Parents' assessment of students' social emotional learning competencies: The SSIS SEL brief scales-parent version

Stephen N. Elliott, Christopher J. Anthony, Pui wa Lei, James C. DiPerna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of this research was to develop a brief version of the well-established Social Skills Improvement System Social Emotional Learning (SSIS SEL) Parent Rating Form (2017) so that parents' voices are heard by schools where programs to facilitate children's social emotional learning (SEL) are increasingly popular. Background: Parents' observations of their children's social emotional skills based on social interactions within a family are potentially rich, but parents typically have not been included in universal SEL screenings conducted by schools. This information can contribute to a more complete picture of children's social emotional functioning and status. Method: Using an item response theory approach, items rated by parents on the SSIS SEL Rating Form were selected to maintain content representation and maximize estimated information while minimizing differential item functioning across gender and ethnicity. The parent ratings were for a nationally representative sample of 2,400 students grades K–12. Results: Initial evidence of reliability and validity for the resulting brief scales supports their use by parents for low-stakes assessment of SEL skill development. Conclusion: This new assessment holds promise for meaningfully documenting parents' observations of their children's SEL skills at home and in the community. Implications: The SSIS SEL Brief—Parent can be completed in 5 minutes and provides a picture of student SEL functioning that supplements teachers' assessments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1102-1121
Number of pages20
JournalFamily Relations
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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