The Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA) is a behaviour rating scale that is completed by parents and/or teachers/after-school providers which provides an assessment of social-emotional competencies related to resilience in children aged 5-14.
"An extremely well developed assessment tool, very strong in terms of psychometric properties and standardisation procedures."
Susana Castro - Senior Lecturer in Education Studies, Roehampton University
Children aged 5-14
The DESSA is used to assess children's protective factors and identify the social and emotional strengths and needs of a child. Results of the assessment should be used to plan for children's support in their growth and development of social and emotional health.
Raters generally fall into two categories: 1) Parents, Guardians and other Adult Caregivers who live with the child, and 2) Teachers, after-school program staff, or other professionals who interact directly with the child on a regular basis. The assessment items take approximately 10 minutes to complete.
The DESSA contains 72 items in total, forming a Social Emotional Composite score. The subscales are:
Also available: The DESSA-Mini is a screening tool, providing a brief summary of children's current overall social-emotional competence to determine if additional skill development should be a priority.
Qualification level required:
Level 2. Please see our Test User Qualifications page for guidance
Based on a US sample of 2,494 children aged 5-14 years
The assessment takes approximately 10 minutes