Development and initial validation of a social emotional learning assessment for universal screening

Stephen Elliott, Michael D. Davies, Jennifer R. Frey, Frank Gresham, Greta Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is a critical aspect of schooling. While a theoretical model put forward by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) has defined five well-accepted components of SEL, few assessments claim to measure these SEL components. This study examined the initial validation of scores for a new universal screening measure called the Social Emotional Learning Screening Assessment (SELA). The SELA's content and internal structure were based on the CASEL five model and the existing SSIS Performance Screening Guide. As part of a larger project, experienced Australian teachers of 268 children from prep through year 3 provided initial user and psychometric evidence for the SELA. The results indicated the teacher-completed SELA is well aligned with the CASEL model and offers educators a time-efficient, sensitive, and reliable measure that effectively identifies students at-risk socially and academically. Although preliminary but promising, further research with the SELA is required to replicate and extend these findings to educators in US schools and to test its application with larger, more diverse samples of students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-51
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Applied Developmental Psychology
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018


  • Identification of at-risk children
  • Screening
  • Social emotional learning
  • Universal assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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