The Global Assessment of School Functioning (GASF): Criterion validity and interrater reliability

Arthur Maerlender, Joseph Palamara, Jonathan Lichtenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Global Assessment of School Functioning (GASF) provides a robust estimate of a student's overall level of functioning within the school environment. It is intended to capture a global metric reflecting academic, social and general behavioral functioning within the school. It is a modification of the Global Assessment of Functioning and reflects functioning across academics, interpersonal relationships, school behavior, and school participation. It was developed to allow school personnel a means to communicate the general level of student functioning without reverting to specific issues or immediate concerns. This paper reports on the scale's criterion validity and interrater reliability. Confirmations of the scale structure and descriptors were obtained using subject matter experts, who confirmed descriptor's criterion validity. Vignettes were developed and then rated by 64 educators to establish interrater reliability. Strong intraclass correlations (ICC) were obtained supporting the GASF reliability (single measure absolute agreement ICC = 0.998, 95th percentile confidence interval = 0.994 to 1.00). With appropriate use, this tool has value for all school personnel as a general indicator of student functioning and as a point of student reference in school team considerations. Anecdotal evidence indicates it can be used for overall progress monitoring as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)990-998
Number of pages9
JournalPsychology in the Schools
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020


  • functioning
  • global
  • school

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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