Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment (HOME) Inventory, Third Edition

Please note that this tool is proprietary and may only be obtained by contacting the creators of the tool below. However, there is a score summary form available for use in ETO.

The HOME inventory is intended for use by researchers and practitioners and is designed to measure the quality and extent of stimulation available to a child in the home environment. Both interaction and the physical environment are assessed. Several versions of the HOME are available to include: Infant/Toddler (IT) HOME for children birth to 3, Early Childhood (EC) HOME for children ages 3 to 6, and Middle Childhood (MC) HOME for children ages 6 to 10 years of age. The Supplement to the HOME for Impoverished Families (SHIF) is also available for use.

The Infant Toddler-HOME (IT-HOME) is composed of 45 items.  Higher total HOME scores indicate a more enriched home environment.  Assessors make observations during home visits when the child is awake and engaged in activities typical for that time of the day and conduct an interview with a parent or guardian.

Birth to three years old version contains 45 items total and six subscales: (1) Responsivity: the extent of responsiveness of the parent to the child; (2) Acceptance: parental acceptance of suboptimal behavior and avoidance of restriction and punishment; (3) Organization: including regularity and predictability of the environment; (4) Learning Materials: provision of appropriate play and learning materials; (5) Involvement: extent of parental involvement; and (6) Variety in daily stimulation. Eighteen items are based on observation, 15 on interview, and 12 on either observation or interview.

Preschool version contains 55 items in total and eight subscales: (1) Learning Materials; (2) Language Stimulation: overt attempts to foment language development; (3) Physical Environment; (4) Responsivity of Parent to Child; (5) Academic Stimulation: parental involvement in child’s intellectual development; (6) Modeling: parents’ demonstration of desirable behaviors; (7) Variety in Daily Stimulation and Enrichment; and (8) Acceptance: parental acceptance of suboptimal behavior and avoidance of unnecessarily harsh restriction or punishment (same as subscale 2 on the birth to three version). Twenty-one items are based on observation, and 12 may be based on observation or interview.

The Supplement to the HOME for Impoverished Families (SHIF) assesses the quality of the home environment of young children living in poor urban homes. The SHIF is a supplemental set of questions specific to low-income homes and should be used with the total HOME Inventory rather than as an independent assessment. The 20-item SHIF takes approximately eight minutes to score and uses the same scoring procedures as the HOME Inventory.

The measurement tool may be appropriate for programs that monitor parenting behaviors.

Administration Method
Creator(s) of Tool
Bettye M. Caldwell and Robert H. Bradley

Caldwell, B., & Bradley, R. (1984). Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment (HOME)-revised edition. Little Rock, AR: University of Arkansas, Little Rock.

The cost for this tool is $30-50 for manuals, $15 for IT forms, $25 for 50 EC forms.

To order materials, contact Lorriane Coulson, lrcoulson@ualr.edu, H.O.M.E Inventory LLC, Distribution Center or Robert H. Bradley, rbradle2@exchange.asu.edu.
Scoring / Benchmarking
The assessor enters a plus sign for each item if the behavior is observed or reported and a minus sign if it is not. Subscale and total inventory scores are derived by counting the number of plus signs. Scores are given at the time of observation, with no interpretation required after the visit.

The summary sheet provides the scores that fall into the lowest quartile, the middle half, and the upper quartile. Homes with scores in the lowest quartile are considered environments that pose an increased risk to children’s development. However, the authors recommend that the interviewer take notes while chatting with the parent and/or record information gleaned from the ice-breaker questions on the child and the family in order to provide a context for interpreting the HOME Inventory scores. In addition, the assessor should pay attention to patterns across the subscales; such patterns may provide information for use in developing and structuring an intervention.
Background / Quality
The HOME inventory has good predictive validity and moderate to high stability. Internationally recognized.
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