Psychometric analysis of the BASC-2 behavioral and emotional screening system (BESS) student form: Results from high school student samples


The Behavioral and Emotional Screening System (BESS) is a relatively new method for identifying behavior and emotional risk (BER) in children and adolescents. Psychometric evidence regarding this instrument is important for researchers and practitioners considering the use of the BESS for identifying BER in students. Previous psychometric research specifically regarding the BESS Student Form involved the use of samples of elementary and middle school-age children. This study adds to the psychometric evidence for scores on the BESS Student Form by using samples of high school aged students to assess both the factor structure reported by Dowdy, Twyford et al. (2011) and the measurement invariance of the BESS items with regard to ethnicity, English language proficiency, and socioeconomic status. The results indicate that while the proposed 4-factor structure of the BESS Student Form is appropriate, lower than preferred reliabilities for some of the factors indicates that reporting the overall risk T score is more appropriate than reporting factor scores for risk classification purposes. Additionally, the BESS Student Form items did not exhibit measurement bias when comparing across ethnicities, language proficiency classification, or socioeconomic status (via free/reduced lunch classification).

Publication Title

Psychological Assessment