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The Behavioral And Emotional Rating Scale: Long Term Test-Retest Reliability

Michael H. Epstein, Melody A. Hertzog, Robert Reid

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Most assessment is conducted from a deficit perspective and is intended to identify deficits, problems, and pathologies of the individuals who are assessed. However, deficit-based assessment may present a biased picture that limits or ignores a child's strengths. In this article we report data on long-term (6-month) test-retest reliability of the Behavior and Emotional Rating Scale (BERS), which is a strength-based assessment instrument. Participants included 95 randomly selected children from general education classrooms and 26 children identified as having or being at risk for emotional or behavioral disorders. Moderate to high test-retest correlations ranging from .527 to .787 were found across the instrument's subscales. Moreover, the lack of significant differences between ratings indicate that rater drift did not occur. Results suggest that BERS scores are stable over a 6-month time frame. Implications for the use of the BERS are discussed.