Convergent Validity of the Behavioral and Emotional Rating Scale for Youth in Community Mental Health Settings

Matthew C. Lambert, Stacy Ann A. January, Michael H. Epstein, Mary Spooner, Tesfayi Gebreselassie, Robert L. Stephens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Traditionally, assessment of youths’ emotional and behavioral functioning within community mental health is conducted from a deficit-based approach, often excluding the measurement of strengths. Assessing youths’ emotional and behavioral strengths can provide a comprehensive understanding of youths’ functioning and better inform treatment planning. The Behavioral and Emotional Rating Scale-Second Edition (BERS-2) is a standardized, norm-referenced assessment of the behavioral and emotional strengths of youth ages 5–18. The psychometric properties of the BERS-2 scores are well established; however, most previous studies have focused on youth within school settings. As such, the purpose of the present study was to evaluate the convergent validity of the scores from the caregiver version of the BERS-2 with a large, diverse sample of youth referred for community mental health services. The correlation coefficients between the BERS-2 scores and scores from the Child Behavior Checklist and the Columbia Impairment Scale were moderate to large, and in the expected directions. Thus, findings support the convergent validity and use of the BERS-2 scores for youth receiving community mental health services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3827-3832
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number12
StatePublished - Apr 17 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavioral strengths
  • Community mental health
  • Convergent validity
  • Rating scales
  • Strength-based assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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