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IES Grant

Title: Development and Validation of Progress Monitoring Tools for Social Behavior
Center: NCSER Year: 2009
Principal Investigator: Gresham, Frank Awardee: Louisiana State University
Program: Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Competence      [Program Details]
Award Period: 5/15/2009 - 8/14/2013 Award Amount: $1,415,791
Type: Measurement Award Number: R324A090098

Purpose: Assessment tools that measure individual student progress in social behavior must not only allow for frequent measurement, be brief and easy to administer, they must also be reliable and valid. Otherwise, changes in observed scores across time may not accurately reflect student progress, and, more importantly, may contribute to inaccurate decisions regarding students' response to intervention. Although a number of general purpose measures of student social behavior had been used for progress-monitoring, there are currently no widely-accepted, reliable, and validated, brief behavior progress-monitoring tools. The purpose of this study is to develop a series of change-sensitive progress-monitoring tools called Brief Behavior Rating Scales (BBRS) that are efficient, practical, reliable, and valid. BBRS will be appropriate for classroom educators who need efficient and effective behavior progress-monitoring tools to monitor their students on a continuous and regular basis.

Project Activities: The research team will develop a series of change-sensitive, progress-monitoring tools to measure students' social skills and externalizing behaviors. This project will be conducted in two phases: Assessment Development and Assessment Evaluation. In the Assessment Development Phase of this project, the researchers will analyze data sets from two efficacy studies to identify and select change-sensitive items from three existing behavior rating scales. In the Assessment Evaluation Phase of this study, the researchers will conduct a series of measurement analyses to determine validity and reliability of the BBRS and evaluation studies to examine the efficiency and ease of use of the BBRS.

Products: The main product will be fully developed and validated continuous progress-monitoring tools for students' social behavior, along with data on their feasibility, efficiency, acceptability, validity, and reliability.

Structured Abstract

Setting: Public elementary schools in Louisiana.

Population: This study includes both extant samples of K–3 students obtained through the First Step social behavior invention program currently funded by IES and new samples of Louisiana elementary school students in K–4 and their teachers.

Intervention: N/A

Research Design and Methods: Years 1 and 2 of this project focus on item selection, item try-out, and scale construction. The research team will test different versions of the rating form, item wording, and teacher directions to evaluate the change-sensitivities of BBRS items. A series of psychometric analyses will be conducted to select the optimal items to be included in the final BBRS. Years 3 and 4 of this project focus on validation and evaluation. The researchers will conduct a series of measurement analyses to provide validity and reliability evidences associated with BBRS. Teachers, school counselors, school psychologists, and behavior specialists will be recruited to assess the efficiency and ease of use of BBRS.

Control Condition: N/A

Key Measures: Behavior Rating scales to be adapted to form the BBRS include the Social Skills Rating System — Teacher and Parent scales, the Teacher Report Form — Externalizing Scales, and the Child Behavior Checklist.

Data Analytic Strategy: Multiple statistical and measurement techniques will be used to evaluate the change-sensitivities of BBRS items and to construct the final BBRS including t-tests, calculation of effect sizes, and exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. Reliability and validity of BBRS will be established using sophisticated measurement techniques including multitrait-multimethod analyses to establish construct validity, test-retest reliability to evaluate the stability of BBRS, Generalizability Studies to evaluate generalizability of BBRS over different measurement conditions, and Decision Studies to estimate dependability of BBRS under different measurement design considerations.



Cook, C., Browning-Wright, D., Gresham, F.M., and Burns, M. (2010). Transforming School Psychology in the RTI era: A Guide for Administrators and School Psychologists. Horsham, PA: LRP Publications.

Walker, H.M., and Gresham, F.M. (in press). Handbook of Evidence-Based Practices for Addressing School-Related Behavioral Disorders. New York: Guilford Press.

Walker, H. M., & Gresham, F. M. (Eds.). (2013). Handbook of evidence-based practices for emotional and behavioral disorders: Applications in schools. New York: Guilford Publications

Book chapter

Cook, C.R., and Volpe, R. (in press). Progress Monitoring Behavior Using Brief, Change-Sensitive Rating Scales. In F.M. Gresham, and H.M. Walkers (Eds.), Evidence-Based Practices for Addressing School-Related Behavioral Disorders. New York: Guilford Press.

Gresham, F.M. (2011). Response to Intervention: Conceptual Foundations and Evidence-Based Practices. In M. Bray, and T. Kehle (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of School Psychology (pp. 607–618). Oxford, England: Oxford University Press?

Book chapter, edition specified

Walker, H.M., and Gresham, F.M. (2012). The School-Related Behavior Disorders Field: A Source of Innovation and Best Practices for School Personnel Who Serve Students With Emotional and Behavioral Disorders. In W. Reynolds, and G. Miller (Eds.), Handbook of Psychology, Vol 7, Educational Psychology (2nd ed., pp. 411–440). New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons.

Journal article, monograph, or newsletter

Cook, C.R., Dart, E., Collins, T., Grady, E., Vance, M., and DeCano, P. (2014). Evaluation of the Class Pass Intervention for Typically Developing Students With Hypothesized Escape-Motivated Distuptive Classroom Behavior. Psychology in the Schools, 51(2): 107–125. doi:10.1002/pits.21742

Cook, C.R., Dart, E., Collins, T., Restori, A.,Vance, M., and Fitts, P. (2013). Co-Occurring Reading and Behavior Problems: Transactional Relationship or Not? Implications for Intervention. Behavioral Disorders, 54: 65–79.

Frey, J., Elliott, S.N., and Gresham, F.M. (2011). Preschoolers' Social Skills: Advances in Assessment for Intervention Using Social Behavior Ratings. School Mental Health, 3(4): 179–190. doi:10.1007/s12310–011–9060–y

Gresham, F.M. (2011). Social Behavioral Assessment and Intervention: Observations and Impressions. School Psychology Review, 40(2): 275–283.