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Developmental Profile 4

Gerald D. Alpern, PhD

Test for developmental delays in five key areas
Paper and pencil
Age range:
Birth to 21 years, 11 months
20–40 minutes
Qualification level:
A degree from an accredited 4-year college or university in psychology, counseling, speech-language pathology, or a closely related field plus satisfactory completion of coursework in test interpretation, psychometrics and measurement theory, educational statistics, or a closely related area; or license or certification from an agency that requires appropriate training and experience in the ethical and competent use of psychological tests. Close

The DP-4 evaluates children’s functioning in just 20 to 40 minutes. It features norms-based standard scores, clear interpretive guidelines, and strong reliability and validity.

Like previous versions, the DP-4 measures development across five scales:

  • Physical: Large- and small-muscle coordination, strength, stamina, flexibility, and sequential motor skills
  • Adaptive Behavior: Ability to cope independently with the environment—to eat, dress, work, use current technology, and take care of self and others
  • Social–Emotional: Interpersonal skills, social–emotional understanding, functioning in social situations, and manner in which the child relates to peers and adults
  • Cognitive: Intellectual abilities and skills prerequisite for academic achievement
  • Communication: Expressive and receptive communication skills, including written, spoken, and gestural language

The DP-4 is a comprehensive assessment instrument with a simple yes-or-no response format that includes 190 test items, each describing a particular skill. The respondent indicates whether or not the child has mastered the skill in question. Within each of the five scales on the interview form, start and stop rules are used, so you don’t have to administer all items. Each scale has its own norms, so you don’t have to use all five scales if you’re interested in just one area of development. Additionally, there’s an intervention activity for every item.

Four forms offer flexible administration: Parent/Caregiver Interview Form, Parent/Caregiver Checklist, Teacher Checklist, and Clinician Rating. Spanish forms are available.

Three forms (Parent/Caregiver Interview, Parent/Caregiver Checklist, and Teacher Checklist) provide standard scores and growth scores. The Clinician Rating provides growth scores for monitoring progress.

The DP-4 can be used for a wide range of referral questions related to child development. It’s useful when investigating puzzling behavior, responding to parental concerns, or following up on teacher observations. The DP-4 can be completed by multiple raters to provide a more complete picture of how the child displays skills in different settings. Because the DP-4 meets federal criteria for evaluating children with developmental concerns, it’s useful in helping determine eligibility for special education as well as developing IEPs. Its five scales correspond to the five domains specified in IDEA for assessing developmental delays.

The DP-4 can be used to identify developmental strengths and weaknesses. Its norms-based standard scores allow you to compare children’s functioning with that of their peers and design interventions that meet their particular needs. The growth scores allow for monitoring their progress over time.