Universal Wellness Screening-Monitoring

Social Emotional Distress Scale

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Other Assessment Resources

Students’ internal symptoms of psychological distress  were measured with a 10-item scale designed for this study that examined symptoms of anxious and depressed emotional experiences.  The items were as follows: I had a hard time breathing because I was anxious; I worried that I would embarrass myself in front of others; I was tense and uptight; I had a hard time relaxing; I felt sad and down; It was hard for me to cope and I thought I would panic; and I was scared for no good reason. Using the present study’s sample, we completed maximum likelihood confirmatory factor analyses using MPlus (Muthén & Muthén, 1998-2013). A two-factor model (anxious items and depression items) did not have adequate fit. The one-factor model (labeled Internal Distress) with seven items was supported by parallel analysis with factor loadings between .62 and .85, and adequate fit, CFI = .97, SRMR = .03. To provide additional verification, the one-factor model was evaluated using an independent sample of students attending a high school in an urban California community located more than 300 kilometers from the present study’s primary high school.  This measurement verification sample had 71 females, 140 males, and one person who reported another gender identification. There were 69% ninth graders and 31% tenth graders. The fit indices for this verification sample for the one-factor CFA were: CFI = .94, SRMR = .04. The internal consistency among the seven internal distress items was high (α = .90) for the current sample.


Key References

Dowdy, E., Furlong, M. J., Nylund-Gibson, K., Moore, S., & Moffa, K.  (2018). Initial validation of the Social Emotional Distress Scale to support complete mental health screening. Assessment for Effective Intervention. 43, 241–248. doi:10.1177/1534508417749871


Moffa, K., Dowdy, E., & Furlong. M. J. (2016). Exploring the contributions of school belonging to complete mental health screening. Australian Educational and Developmental Psychologist, 33, 16–32. doi:10.1017/edp.2016.8


The Psychological Sense of School Membership (PSSM) scale has been used for more than 20 years to measure students’ sense of school belonging, yet its psychometric properties have had limited examination with pre-adolescent children. This study investigated the utility and psychometrics of the PSSM in three primary school samples from the United States, China, and the United Kingdom. Exploratory factor analysis revealed good fit for a unidimensional factor structure in the US sample, which was subsequently confirmed in all three samples. Partial invariance across all three samples and full invariance across pairwise samples (United States and United Kingdom; United Kingdom and China) was found. Path analyses revealed significant positive relations of the PSSM total belonging score with gratitude and prosocial behavior, and significant negative relations with symptoms of distress. Future directions and implications are discussed.


Key Reference

Wagle, R., Dowdy, E., Yang, C., Pailkara, O., Castro, S., Nylund-Gibson, K., & Furlong, M. J. (2018). Preliminary investigation of the Psychological Sense of School Membership Scale with primary school students in a cross-cultural context. School Psychology International, 39, 568–586. doi:10.1177/0143034318803670

California School Climate and Safety Survey

This measure was designed specifically for use by school site safety planning teams. It is a student self-report questionnaire created to measure general school campus climate and personal safety-related experiences.

Multidimensional School Anger Inventory

The MSAI was developed to meet the need for a measure of youth school-related anger experiences. Schools are a primary socialization context that require youth to meet academic performance expectations while, simultaneously engaging in complex social relationships. For this reason, by their nature, schools place youth in situations that might cause stress and evoke anger. The MSAI fills the need for a self-report measure of adolescents' anger experiences in school situations.

School Membership Scale