Psychometrics of the Symptoms and Functioning Severity Scale for High-Risk Youth

Kristin Duppong Hurley, Matthew C. Lambert, Amy Stevens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Youth in residential care have significant mental health needs, which require regular progress monitoring; however, very few emotional or behavioral assessments have been examined with this unique, high-risk population. This study examined the psychometrics of the Symptoms and Functioning Severity Scale (SFSS), a brief 24-item measure designed to assess the emotional and behavioral status of youth. This study examined the SFSS ratings from 143 youth with a disruptive behavior diagnosis living in a group-home facility in the Midwest and 52 of their service providers. Overall, the findings suggest that the psychometrics of the SFSS, when rated by staff or youth, were similar to the original outpatient clinical samples. More specifically, the Rasch analyses indicate that the SFSS items and the overall scale are performing adequately, and the confirmatory factor analyses replicated the two-factor structure for staff. However, the fit of the two-factor model was less compelling for youth ratings. In all, the brief SFSS seems a promising measure for assessing problem severity for youth in residential care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)206-214
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • behavior scale
  • out-of-home care
  • psychometrics
  • youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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