): 
Reporter Type: 
Average Time to Score (min): 
Response Format: 

3-point scale: 0=Not true/rarely, 1=Somewhat true/sometimes, and 2=Very true/often. A No Opportunity code allows raters to indicate they have not had the opportunity to observe the behavior.

Materials Needed: 
Information Provided: 
Areas of Concern/Risks
Continuous Assessment
Raw Scores


Training to Administer: 
Training by Experienced Clinician (less than 4 hours)


Notes on Psychometric Norms: 

There are no norms, but the manual provides means and standard deviations by gender and age (12-17 months, 18-36 months).

Clinical Cutoffs: 
Clinical Cutoffs Description: 

PROBLEM SCORES: Cut scores=>75 percentile COMPETENCE SCORES: Cut scores=<15%



Pros & Cons/References

  1. The items appear clear and easy to understand.
  2. The measure was developed specifically to assess infants and toddlers, and includes items that are developmentally sensitive and relevant to young children.
  3. Assesses competencies as well as problem behaviors.
  4. The measure appears to be a good screener in that scores are highly correlated with both the full ITSEA and the CBCL.
  5. The measure is brief and can be administered in 6 minutes.
  6. There is a Parent Provider version with identical items and scales to allow for comparisons between reporters.
  1. The full psychometrics of the Childcare Provider Form have not been examined. At this point (8/05) there are only data regarding internal consistency, and there are no norms.
  2. The measure consists of 42 items, but it yields scores on only two scales. This limits the utility of this measure. The authors suggest that positive screens on the BITSEA be followed by the ITSEA. For childcare providers this does not seem feasible.
  3. The age range of the measure (1-3) is awkward for treatment-outcome research and longitudinal studies because children need to fall in that age range at pre-, post-, and follow-up assessment periods.
  4. With regard to using the measure for trauma-exposed children, there is no scale that directly measures trauma symptoms, so another measure would need to be used to capture trauma symptomatology.
  5. The price of the measure seems high, given that its full psychometrics have not yet been examined, and there are no norms.
Developer of Review: 
Chandra Ghosh Ippen, Ph.D.
Editor of Review: 
Chandra Ghosh Ippen, Ph.D.
Last Updated: 
Tuesday, March 1, 2005