Informant Discrepancies in Universal Screening as a Function of Student and Teacher Characteristics

Despite the widespread use of school-based universal screening systems for social, emotional, and behavioral risk, limited research has examined discrepancies in ratings provided by teachers and their secondary students. Using the Social, Academic, and Emotional Behavior Risk Screener (SAEBRS; teacher report) and mySAEBRS (student report) scores from a middle school sample, we examined the magnitudes and prevalence of informant discrepancies as well as associated student and teacher factors. Analyses revealed discrepancies consistently in the direction of teachers reporting lower levels of risk than students and were starkest for the Emotional Behavior Risk subscale. Across subscales, multiple student and teacher factors significantly predicted variance in discrepancies. We discuss these findings in the context of implications for selecting screening informants at the secondary level and opportunities to advance practical guidance in this area. Impact Statement Middle school students and their teachers provide discrepant ratings within universal screenings of students’ social, emotional, and behavioral risk. In this sample, students self-reported higher levels of risk than their teachers reported for them. This was especially true for risk in the Emotional Behavior domain and for students and teachers with certain demographic characteristics.
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in School Psychology Review on 10/02/2023, available at: © 2023 National Association of School Psychologists. This article will be embargoed until 04/02/2025.
assessment, social–emotional, mental health services, behavior, hierarchical linear modeling, service delivery models
Brittany N. Zakszeski, Heather E. Ormiston, Malena A. Nygaard & Kane Carlock (2023) Informant Discrepancies in Universal Screening as a Function of Student and Teacher Characteristics, School Psychology Review, DOI: 10.1080/2372966X.2023.2262362