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Social-emotional assessment of deaf children : a comparison of two measures Potter, Anne Maree


The study was designed to permit consideration of two broad issues: (1) the applicability of using a rating scale designed to assess social-emotional functioning in hearing children with a deaf population and; (2) the functioning of a rating scale as a diagnostic instrument for deaf children. To this end, ninety-three,7 to 16 year old deaf children at a school for the deaf were rated by their teachers using two rating scales: an adapted version of Rutter's Children's Behaviour Questionnaire, a screening instrument designed for hearing children; and the Meadow/Kendall Social Emotional Assessment Inventory (SEAI), a scale designed specifically for deaf children and purporting to provide differential diagnostic information on a deaf child's social-emotional functioning. Item behaviour of the two rating instruments and correlations of the scales with each other and with global teacher judgements were analyzed to investigate the applicability of the adapted Rutter scale with a deaf population. Examination of these data showed that, using teacher judgement as a validity criterion, the Rutter scale had higher item and test validity than the SEAI. Moreover, correlations between the SEAI and the Rutter questionnaire were moderately high. These results suggest that the adapted Rutter scale is applicable with a deaf population. Intercorrelational analyses between the three scales of the SEAI and the percentage of children identified by each measure as having social-emotional problems were examined to investigate the differential diagnostic functioning of the SEAI. Correlations between the three scales were moderately high. All three scales identified nearly one third of the population as having social-emotional problems, while the Rutter scale, designed to "over-identify", identified just over one third. These results call into question the use of the SEAI as anything other than a screening instrument. Finally, additional analyses to examine the reliability of the two rating scales and teacher judgement were conducted. All three measures had a high reliability.

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