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01-08-2012 | Original Paper | Uitgave 4/2012

Journal of Child and Family Studies 4/2012

Parent, Teacher and Student Cross Informant Agreement of Behavioral and Emotional Strengths: Students With and Without Special Education Support

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 4/2012
Auteurs:
Erkko T. Sointu, Hannu Savolainen, Kristiina Lappalainen, Michael H. Epstein

Abstract

Information from multiple sources is recommended when assessing students’ emotions and behaviors. Relatively few studies about cross informant agreement of behavioral and emotional strengths exist, especially for students with special education needs. The purpose of this study was to extend the cross informant agreement research of the Behavioral and Emotional Rating Scale (BERS-2) with a sample of Finnish parents, teachers and students. First, we studied the cross informant agreement of students’ behavioral and emotional strengths between informants. Second, we explored the agreement separately for students with and without special education needs. Finally, we studied the convergent and divergent (discriminant) correlations of the Finnish BERS-2. The results show that the cross informant agreement of students’ behavioral and emotional strengths were small to large with correlation coefficients ranging from .11 to .58 between different informants. The cross informant correlations, however, were higher in magnitude for students who receive special education support (r = .29 to .78) than for those students who do not receive support (r = −.02 to .45). Mean convergent correlations were higher than mean divergent correlations. The results suggest that the Finnish BERS-2 is a reliable measure in assessing student strengths across informants. The limitations, future research directions, and implications are discussed.

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