Graduate Program

School Psychology

Degree Name

Specialist in School Psychology

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Gary L. Canivez


The Adjustment Scales for Children and Adolescents (ASCA) and the Behavior Assessment System for Children-Teacher Rating Scale (BASC-TRS) are two relatively new behavior assessment devices designed to measure youth problem behavior. Both scales are designed to be completed by the child's classroom teacher and evaluated by qualified professionals. Both scales are unique in their construction and are considered to be technically adequate. Many of their syndromes/subscales and global scales/composites are similar in their name, nature, and descriptions according to their respective manuals. However, no research has been conducted establishing convergent evidence of construct validity between the two instruments. The present study attempted to provide this needed research by directly comparing the ASCA and BASC-TRS. A sample of children (n=52) referred for special education evaluation were participants in the study. Regular education teachers were asked to complete both scales on each child they referred. Comparisons between the two scales were studied through correlational analysis. Results indicated preliminary evidence for convergent validity between the two instruments on the core syndrome/subscale level with several correlation coefficients ranging from .50 to .70 for scales measuring similar traits. On the global scale/composite level, convergent validity was only established between the ASCA Overactivity global scale and the BASC-TRS externalizing composite. Nonsignificant mean differences between ratings on the two scales yielded further evidence of convergent validity among like syndromes/subscales and global scales/composites. The information provided in this study is beneficial to school psychologists and other educational professionals looking for a more psychometrically sound, less subjective methods of assessing problem behavior among youths.