Purpose: Assess positive social-emotional attributes of children and adolescents
Age range: 5 to 18 years
Admin: Individual or group
Admin time: 20 minutes
Scoring time: 20 minutes
The SEARS is a cross-informant system for assessing the social-emotional competencies of children and adolescents from multiple perspectives—self, parent, and teacher. Created as a strength-based assessment, the SEARS is closely tied to the ideas associated with the positive psychology movement and focuses on a child’s assets and strengths.
The SEARS includes separate student self-report assessment forms for children (ages 8 to 12 years and for adolescents (ages 13 to 18 years as well as teacher report forms for use with students with ages 5 to 18 years) and parent report forms for use with children of ages 5 to 18 years. The forms may be used for any combination of student, parent, and teacher assessment. All forms measure common constructs (e.g., self-regulation, responsibility, social competence, empathy), but also include items designed to capture the unique perspective of the rater. The rating forms are brief (ranging from 35 to 41 items each) and easy to use.
The SEARS system also offers separate short forms for children, adolescents, teachers, and parents, with just 12 items each. These forms have strong item-level psychometric properties and best reflect the global construct of social resiliency measured by the full-length rating forms. The short forms require very little time to administer and are thus very practical for repeated assessment, such as in progress monitoring, response-to-intervention approaches, group intervention outcome assessments, or class-wide or school-wide screening of students.
Facets of social-emotional behaviour are rated or assessed from a strength-based standpoint, meaning that individual items are phrased as desirable positive characteristics. Higher score values are assigned to ratings that are indicative of a child or adolescent possessing more of the desirable social-emotional characteristic.
The SEARS can be used with children and adolescents who exhibit a variety of clinical problems or disorders or who are at high risk for developing such disorders, particularly high-functioning autism or Asperger’s disorder (pervasive developmental disorder [PDD] spectrum), conduct disorders, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and internalising disorders.
Parent forms are available in Spanish, allowing non-English speakers to participate in their child’s evaluation.
SEARS Scoring Programme
The SEARS Scoring Program (SEARS-SP) offers Score Reports, which are available for all forms; Longitudinal Reports, which are based on short form administration and compare the child’s or adolescent’s self-report to the reports given by his or her teacher and parent over multiple administrations; and Integrated Score Reports, which are based on long form administration and compare the child’s or adolescent’s self-report to the reports given by his or her teacher and parent.
XP, Vista, 7
NTFS file system; CD-ROM drive for installation; Internet connection or telephone for activation