Advertisement

The California School Psychologist

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 9–19 | Cite as

Strength-Based Assessment and School Psychology: A Summary and Synthesis

  • Shane R. Jimerson
  • Jill D. Sharkey
  • Vanessa Nyborg
  • Michael J. Furlong
Special Topic Article

Abstract

During the past decade there has been an increasing interest in positive psychology, which promotes a shift away from the traditional deficit-based model of mental health to a framework that emphasizes social-emotional strengths. The building of strengths and an emphasis on the prevention of problems are at the forefront of positive psychology and equally important in the field of school psychology. Based on a review of the extant literature, this article addresses four important questions: (a) What is strength-based assessment? (b) Why use strength-based assessment in school psychology? (c) What are examples of strength-based assessments? and (d) What are the limitations and needs for further research related to strength-based assessment? Implications for both research and practice are emphasized throughout.

Key Words

Strength-Based Assessment School Deficits Assets Strengths 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Anthony, E. J. (1987). Risk, vulnerability, and resilience: An overview. In E. J. Anthony & B. Cohler (Eds.), The invulnerable child (pp. 3–48). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  2. Baker, J. A., Dilly, L. J., Aupperlee, J. L., & Patil, S. A. (2003). The developmental context of school satisfaction: Schools as psychologically healthy environments. School Psychology Quarterly, 18, 206–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barnett, D. W., Bauer, A. M., Ehrhardt, K. E., Lentz, F. E., & Stollar, S. A. (1996). Keystone targets for change: Planning for widespread positive consequences. School Psychology Quarterly, 11, 95–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brown, J. H., D’Emidio-Caston, M., & Benard, B. (2000). Resilience education. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.Google Scholar
  5. Buckley, M., Storino, M., & Saarni, C. (2003). Promoting emotional competence in children and adolescents: Implications for school psychologists. School Psychology Quarterly, 18, 177–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Butler, K. (1997). The anatomy of resilience. The Family Therapy Networker, 21, 22–31.Google Scholar
  7. Chafouleas, S. M., & Bray, M. A. (2004). Introducing positive psychology: Finding a place within school psychology. Psychology in the Schools, 16, 1–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Clark, M. D. (1999). Strength-based practice: The ABC’s of working with adolescents who don’t want to work with you. Retrieved February 27, 2001, from http://www.drugs.indiana.edu/prevention/assets/asset2.html
  9. Constantine, N., Benard, B., & Diaz, M. (1999). Measuring protective factors and resilience traits in youth: The Healthy Kids Resilience assessment. Paper presented at the Seventh Annual Meeting of the Society for Prevention Research, New Orleans, LA.Google Scholar
  10. Cowan, P., Cowan, C. P., & Schultz, M. (1996). Thinking about risk and resilience in families. In E. M. Hetherington & E. Blechman (Eds.), Stress, coping and resilience in children and families (pp. 155–172). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  11. Ciarrochi, J., Chan, A. Y. C., & Bajgar, J. (2001). Measuring emotional intelligence in adolescents. Personality & Individual Differences. 31, 1105–1119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Daleiden, E. L., Vasey, M. W., & Williams, L. L. (1996). Assessing children’s state of mind: A multitrait, multimethod study. Psychological Assessment, 8, 125–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Doll, B., & Lyon, M. A. (1998). Risk and resilience: Implications for the delivery of educational and mental health services in schools. School Psychology Review, 27, 348–363.Google Scholar
  14. Eisenberg, N., Fabes, R. A., Guthrie, I. K., Murphy, B., Maszk, P., Holgren, R., & Suh, K. (1996). The relations of regulation and emotionality to problem behavior in elementary school children. Development and Psychopathology, 8, 141–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Epstein, M. H. (1999). The development and validation of a scale to assess the emotional and behavioral strengths of children and adolescents. Remedial & Special Education, 20, 258–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ewart, C. K., Jorgensen, R. S., Suchday, S., Chen, E., & Matthews, K. A. (2002). Measuring stress resilience and coping in vulnerable youth: The social competence interview. Psychological Assessment, 14, 339–352.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Epstein, M. H., & Sharma, J. (1998). Behavioral and Emotional Rating Scale: A strength-based approach to assessment. Austin, TX: PRO-ED.Google Scholar
  18. Garmezy, N. (1993). Children in poverty: Resilience despite risk. Psychiatry, 56, 127–136.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Gilman, R., & Huebner, S. (2003). A review of life satisfaction research with children and adolescents. School Psychology Quarterly. 18, 192–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gore, S., & Eckenrode, J. (1994). Context and process in research on risk and resilience. In R. Haggerty, L. Sherrod, N. Garmezy, & M. Rutter (Eds.), Stress, risk, and resilience in children and adolescents: Processes, mechanisms, and interventions (pp. 19–63). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Gresham, F. M., & Elliott, S. N. (1988). Teachers’ social validity ratings of social skills: Comparisons between mildly handicapped and nonhandicapped children. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 6, 225–234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hollister-Wagner, G. H., Foshee, V., & Jackson, C. (2001). Adolescent aggression: Models of resiliency. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 31, 445–466.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hoyt, M. (1996). Constructive therapies Vol. 2. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  24. Huebner, E. S., & Gilman, R. (2003). Toward a focus on positive psychology in school psychology. School Psychology Quarterly, 18(2), 99–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kaplan, H. (1999). Toward an understanding of resilience: A critical review of definitions and models. In M. Glantz & J. Johnson (Eds.), Resilience and development: Positive life adaptations. New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  26. Kirby, L. D., & Fraser, M. W. (1997). Risk and resilience in childhood: An ecological perspective. In M. W. Fraser (Ed.), Risk and resilience in childhood: An ecological perspective (pp. 10–33). Washington, DC: NASW Press.Google Scholar
  27. Kretzman, J. P., & McNight, J. L. (1993). Building communities from the inside out. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University, Center for Urban Affairs and Policy Research.Google Scholar
  28. Lambert, N. M. (1964). The protection and promotion of mental health in schools. (Public Health Service Publication No. 1226. 4003342015). Washington DC: U.S. Dept. of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health.Google Scholar
  29. Leffert, N., Benson, P. L., Scales, P. C., Sharma, A. R., Drake, D. R., & Blyth, D. A. (1998). Developmental assets: Measurement and prediction of risk behaviors among adolescents. Applied Developmental Science, 2(4), 209–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lucas, R. E., Diener, E., & Suh, E. (1996). Discriminant validity of well being measures. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71, 616–628.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. MacDonald, G. B., & Validivieso, R. (2000). Measuring deficits and assets: How we track youth development now, and how we should track it. Washington, DC: Academy for Educational Development, Center for Youth Development and Policy Research.Google Scholar
  32. Masten, A. S., Best, K., & Garmezy, N. (1990). Resilience and development: Contributions from the study of children who overcame adversity. Development and Psychopathology, 2, 425–444.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Masten, A. S., & Coatsworth, D. (1995). Competence, resilience, and psychopathology. In D. Cicchetti & D. Cohen (Eds.), Developmental psychopathology, Volume 2: Risk, disorder, and adaptation (pp. 715–752). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  34. Masten, A. S., Hubbard, J. J., Gest, S. D., Tellegen, A., Garmezy, N., & Ramirez, M. (1999). Competence in the context of adversity: Pathways to resilience and maladaption from childhood to late adolescence. Development and Psychopathology, 11, 143–169.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. McCullough, G., & Huebner, E. S. (2003). Life satisfaction reports of adolescents with learning disabilities and normally achieving adolescents. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 21, 311–324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Merrell, K. M. (2002). School Social Behavior Scales, second edition: User’s guide. Eugene, OR: Assessment-Intervention Resources.Google Scholar
  37. Mrazek, P. J., & Haggerty, R. (Eds.). (1994). Reducing risks for mental disorders: Frontiers for preventive intervention research. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  38. Muris, P. (2001). A brief questionnaire for measuring self-efficacy in youth. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 23, 145–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Nettles, S. M., Mucherah, W., & Jones, D. S. (2000). Understanding resilience: The role of social resources. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 5, 47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. O’Leary, V. E. (1998). Strength in the face of adversity: Individual and social thriving. Journal of Social Issues, 54(2), 425–446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Rapp, C. A. (1997). Preface. In D. Saleeby (Ed.), The strengths perspective in social work practice. New York: Longman.Google Scholar
  42. Reynolds, C. R., & Kamphaus, R. W. (1992). Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC). Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance Services.Google Scholar
  43. Rhee, S., Furlong, M., Turner, J., & Harari, I. (2001). Integrating strength-based perspectives in psychoeducational evaluations. The California School Psychologist, 6, 5–17.Google Scholar
  44. Robertson, L. M., Harding, M. S., & Morrison, G. M. (1998). A comparison of risk and resilience indicators among Latino/a students: Differences between students identified as at-risk, learning disabled, speech impaired and not at-risk. Education & Treatment of Children, 21, 333–353.Google Scholar
  45. Rutter, M. (1990). Psychosocial resilience and protective mechanisms. In J. Rolf, A. S. Masten, D. Cicchetti, K. H. Nuechterlein, & S. Weintraub (Eds.), Risk and protective factors in the development of psychopathology (pp. 181–214). New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Rutter, M. (2000). Resilience reconsidered: Conceptual considerations, empirical findings, and policy implications. In J. P. Shonkoff & S. J. Meisels (Eds.), Handbook of early childhood intervention (pp. 651–682). New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Sameroff, A. J., & Fiese, B. (2000). Transactional regulation: The developmental ecology of early intervention. In J. P. Shonkoff & S. J. Meisels (Eds.), Early intervention: A handbook of theory, practice, and analysis (2nd ed., pp. 135–159). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Scales, P. C., & Leffert, N. (1999). Developmental assets: A synthesis of the scientific research on adolescent development. Minneapolis, MN: Search Institute.Google Scholar
  49. Scales, P. C., Benson, P. L., Leffert, N., & Blyth, D. A. (2000). Contribution of developmental assets to the prediction of thriving among adolescents. Applied Developmental Science, 4, 27–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Seligman, M. E. P. (2002). Positive psychology, positive prevention, and positive therapy. In C. R. Snyder & S. J. Lopez (Eds.), Handbook of positive psychology (pp. 3–9). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  51. Seligman, M. E. P. (2003). Quote from the APA Positive Psychology website. Retrieved December 20, 2003, from http://www.apa.org/releases/positivepsy.html
  52. Seligman, M. E. P., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction [Special Issue]. American Psychologist, 55, 5–14.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Seligman, M. E. P., & Peterson, C. (2000). Positive clinical psychology. Retrieved December 20, 2003, from http://www.psych.upen.edu/seligman/posclinpsychchap.html
  54. Seligman, M. E. P., Reivich, K., Jaycox, L., & Gillham, J. (1995). The optimistic child. New York: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
  55. Smokowski, P. R., Reynolds, A. J., & Bezruczko, N. (1999). Resilience and protective factors in adolescence: An autobiographical perspective from disadvantaged youth Journal of School Psychology, 37, 425–448.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Steen, T. A., Kachorek, L. V., & Peterson, C. (2003). Character strengths among youth. Journal of Youth & Adolescence, 32, 5–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Terjesen, M. D., Jacofsky, M., Froh, J., & DiGiuseppe, R. (2004). Integrating positive psychology into schools: Implications for practice. Psychology in the Schools, 41(1), 163–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Walden, T. A., Harris, V. S., & Catron, T. F. (2003). How I Feel: A self-report measure of emotional arousal regulation for children. Psychological Assessment, 15, 399–412.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Wieck, A., Rapp, C., Sullivan, W. P., & Kisthardt, S. (1989). A strengths perspective for social work practice. Social Work, 34, 350–354.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© California Association of School Psychologists 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shane R. Jimerson
    • 1
  • Jill D. Sharkey
    • 1
  • Vanessa Nyborg
    • 1
  • Michael J. Furlong
    • 1
  1. 1.Gevirtz Graduate School of Education; Center for School-Based Youth DevelopmentUniversity of California, Santa BarbaraSanta BarbaraUSA

Personalised recommendations