Measures and References: Social Awareness & Relationship Skills

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Numerous measures exist to gain a full picture of a student's learning strengths and challenges. Following are examples of measures used to assess this Learner Factor. These measures should be administered and interpreted by experienced professionals.

Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA) (LeBuffe, Naglieri & Shapiro, 2012): Evaluates social-emotional competencies including Social Awareness & Relationship Skills for students in kindergarten to 8th grade. It also contains a screening tool, the DESSA-mini, to identify students who may require more extensive evaluation.


Bock, A. M., Gallaway, K. C., & Hund, A. M. (2015). Specifying links between executive functioning and theory of mind during middle childhood: Cognitive flexibility predicts social understanding. Journal of Cognition and Development, 16(3), 509-521.

Choudhury, S., Blakemore, S. J., & Charman, T. (2006). Social cognitive development during adolescence. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 1(3), 165-174

Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). (2003). Safe and sound: An educational leader's guide to evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL) programs. Chicago, IL: CASEL.

Demaray, M. K., & Malecki, C. K. (2002). Critical levels of perceived social support associated with student adjustment. School Psychology Quarterly, 17(3), 213-241.

Demaray, M. K., & Malecki, C. K. (2003). Perceptions of the frequency and importance of social support by students classified as victims, bullies, and bully/victims in an urban middle school. School Psychology Review, 32(3), 471-490.

Immordino-Yang, M.H., Darling-Hammond, L., & Krone, C. (2018). The brain basis for integrated social, emotional, and academic development: How emotions and social relationships drive learning. Retrieved from The Aspen Institute:

Kim, J., & Cicchetti, D. (2010). Longitudinal pathways linking child maltreatment, emotion regulation, peer relations, and psychopathology. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 51(6), 706-716.

Koenig, K. P., & Rudney, S. G. (2010). Performance challenges for children and adolescents with difficulty processing and integrating sensory information: A systematic review. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 64(3), 430-442.

Kowalski, R. M., & Limber, S. P. (2013). Psychological, physical, and academic correlates of cyberbullying and traditional bullying. Journal of Adolescent Health, 53(1), S13-S20.

LeBuffe, P. A., Naglieri, J. A., & Shapiro, V. B. (2012). The Devereux student strengths assessment-second step edition (DESSA-SSE). Lewisville, NC: Kaplan.

Liu, B., Huang, Z., Xu, G., Jin, Y., Chen, Y., Li, X., ... & Jing, J. (2016). Altruistic sharing behavior in children: Role of theory of mind and inhibitory control. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 141, 222-228.

McQuade, J., Murray-Close, D., Shoulberg, E., & Hoza, B. (2013). Working memory and social functioning in children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 115, 422-435.

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Oberle, E., & Schonert-Reichl, K. A. (2013). Relations among peer acceptance, inhibitory control, and math achievement in early adolescence. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 34(1), 45-51.

Pelco, L. E., & Reed-Victor, E. (2007). Self-regulation and learning-related social skills: Intervention ideas for elementary school students. Preventing School Failure: Alternative Education for Children and Youth, 51(3), 36-42.

Punch, R., & Hyde, M. B. (2011). Communication, psychosocial, and educational outcomes of children with cochlear implants and challenges remaining for professionals and parents. International Journal of Otolaryngology, 2011, 1-10.

Stipek, D. J., & Mac Iver, D. (1989). Developmental changes in children's assessment of intellectual competence. Child Development, 60, 521-538.