Uncertain Risk: Comparisons Across BESS Subscale and Total Scores

This session is from the NASP 2021 Annual Convention

  • PMD: 1
  • Skill Level: Introduction
  • Session 4: Assessment and Intervention in an RTI Framework

Learner Objectives

This session will help participants…

  1. understand differences between subscale and total scale scores on the BESS.
  2. learn more about areas noted at-risk in the preschool enviornment.
  3. understand comborbidities for scales noted as at-risk by preschool students.


Universal screening of students is often a first step within the MTSS framework for identifying children’s social–emotional risk. Some instruments provide total scores (illustrating an overall level of risk) and subscale scores (showing risk in certain areas). While it is hoped that risk noted on one or more subscales is reflected in the report for total risk, could there be a discrepancy between the two sets of scores?



Fred W. Greer, University of South Carolina
Christine DiStefano, University of South Carolina
Erin Dowdy, University of California - Santa Barbara


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