Positive experiences in middle childhood build the foundation for healthy adolescence and adulthood. Data from the MDI guide schools, families, and communities to improve the lives of children during these critical years of growth and transition.
The Middle Years Development Instrument is a voluntary self-report questionnaire completed online by children in Grades 4 through 8 about their lives in school, in the home and in the community, from their own perspective.
The MDI has been implemented in British Columbia, across provinces and territories in Canada, and by international governments and research institutions with language translations and cultural adaptations made where appropriate.
Experiences in the middle years—especially between the ages of 10 to 13 years—have critical and long-lasting effects. During this time, children experience significant cognitive, biological, social, and emotional changes that establish their lifelong identity and set the stage for successful development in adolescence and adulthood.
Children’s voices matter. One of the core beliefs that is foundational to the MDI is that children’s voices deserve to be heard and responded to by the people across the multiple contexts in which they live. Asking children about their feelings, relationships, environments, and daily lives affords them with a critical opportunity to provide information about their well-being and the assets in their lives that would otherwise be inaccessible. Learning from children directly— in their own voices—can provide essential data to support evidence-based decision making for the design and implementation of programs and practices that promote children’s social and emotional health and well-being, funding priorities, and policy development across sectors.
The Middle Years Development Instrument helps shine light on the well-being, health, and assets of children during this critical time in their development. Find out more about what the MDI measures.