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Convergent Validity Of The Behavioral And Emotional Rating Scale With Primary Grade—Level Students

Michael H. Epstein, Philip D. Nordness, J. Ron Nelson, Melody Hertzog

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Two convergent validity studies of the Behavioral and Emotional Rating Scale (BERS; Epstein & Sharma, 1998), a standardized, norm-referenced instrument for assessing the emotional and behavioral strengths of children, were conducted with primary school—age students. In the first study, the BERS was compared with three social adjustment scales from the Systematic Screening for Behavior Disorders (Walker & Severson, 1990), a multigate screening system for identifying children at risk of behavior problems. In the second study, the BERS was compared with the subscales of the Scale for Assessing Emotional Disturbance (Epstein & Cullinan, 1998), a standardized, norm-referenced scale that assists in the identification of children who qualify for the federal special education category of emotional disturbance. Results indicated that the BERS demonstrated adequate convergent validity. The BERS instrument is recommended for identifying students with special needs, developing strength-based goals and interventions for areas requiring improvement, and evaluating outcomes.