Mullen Scales of Early Learning (MSEL)

The Mullen Scales of Early Learning serve a purpose of assessing cognitive and motor ability.  Five scales – Gross Motor, Visual Reception, Fine Motor, Expressive Language, and Receptive Language – are used for targeting strengths and weaknesses in children.   The Mullen test is generally used for evaluating intellectual development and readiness for school.

Included in the questionnaire are three different forms depending on the age of the participant; a 15 minutes test for 1-year old participants, 25-35 minutes for 3-year old participants, and 40-60 minutes for 5-year old participants.


Eileen M. Mullen

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Reliability and Validity

Based on information provided instrument assessments (i.e. Early Childhood Assessment by Carol Schneider Lidz), various reliabilities are supported.  The median split-half internal consistency was above 0.80 for 3 of the subscales, but 0.79 and 0.75 for Visual Reception and Fine motor.  Test-retest intervals of one to two weeks and one to twenty-four months scored coefficients of 0.80 and 0.70 respectively.

Construct, concurrent, and criterion validity are all verified by independent studies and the technical manual for the Mullen Scales of Early Learning.   The correlations with the Bayley Psychomotor Development Index were extremely varied between subscales – Gross Motor (0.76) to 0.28 (Visual Reception).  The language scales correlated strongly with other languages test; 0.85 (Receptive), 0.72 (Expressive) for Auditory Comprehension and 0.72 (Receptive), 0.80 (Expressive) for Verbal Ability.  Mullen motor scales also compared moderately with other motor test, scoring 0.65 to 0.82 for various ages.

Administration, Analysis and Reporting

Statistics Solutions consists of a team of professional methodologists and statisticians that can assist the student or professional researcher in administering the survey instrument, collecting the data, conducting the analyses and explaining the results.

For additional information on these services, click here.


Bersoff, D.N. & Ericson, C.R. (1972).  A precise and valid measure of behavior and behavior change in the classroom.  Journal of School Psychology, 10(4), 361-366.

Byrnes, J. P., & Fox, N.A. (1998).  The educational relevance of research in cognitive neuroscience.  Educational Psychology Review, 10(3), 297-373.

Fowler, W. (1995).  Language interaction techniques for stimulation the development of at risk children in infant and preschool day care.  Early Child Development and Care, 111, 35-48.

Mullen, Eileen M. Mullen Scales of Early Learning. Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance Services, Inc., 1995

Dissertations and Journals

Akshoomoff, Nataca (2006).  Use of the Mullen Scales of Early Learning for the Assessment of Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.  Child Neuropsychology, 12(4-5):  269-277.

Ron Dumont, Carole L. Cruse, Vincent Alfonso, and Caryn Levine (2000).  Mullen Scales of Early Learning:  AGS Edition.  Journal of Psycho-educational Assessment, Vol. 18, No.4, 381-389.

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