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.

Social Skills Rating System (SSRS) (Gresham & Eliiot, 1990): Assessment of children's prosocial skills, including self- control, cooperation, assertion, and empathy

Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA) (LeBuffe, Shapiro, & Naglieri, 2011): Rating scale for parents or teachers to evaluate social-emotional competencies including Social Awareness & Relationship Skills for students in kindergarten to eighth grade. It also contains a screening tool, the DESSA-mini, to identify students who may require further more extensive evaluation.


Aguilar-Pardo, D., Martinez-Arias, R., & Colmenares, F. (2013). The role of inhibition in young children's altruistic behaviour. Cognitive Processing, 14(3), 301-307.

Arnold, D. H., Kupersmidt, J. B., Voegler-Lee, M., & Marshall, N. (2013). The association between preschool children's social functioning and their emergent academic skills. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 27(3), 376-386.

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.

Bolaños, C., Gomez, M. M., Ramos, G., & Rios del Rio, J. (2015). Developmental risk signals as a screening tool for early identification of sensory processing disorders. Occupational Therapy International, 23(2), 154-164.

Blair, C., Mckinnon, R. D., & the Family Life Project Investigators. (2016). Moderating effects of executive functions and the teacher-child relationship on the development of mathematics ability in kindergarten. Learning and Instruction, 41, 85-93.

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.

Davis, Mark, H. (1983). Measuring individual differences in empathy: Evidence for a multidimensional approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44(1), 113-126.

Gresham, F.M., & Elliott, S.N. (1990). Social Skills Rating System (SSRS). Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance Service.

Hartas, D. (2012). Children's social behaviour, language and literacy in early years. Oxford Review of Education, 38(3), 357-376.

Hindman, A. H., Skibbe, L. E., Miller, A., & Zimmerman, M. (2010). Ecological contexts and early learning: Contributions of child, family, and classroom factors during Head Start, to literacy and mathematics growth through first grade. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 25(2), 235-250.

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

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.

Pollack, J.M., Atkins-Burnett, S., Najarian, M., and Rock, D.A. (2005). Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-99 (ECLS-K), Psychometric Report for the Fifth Grade (NCES 2006-036). U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.

Sutherland, K. S., Lewis-Palmer, T., Stichter, J., & Morgan, P. L. (2008). Examining the influence of teacher behavior and classroom context on the behavioral and academic outcomes for students with emotional or behavioral disorders. The Journal of Special Education, 41(4), 223-233.

Torres, M. M., Domitrovich, C. E., & Bierman, K. L. (2016). Preschool interpersonal relationships predict kindergarten achievement: Mediated by gains in emotion knowledge. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 39, 44-52.

Welsh, M., Parke, R. D., Widaman, K., & O'Neil, R. (2001). Linkages between children's social and academic competence: A longitudinal analysis. Journal of School Psychology, 39(6), 463-481.