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ERIC Number: EJ1163446
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Dec
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1045-3830
Protective Factor Screening for Prevention Practice: Sensitivity and Specificity of the Dessa-Mini
Shapiro, Valerie B.; Kim, B. K. Elizabeth; Robitaille, Jennifer L.; LeBuffe, Paul A.
School Psychology Quarterly, v32 n4 p449-464 Dec 2017
The Devereux Student Strengths Assessment Mini (DESSA-Mini; Naglieri, LeBuffe, & Shapiro, 2011/2014) was designed to overcome practical obstacles to universal prevention screening. This article seeks to determine whether an entirely strength-based, 8-item screening instrument achieves technical accuracy in routine practice. Data come from a district-wide implementation of a new social emotional learning (SEL) initiative designed to promote students' social-emotional competence. All students, kindergarten through Grade 8, were screened using the DESSA-Mini. A random 5 students per classroom received additional assessment. Concurrent and predictive criterion studies were conducted using the full DESSA as well as administrative records of serious disciplinary infraction. The DESSA-Mini showed excellent internal reliability, exceeding 0.90. Negligible to small differences were found between scores on the DESSA-Mini screen and the DESSA full assessment. Classification consistency between the DESSA-Mini and the DESSA was high (87%-94%) in routine practice, with sensitivity and specificity estimates exceeding Glascoe's (2005) standards. Finally, predictive validity of the DESSA-Mini was reliable; students screened as having a Need for SEL Instruction at the beginning of the year were 4.5 times more likely to have a record of serious disciplinary infraction at the end of the school year compared with those who were not identified (p < 0.001). These findings compare quite favorably with other instruments used in schools to screen entire student populations, in cases where such analyses have been conducted, and is consistent with a practice preference of identifying, but not overidentifying, students for accelerated preventative interventions for mental, emotional, and behavioral problems.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A