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ERIC Number: EJ900920
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 11
ISSN: ISSN-0279-6015
Behavioral Assessment within Problem-Solving Models: Finding Relevance and Expanding Feasibility
Evans, Steven W.; Owens, Julie Sarno
School Psychology Review, v39 n3 p427-430 2010
In the last several decades, investigators have made remarkable strides in developing and evaluating school-based prevention and intervention strategies for elementary school-age youth focused on the development of healthy social, emotional, and behavioral skills. Although there has been rigorous examination of the efficacy of some of these programs, many of the evaluations are characterized by pre-post and follow-up designs with assessment occasions that are separated by months. Given current policies and practices such as prereferral intervention mandates, response to interventions models, and continuous performance monitoring systems, educators and school mental health professionals are in need of tools that assess a student's response to intervention in the context of a shorter time frame (e.g., short-cycle assessments). Investigators' reports in this special issue have emphasized efficiency while trying to maintain defensibility by: (1) examining multiple methods of selecting items from existing rating scales to create shorter instruments for use in screening, progress monitoring, and response to intervention; (2) identifying the fewest data points necessary for a reliable estimate of student behavior using direct observation and direct behavior ratings; and (3) examining the utility of permanent products, such as office discipline referrals, as a behavioral assessment tool for predicting student risk and need for intervention. For the most part, improvements in feasibility were equated with reduced effort (i.e., shorter rating scales or fewer observations). It is reasonable to argue that tasks requiring less effort are more likely to be considered feasible than tasks requiring more effort. However, the authors argue that amount of effort is only one aspect of feasibility, one that may be necessary but not sufficient to produce desired outcomes. In this article, the authors discuss other critical dimensions of feasibility, and propose that future assessment tools also need to produce results that have high relevance to the educators, psychologists, and others who use them.
National Association of School Psychologists. 4340 East West Highway Suite 402, Bethesda, MD 20814. Tel: 301-657-0270; Fax: 301-657-0275; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A