Development of a scale to assess emotional disturbance

Michael H. Epstein, Douglas Cullinan, Gail Ryser, Nils Pearson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The Scale for Assessing Emotional Disturbance (SAED) was developed to operationally define the federal definition of emotional disturbance (ED) and to assist in the identification of children who qualify for the federal special education ED category. This study reports on the standardization of the SAED and examines the scale's factor structure, reliability, and construct validity. Data were collected on a national sample of children with ED and without ED. Data from the ED sample led to the identification of six behavior problem factors that correspond to the federal definition. The factors were determined to be highly internally consistent. Intercorrelations among subscales based on these factors supported the construct validity of the SAED, as did the fact that all subscales and an overall problem score were rated significantly higher among the ED sample than among the non-ED sample. Future research directions and useful practical applications of the SAED are suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-22
Number of pages18
JournalBehavioral Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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