Child Development with the D-score  book cover
1st Edition

Child Development with the D-score

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after December 16, 2022
ISBN 9781032106335
December 16, 2022 Forthcoming by CRC Press
160 Pages 78 Color & 9 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Children learn to walk, speak, and think at an astonishing pace. The D-score presents a unified framework that places children and their developmental milestones from different tools onto the same scale, enabling comparisons in child development across populations, groups and individuals. This pioneering text explains why we need the D-score, how we construct it, and how we calculate it. It will be of interest not just to professionals in child development, but also to policymakers in international settings and to data scientists.

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Table of Contents

Preface – Maureen Black

1. Child development with the D-score: Turning milestones into measurements - Stef van Buuren and Iris Eekhout

1.1 Introduction – with Marianne de Wolff

1.2 Short history

1.3 Quantifying child development

1.4 The D-score

1.5 Computation

1.6 Evaluation

1.7 Validity

1.8 Precision – with Manon Grevinga

1.9 Three studies – with Paula van Dommelen and Maria C. Olthof

1.10 Next steps

2. Child development with the D-score: Tuning instruments to unity - Iris Eekhout and Stef van Buuren

2.1. Introduction

2.2. Data

2.3. Comparability

2.4. Equate groups

2.5. Modelling equates

2.6. Comparing ability

2.7. Application I: Tracking a sustainable development goal

2.8. Application II: Who is on-track?

2.9. Discussion


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Stef van Buuren, PhD, is a professor of Statistical Analysis of Incomplete Data at the University of Utrecht and statistician at the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research TNO in Leiden. His interests include the analysis of incomplete data and child growth and development (h-index 61). Van Buuren is the inventor of the MICE algorithm for multiple imputation of missing data (>85.000 downloads per month) and has written the accessible monograph Flexible Imputation of Missing Data. Second Edition, CRC/Chapman & Hall. He designed the growth charts for the Dutch child health care system and invented the D-score, a new method for expressing child development on a quantitative scale. He consults for the World Health Organization and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. More background at and software at

Iris Eekhout holds a double masters in clinical psychology and methodology and statistics of psychology (Leiden University). She obtained her PhD at the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics of the VU University medical centre in Amsterdam. Her dissertation work resulted in novel ways of dealing with missing data in questionnaire items and total scores. Currently, Iris teaches a course on missing data analysis in the epidemiology master’s program at VU University medical centre. At TNO, Iris works on a variety of projects as a methodologist and statistical analyst related to child health, e.g., measuring child development (D-score) and adaptive screenings for psycho-social problems (psycat). More background at and software at