The Social-Emotional Assets
and Resilience Scales (SEARS)
A New Way of Assessing Children's Social and Emotional Behavior
Researchers from the Oregon Resiliency Project at the University of Oregon are developing a new set of strength-based social-emotional assessments for children and adolescents. The Social-Emotional Assets and Resiliency Scales (SEARS) are being designed as cross-informant measures of students' assets and resilience, taking into account problem-solving skills, interpersonal skills, the ability to make and maintain friendships, the ability to cope with adversity, and the ability to be optimistic when faced with adversity. Our goal for these measures is to help move the field of behavioral, social, and emotional assessment more into the realm of strength-based assessment, as a balance to the historical focus on assessing problems or psychopathology. When completed, the SEARS scales are intended to be used for screening, assessment and decision making, intervention planning, intervention monitoring and evaluation, program evaluation, and research. The initiation of the SEARS project was influenced by the positive psychology movement as well as the problem-solving orientation to educational and psychological service delivery.
The cross informant scales of the SEARS system include:
- SEARS-C: a
35 item self-report measure for students in grades 3 through 6
SEARS-A: a 35-item self-report measure for students in grades 7 through 12
SEARS-T: a 41-item teacher report rating scale for assessing students
SEARS-P: a 39-item parent report rating scale for assessing children and adolescents
Each of the SEARS rating scales includes
items related to the following clusters of social-emotional
assets: Responsibility, Self-Regulation, Social Competence,
and Empathy. The items across the four versions of the system
have much in common, but differ according to developmental
level, setting for the rating, and context of the rating.
Availability of SEARS Measures
The research and development versions of
the SEARS system are no longer available for experimental
use. We anticipate that
publication and general availability of the scales will occur
in September, 2011. The SEARS will be published and
distributed by PAR Assessments, one of the most influential
and widely-respected publishers of psychological and
educational assessment tools. Check the PAR website at
information regarding availability of SEARS.
SEARS Research Papers and Publications
We are pleased to announce that the first wave of preliminary research studies have been completed, and we now have research papers available regarding the SEARS assessments. These initial studies are preliminary, and we anticipate the subsequent studies and publications will help to further clarify and details the reliability, validity, and clinical and research uses of the scales. We will add to this collection as new studies are completed or current studies are expanded. Click on the active links for the following references for PDF versions of these papers and publications.
Cohn, B., Merrell, K. W., Felver-Grant, J., Tom, K., & Endrulat, N. (2009, February). Strength-based assessment of social and emotional functioning: SEARS-C and SEARS-A. Presented at the Meeting of the National Association of School Psychologists, Boston.
Endrulat, N. R., Tom, K., & Merrell, K. W.
(2009, August). Strength-based assessment:
Applications and development of the Social-Emotional Assets and Resilience
Scales, parent version. Presented at the meeting of the American
Psychological Association, Toronto, Canada.
Endrulat, N. R., Tom, K.,
Ravitch, K., Wesley, K., & Merrell, K. W. (2010, March).
in positive social emotional functioning. Presented at
the meeting of the National Association of School
Felver-Gant, J., & Merrell, K. W. (2009, February). Teacher's ratings of student's assets and resilience: Development of the SEARS-T. Presented at the Meeting of the National Association of School Psychologists, Boston.
Tom, K., Merrell, K. W., Endrulat, N. R., Cohn, B., & Felver-Gant, J. C. (2009, February). Assessing positive youth characteristics: Development and structure of the SEARS-P. Presented at the Meeting of the National Association of School Psychologists, Boston.