What Do These Test Scores Mean? Part 2

Part 2 of “What Do These Test Scores Mean?” will focus on understanding behavior rating scales.

Behavior rating scales provide information about particular aspects of a student’s behavior compared to other children of the same age and sometimes same gender. The rating scales may be global and focus on several areas or look more in depth at a specific behavior, emotional issue, or social issue. Rating scales are given to teachers, parents, or the student as a way to obtain standardized data about the severity of a concern. The rating scales have been standardized, by giving the scale to thousands of respondents. The makers of the rating scales, took those responses and developed a range of normal, “at-risk,” or “clinically significant,” and assigned scores to those ranges.

Behavior rating scales tend to use T Scores to report results. T scores have a mean of 50 with a standard deviation of 10. This means a score that falls at 50 or within 10 points above or below 50 is considered average, and typical of the population. The farther away from 50 a score falls, the more atypical it is. Each test tends to use their own classifications and ranges. It would be important to find out the specific range for the rating scale that was used. Often scores from 60-69 are considered “at-risk” and slightly atypical from the norm. It often means that more information should be obtained or the behavior monitored. Clinically significant scores are often those that are 70 and above. The term clinically significant means that the severity of the behavior is significantly different from the norm and indicates a strong possibility of a clinical problem.

*Rating scales alone do not diagnose any disorder. While a high score may be indicative of a possible problem, it should be used with other assessment methods before a diagnosis is made. For example, if depression comes out in the Clinically Significant range on a behavior rating scale, it does not necessarily mean your child is suffering from Major Depression. It does, however, indicate that it was reported that your child exhibits symptoms commonly associated with depression. More information will need to be obtained.

See also:
What Do These Scores Mean?- Cognitive Assessments

and What Do These Scores Mean? – Educational Assessments -coming soon

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