UBC Theses and Dissertations
Validity of the Devereux Early Childhood Assessment instrument Van Leeuwen, Sarah
Parent ratings of social-emotional development on standardized assessment instruments for a sample of 69 kindergarten children in a mid-size Canadian city are utilized to examine the validity of the Devereux Early Childhood Assessment (DECA; LeBuffe & Naglieri, 1999a). Results provide support for the DECA's reliability and internal validity when used with a sample different from the standardization sample. In general, results illustrate an expected pattern of convergence and divergence between the DECA scales and scales from two comparison instruments, the Behavior Assessment System for Children, Second Edition (Reynolds & Kamphaus, 2004) and the Preschool and Kindergarten Behavior Scales, Second Edition (Merrell, 2002). The DECA's protective factor scales relate positively to other measures of social skills/adaptive behaviours, and negatively to other measures of problematic/clinical behaviours; these correlations were strongest for the DECA's Self-Control scale, and weakest for the DECA's Attachment scale. The DECA’s Behavioral Concerns screener scale related negatively to other measures of social skills/adaptive behaviours, and positively to other measures of problematic/clinical behaviours, particularly those reflecting externalizing behaviour problems. The DECA is a psychometrically sound instrument that makes an important and unique contribution to the field of social-emotional assessment of young children.
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