HOME Inventory

The Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment (HOME) Inventory (Caldwell, & Bradley, 1984, 2003) is designed to measure the quality and quantity of stimulation and support available to a child in the home environment. The focus is on the child in the environment, child as a recipient of inputs from objects, events, and transactions occurring in connection with the family surroundings.


To reference the HOME Inventory please use the following citation:  

Caldwell, B. M., & Bradley, R. H. (2003). Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment: Administration Manual.  Tempe, AZ: Family & Human Dynamics Research Institute, Arizona State University.

Searchable Bibliography  (link opens in new window)

Inventory Versions

Infant/Toddler (0-3 yrs)

The Infant/Toddler (IT) HOME Inventory is designed for use during infancy (birth to age three). It is composed of 45 items clustered into six subscales: 1) Parental Responsivity, 2) Acceptance of Child, 3) Organization of the Environment, 4) Learning Materials, 5) Parental Involvement, and 6) Variety in Experience.


Early Childhood (3-6 yrs)

The Early Childhood (EC) HOME Inventory (formally the Preschool HOME) is designed for use between 3 and 6 years of age. It contains 55 items clustered into eight subscales: 1) Learning Materials, 2) Language Stimulation, 3) Physical Environment, 4) Parental Responsivity, 5) Learning Stimulation, 6) Modeling of Social Maturity, 7) Variety in Experience, and 8) Acceptance of Child.


Middle Childhood (6-10 yrs)

The Middle Childhood (MC) HOME Inventory (formally the Elementary HOME) is designed for use between 6 and 10 years. It contains 59 items clustered into eight subscales: 1) Parental Responsivity, 2) Physical Environment, 3) Learning Materials, 4) Active Stimulation, 5) Encouraging Maturity, 6) Emotional Climate, 7) Parental Involvement, and 8) Family Participation.


Early Adolescent (10-14 yrs)

The Early Adolescent (EA) HOME Inventory is designed for use from 10 to 15 years old. It contains 60 items clustered into 7 subscales: 1) Physical Environment, 2) Learning Materials, 3) Modeling, 4) Instructional Activities, 5) Regulatory Activities, 6) Variety of Experience, and 7) Acceptance & Responsivity.


The Short Form of the HOME Inventory: HOME-SF

The short form of the HOME Inventory (HOME-SF) was constructed for use in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79). As the title implies, it contains fewer items than the original instrument. Items in the HOME-SF are not organized into component scales like they are in the original HOME. In addition, the HOME-SF is administered in a manner different from that of the original HOME; specifically, most of the items are in the format of a structured interview. However, like the original HOME, several items from the HOME-SF are scored using direct observation of parent behavior. Unlike all items in the original HOME, items from the structured interview portion of the HOME-SF are scored using a multiple choice format. The HOME-SF is also used as part of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and the New Immigrant Study.


Adapted Versions and Other Applications

The Child Care (CC) HOME Inventory is used to assess quality in family child care in other home settings such as relative care or “baby sitters” (the Child Care HOME was not designed for use in child care centers). The Child Care HOME begins with an individual child and looks closely at the child care environment from that child’s perspective. Forms available are the Child Care Infant/Toddler HOME (CC-IT-HOME) and the Child Care Early Childhood HOME (CC-EC-HOME).

The Disability (DA) HOME Inventory is used to assess the environments of children with disabilities.

Administration and Scoring

Information needed to score the Inventory is obtained during a 45 to 90 minute home visit done during a time when the target child and the child’s primary caregiver are present and awake. Other family members, and even guests, can be present; but their presence is not necessary. The procedure is a low-key semi-structured observation and interview done so as to minimize intrusiveness and allow family members to act normally. Throughout the course of the visit observations of parent/child interaction and discussions with the parent about objects, events, and transactions that occur are probed and interpreted from the child’s point of view. The intent is to understand the child’s opportunities and experiences; in essence, to understand what life is like for the particular child in the child’s most intimate surroundings.

A binary-choice (yes/no) format is used in scoring items for the HOME. Psychometric information about the Inventories is found in the Administration Manual (Caldwell & Bradley, 1984).The alpha coefficients for the total scores are all above .90; and the inter-observer agreement for each measure is 90% or higher. The measure has been used throughout North and South America (including the Carribean), in several European and Asian countries, in Australia, and in at least two African nations. It has been used in a wide variety of clinical and research settings and to evaluate the impact of intervention programs.

Reviews of research on HOME can be found in Elardo & Bradley (1981), Bradley (1982), Gottfried (1984), Bradley & Caldwell (1988), Bradley (1994), Bradley, Corwyn, & Whiteside-Mansell (1996), and Bradley & Corwyn (2005).

Key References

Bradley, R.H., & Caldwell, B. (1977). Home observation for measurement of the environment: A validation study of screening efficiency. American Journal of Mental Deficiency, 81, 417-420.

Bradley, R.H. & Caldwell, B.M. (1979). Home observation for measurement of the environment: A revision of the preschool scale. American Journal of Mental Deficiency, 84, 235-244.

Bradley, R.H. & Caldwell, B.M. (1980). Home environment, cognitive competence and IQ among males and females. Child Development, 51, 1140-1148.

Elardo, R. & Bradley, R. (1981). The Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment: A review of research. Developmental Review, 1, 113-145.

Bradley, R.H. & Caldwell, B.M. (1982). The consistency of the home environment and its relation to child development. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 5, 445-465.

Bradley, R.H. & Caldwell, B.M. (1984). The HOME inventory and family demographics. Developmental Psychology, 20, 315-320.

Bradley, R.H. & Caldwell, B.M. (1984). The relation of infants' home environments to achievement test performance in first grade: A follow-up study. Child Development, 55, 803-809.

Bradley, R.H., Caldwell, B.M., Rock, S.L., & Harris, P. T. (1986). Early home environment and development of competence. Findings from the Little Rock longitudinal study. Children's Environments Quarterly, 3, 10-22.

Bradley, R.H., & Caldwell, B.M. (1988). Using the HOME inventory to assess the family environment. Pediatric Nursing, 14, 97-102.

Bradley, R.H., Caldwell, B.M., & Rock, S.L. (1988). Home environment and school performance: A ten-year follow-up and examination of three models of environmental action. Child Development, 59, 852-867.

Bradley, R.H., Rock, S.L., Caldwell, B.M, & Brisby, J.A. (1989). Uses of the HOME inventory for families with handicapped children. American Journal of Mental Retardation, 94, 313-330.

Head, D.N., Bradley, R.H., & Rock, S.L. (1990). Use of home environment measures with visually impaired children. Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, 84, 377-380.

Bradley, R.H., Rock, S.L., Caldwell, B.M., Brisby, J. A., Magee, M., & Whiteside, L. (1992). The HOME Inventory: A new scale for families of pre-and early adolescent children with disabilities. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 13, 313-333.

Holder-Brown, L., Bradley, R.H., Whiteside, L., Brisby, J.A., & Parette, H.P. (1993). Using the HOME inventory with families of children with orthopedic disabilities. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 5, 181-201.

Bradley, R.H. (1993). Children's home environments, health, behavior and intervention efforts: A review using the HOME Inventory as a marker measure. Genetic, Social, & General Psychology Monographs, 119, 439-490.

Bradley, R.H., Mundfrom, D.J., Whiteside, L., Barrett, K., & Casey, P.H. (1994). A factor analytic study of the infant/toddler and early childhood versions of the HOME inventory for white, black, and Hispanic Americans with low birthweight children. Child Development, 65, 880-888.

Rock, S.L., Head, D.N., Bradley, R.H., Whiteside, L., & Brisby, J.A. (1994). Use of the HOME inventory with families having children with disabilities. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 88, 140-151.

Bradley, R.H., Mundfrom, D.J., Whiteside, L. Caldwell, B.M., Casey, P.H., Kirby, R.S., & Hansen, S. (1994). The demography of parenting: A re-examination of the association between HOME scores and income. Nursing Research, 43, 260-266.

Sugland, B.W., Zaslow, M., Smith, J.R., Brooks-Gunn, J., Coates, D., Blumenthal, C., Moore, K. A., Griffin, T., & Bradley, R.H. (1995). The early childhood HOME Inventory and HOME-Short Form in differing racial/ethnic groups: Are there differences in underlying structure, internal consistency of subscales, and patterns of prediction? Journal of Family Issues, 16, 632-663.

Bradley, R. H., Corwyn, R. F., Caldwell, B. M., Whiteside-Mansell, L., Wasserman, G. A., & Mink, I. T. (2000). Measuring the home environments of children in early adolescence. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 10, 247-289.

Bradley, R. H., Corwyn, R. F., McAdoo, H. P., & Garcia Coll, C. (2001). The home environments of children in the United States. Part 1: Variations by age, ethnicity, and poverty status. Child Development, 72, 1844-1867.

Bradley, R. H., Corwyn, R. F., Burchinal, M., McAdoo, H. P., & Garcia Coll, C. (2001). The home environments of children in the United States. Part 2: Relations with behavioral development through age 13. Child Development, 72, 1868-1886.

Bradley, R.H., Caldwell, B. M., & Corwyn, R. F. (2003). The child care HOME Inventories: Assessing the quality of family child care homes. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 18, 294-309.

Bakermans-Kranenburg, M.J., van Izendoorn, M. H., & Bradley, R. H. (2005). Those who have receive: The Matthew-effect in early childhood intervention. Review of Educational Research, 75, 1-26.

Bradley,R.H. & Corwyn, R.F. (2005). Caring for children around the world: A view from HOME. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 26, 468-478.

Zevalkink, J., Riksen-Walraven, J. M., & Bradley, R.H. (2008). The quality of children’s home environment an attachment security in Indonesia. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 169, 72-91.

Dolan, M.M., Casanueva, C., Smith, K. R., & Bradley, R.H. (2009). Parenting and the home environment provided by grandmothers in the child welfare system. Children & Youth Services Review, 31, 784-796.

Bradley, R. H., Whiteside-Mansell, L., Casey, P. H., & Barrett, K. (2010). Impact of a 2-generation early education program on parenting processes at age 18. Journal of Family Psychology, 24, 478-484

Contact and Materials

To obtain materials for administering and scoring the HOME Inventories please use the links below. For questions regarding ordering please contact support@theconnectcenter.org.

A newly revised and updated HOME Inventory Administration Manual by Bettye M. Caldwell and Robert H. Bradley is now available. The Manual contains all the information needed to learn to use the HOME and to administer it in a variety of settings in which children of different ages reside or spend some of their time. The new Manual is available in several formats, as described below. Prospective users who are unfamiliar with the Inventory, or who are uncertain about the age group (infancy through adolescence), the setting (parental homes or child care), or the developmental status of the children in their samples (without or with known disability) are advised to order the Comprehensive Edition. In that volume all versions of the Inventory currently in use are fully described.

Shipping and handling charges will vary depending on the size of the order and the preferences of those who submit orders.

For questions regarding the HOME Inventory please contact:

Robert Bradley, PhD
PO Box 873701
Tempe, AZ 85287-3701