Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI)

Research Team: Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, Dr. Clyde Hertzman, Dr. Shelley Hymel, Lina Sweiss (RA), Martin Guhn (RA), Anne Gadermann (RA), Angela Lee (RA), Dr. Lori Irwin, Gillian CorlessMiddle Years Development Instrument

Participants: 9 and 12 year-olds (Grades 4 and 7)

Location: Schools throughout British Columbia

Description: The MDI is a self-report survey that is completed by students in grades 4 to garner information about their lives inside and outside of school. To develop a survey that children during the middle-childhood years are able to use to record their perceptions of their own health and well-being, a research team comprised of university researchers and community members reviewed more than 500 measures assessing dimensions of child well-being. The survey uses a developmental assets/strengths-based approach to assess 5 dimensions of children’s psychological and social lives. The five dimensions include Social and Emotional Development, Connectedness, School Experiences, Physical Health and Well-Being, and Constructive Use of Time.


Schonert-Reichl, K. A., & Guhn, M. (2013). The Middle Years Development Instrument. In A. C. Michalos (Ed.), Encyclopedia of quality of life research. NY: Springer Press.

Schonert-Reichl, K. A., Guhn, M., Gadermann, A. M., Hymel, S., Sweiss, L., & Hertzman, C. (2012). Development and validation of the Middle Years Development Instrument: Assessing children’s well-being and assets across multiple contexts. Social Indicators Research, 114, 345-369. DOI 10.1007/s11205-012-0149-y

Guhn, M., Schonert-Reichl, K. A., Gadermann, A., Marriott, D., Pedrini, L., Hymel, S., & Hertzman, C. (2012). Well-being in middle childhood: An assets-based population-level research-to-action project. Child Indicators Research, 2, 393- 418. DOI 10.1007/s12187-012-9136-8