The present study investigated the psychometric properties of the Scales for Assessing Emotional Disturbance – Third Edition: Rating Scale (SAED-3 RS), which is designed for use in identifying students with emotional disturbance for special education services. The purposes of this study were to evaluate (a) the measurement invariance of SAED-3 RS scores between White and African American students and (b) the impact of differential item functioning (DIF) on test scores from the SAED-3 RS. The sample consisted of 855 K-12 students from throughout the United States. The findings suggested that SAED-3 RS items exhibited small to negligible levels of DIF and that DIF did not significantly impact scores. The results supported the SAED-3 RS, a teacher-completed rating scale, as relatively consistent in measuring the emotional and behavioral status of school-age students from different racial backgrounds. Researchers and practitioners can have confidence that scores from the SAED-3 RS are not substantially affected by DIF when assessing the emotional and behavioral functioning of African American and White school-age students. Research limitations, future research, and implications for school professionals are discussed.
- Scales for Assessing Emotional Disturbance
- behavior disorders
- differential item functioning
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology