Life at Home: Same Time, Different Places - An Examination of the HOME Inventory in Different Cultures

Robert H. Bradley, Robert F. Corwyn, Leanne Whiteside-Mansell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


In this paper we review literature on the use of the HOME Inventory across cultures. We address issues pertaining to measurement equivalence and validity. Specifically, we focus on: (a) changes in the content of HOME made by researchers, (b) distributional properties of HOME scores, (c) the factor structure of HOME, and (d) correlations between HOME, family characteristics, child characteristics and environmental conditions. In most affluent, western countries, with their individualist orientations, HOME was used essentially as it was originally constructed. Researchers in less industrialized, more collectivist countries tended to express greater scepticism about the appropriateness of some HOME items, and several teams of researchers made modifications in the instrument The HOME total score showed theoretically meaningful (and similar) correlations with family structure, family status and child outcome measures across many cultures. Evidence attesting to the cultural equivalence (and validity) of HOME subscales was far less plentiful and compelling. In general, there seemed greater cross-cultural equivalence for items assessing cognitively stimulating aspects of the environment than for items assessing socioemotional support. The usefulness of the Inventory in other cultures and for cross-cultural comparisons depends on the purposes one has for using a measure of the home environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-269
Number of pages19
JournalInfant and Child Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Cross-cultural comparisons
  • Ecological perspective
  • Home environment
  • Measurement invariance
  • Parenting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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