Making Sense

Building communities where children thrive
starts with understanding how they live.


Understanding the Middle Years Context


Explore the Building Blocks of the MDI


Access and Interpret Your MDI Data

The MDI provides a common framework for understanding how children are thriving.

Middle Childhood – from ages 6 through 12 – is a time of enormous physical, emotional, and cognitive growth. Children become more conscious of themselves and their identities, are more aware of social customs and interactions, seek more freedom and autonomy, and expand their capacity for abstract thinking.

MDI 101
Dimensions of Well-Being

The Middle Years Development Instrument offers a unique lens into the world of children aged 6-12, by measuring their well-being and exploring the assets in their communities and schools that support and strengthen their healthy development.

  • Ages:
    Grade 4 & Grade 7

  • Administered:
    At school via online password-protected survey. Approximately 30-90 minutes to complete.

  • Privacy:
    Identifiable information removed. Records are encrypted and stored in a highly secure data storage facility. Parents/guardians and children may opt-out at any time.

  • Uses:
    Data paints a picture of well-being at a group level; aligns with BC Core Competencies

  • Data Sharing:
    HELP produces reports for schools, school districts and communities in shareable formats.

  • Documentation:
    The MDI Technical Guide offers the full list of measures, individual questions and response scales.
The 5 things You Need to Know about the MDI

Social & Emotional Development
Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the development of skills or competencies that help us positively relate to one another.

Physical Health & Well-Being
The MDI asks children about their body image and overall health, sleep habits, nutrition, and frequency of meals with family at home.

The MDI asks children to provide information on their relationships with both adults and peers in their lives.

After-School Time
The environments in which children live and play are important, yet we know very little about how and where school-aged children actually spend their after-school hours.

School Experiences
The MDI asks children to reflect on their academic potential and to provide information on school climate, belonging, and their personal experiences with bullying.

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