Comparing Behavioral and Emotional Strengths of Students With and Without Emotional Disturbance

Matthew C. Lambert, Stacy Ann A. January, Jorge E. Gonzalez, Michael H. Epstein, Jodie Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study investigated evidence of the construct validity of scores from the Behavioral and Emotional Rating Scale (BERS-3), which is a multi-informant assessment designed to measure the behavioral and emotional strengths of school-aged youth. The purpose of this research was to evaluate the degree to which BERS-3 scores differed between students with school-identified emotional disturbance and students without disabilities. Two nationally representative samples were used in this study: (a) 1,575 students rated by teachers and (b) 793 youth who provided self-ratings. The results of multivariate multiple regression analyses supported the primary hypothesis that students with emotional disturbance would have lower scores on each of the five BERS-3 subscale scores compared to peers without disabilities. This finding held for both samples; however, differences between students with emotional disturbance and the peers without disabilities were substantially smaller for the youth self-ratings compared to teacher ratings. Implications for practice and directions for future research are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)999-1014
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Psychoeducational Assessment
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • assessment of interventions/outcomes
  • behavioral and emotional strengths
  • construct validity
  • emotional and behavioral disorders
  • emotional disturbance
  • strength-based assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Clinical Psychology
  • General Psychology


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