School Social Behavior Scales User's Guide, Second Edition

Authors: Kenneth W. Merrell Ph.D., Paul Caldarella Ph.D.

Format: Paperback, 128 pages, 8.5 x 11.0
ISBN: 9781557669896
Price: $49.95

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Social Behavior Scales at-a-glance


Catching "red flag" behaviors early is the key to helping children and adolescents before social-emotional difficulties become major roadblocks to academic success and personal adjustment. Now there are two easy, reliable tools that give K–12 education professionals the complete picture of a child's social-emotional strengths and risk behaviors' in school (SSBS-2) and at home and in the community (HCSBS). Used in tandem, these two tools are the perfect way to

  • identify children with problem behaviors
  • target classroom interventions and develop IEPs
  • measure the effectiveness of interventions over time
  • remove barriers to learning and help children reach their goals
  • bring families into the process to provide the best support for children

Teachers or other school personnel complete SSBS-2, a simple 2-page rating scale that looks at both Social Competence and Antisocial Behavior. Specific items on both positive and negative behaviors give users accurate results and provide direction for intervention and support in school.

To ensure that screening doesn't stop with the school day, follow up with HCSBS set up like SSBS-2 and completed by a parent or other person who knows the child well—to evaluate the child's behavior at home and in the community. Together, these easy-to-use tools provide the most complete information about a child's behavior, help families see where their children need the most support, and improve outcomes by extending behavior screening and intervention beyond the classroom.

Social Behavior Scales at a Glance

  • Screens both positive and negative behaviors, so users get the big picture of a child's social and emotional development.
  • Norm-referenced and standardized norming sample included children from diverse backgrounds and with a wide range of disabilities.
  • Highly reliable and valid (results of studies are included in the User's Guide) Completed by those who know the child best—teachers, parents, and community members.
  • Used for 15 years. Updated since the popular first edition with more research and a more teacher-friendly user's guide, SSBS-2 has been used by educators across the country.
  • No training and very little time required—easy to complete in minutes.
  • Screens behaviors inside and outside the classroom, so users get the full picture of the child's behavior and can target interventions.

The SSBS-2 User's Guide is part of SSBS-2 and HCSBS, two easy, reliable tools used in tandem to determine a childs social-emotional strengths and risk behaviors in school (SSBS-2) and at home and in the community (HCSBS). Norm-referenced and standardized, these K–12 screeners help educators identify children with problem behaviors, target classroom interventions, measure the effectiveness of interventions over time, remove barriers to learning, and bring families into the process to provide the best support for children.

All Social Behavior Scales Products

Home and Community Social Behavior Scales:

School Social Behavior Scales:


Review by: Kerri Cox, School Counselor, Cleveland Elementary School, Sioux Falls School District
"An invaluable tool for identifying priorities and setting goals for individual counseling in a school. While I have used several tools to assess student behavior over the years, the SSBS addresses the social competence and antisocial behavior patterns that are crucial for social and academic success."
Review by: Susan Dennison, Associate Professor, Department of Social Work, University of North Carolina, Greensboro
"Provides so much data on students' strengths and problems . . . I highly recommend this scale for measuring student outcomes."
Review by: Angela Townend, Clinical Program Manager, Catholic Family Services of Durham
"Very helpful in terms of collecting a base measure and doing post group follow up to measure change. The tests are user friendly and we had a great response rate from the teachers."
Review by: Connie Maciejewski, JCH Resources, LLC, Muskegon, MI
"Both scales are quick and easy to complete for teachers and for parents, while giving an accurate assessment of student functioning. They are also quick and easy to score. I don't know what I would do without these scales!"

Table of Contents

About the Author

  1. Introduction to the SSBS-2 
Overview of the SSBS-2
Unique Features 
Contents and Organization
Forms of Social Behavior
Social Competence
Antisocial Behavior
Social Adjustment
Issues in Using Behavior Rating Scales
General Characteristics
Recommended Practices 
  1. Administration and Scoring Procedures
Completing the Rating Form
User Qualifications
Qualifications for Completing the Rating Form 
Qualifications for Scoring the Rating Form
Qualifications for Interpreting the Results 
Directions for Scoring the Rating Form
Step 1: Calculate Subscale Raw Scores
Step 2: Calculate Total Raw Scores
Step 3: Convert Raw Scores to T-Scores and Percentile Ranks 
Step 4: Identify and Record Social Functioning Levels 
  1. Interpreting and Using HCSBS Scores
Three-Level Interpretation Strategy 
Interpretation Level 1: T-Scores and Percentile Ranks 
Interpretation Level 2: Social Functioning Levels 
Interpretation Level 3: Qualitative Inspection of Individual Items 
Case Study
Level 1: T-Scores and Percentile Ranks 
Level 2: Social Functioning Levels 
Level 3: Individual SSBS-2 Item Ratings
Cross-Informant Assessment with the SSBS-2
Using the SSBS-2 in Functional Behavior Assessment
Linking Assessment to Intervention
  1. Development, Standardization, and Normative Information 
Instrument Development Procedures 
Development Procedures for the First Edition
Modifications for the Second Edition 
Data Collection Procedures 
Characteristics of the Norming Sample
School Setting
Communities, States, and Geographic Regions
Race and Ethnicity
Socioeconomic Status
Special Education Participation
Grade Level
Development of Score Conversion Tables 
  1. Reliability of the SSBS-2 
Internal Consistency Reliability
Standard Error of Measurement
Test-Retest Reliability 
Interrater Reliability
  1. Validity of the SSBS-2
Evidence Based on Test Content 
Evidence Based on Internal Structure
Factor Structure 
Intercorrelations Among SSBS-2 Scale Scores 
Evidence Based on Relations to Other Variables: Convergent and Discriminant Validity Studies
SSBS-2 and Waksman Social Skills Rating Scale 
SSBS-2 and Conners Parent Rating Scale-39 
SSBS-2 and Scale of Social Competence and School Adjustment
SSBS-2 and Sociometric Status
SSBS-2 and Achenbach System of Empirically-Based Assessment
SSBS-2 and Preschool and Kindergarten Behavior Scales 
Summary of Convergent and Discriminant Validity Studies 
Evidence Based on Relations to Other Variables: Test-Criterion Relationships 
SSBS-2 and Direct Behavioral Observation 
SSBS-2 and Self-Perception Profile for Children 
Summary of Studies of Test-Criterion Relationships 
Evidence Based on Consequences of Testing
Group Differences: Special Education Status
Group Differences: At-Risk Status
Group Differences: Social Behavior of Gifted Students
Group Differences: Gender
Summary of Studies of Group Differences
Sensitivity to Treatment Outcomes
Outcome Evidence: A Prevention Program 
Outcome Evidence: Anger Control Training 
Outcome Evidence: Group Counseling for Student Success Skills 
Future Research 
Appendix A: Score Conversion Tables for Grades K-6
Appendix B: Score Conversion Tables for Grades 7-12

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