Social Competence and Behavior Evaluation, Preschool Edition scbe

For: Describes a child's adaptation to and functioning within preschool classroom in order to help teachers plan intervention

Reading Level: Ages 2.5 to 6 years

Format: Paper-and-Pencil

Length: 15 minutes

Scoring: Hand Scored



Peter J. LaFreniere, Ph.D. and Jean E. Dumas, Ph.D.


The SCBE is an alternative for clinicians and educators who evaluate young children. This exciting scale measures social competence, affective expression and adjustment in children aged 2.5 to 6 years (or, more precisely, ages 30 months to 76 months).

The primary objective of the Social Competence and Behavior Evaluation (SCBE) is to describe the child's behaviour for purposes of socialisation and education, rather than diagnosis. It focuses on the child's adaptation to and functioning within their environment, which is particularly relevant to teachers. The SCBE helps teachers design classroom interventions that address both the child's strengths and weaknesses. Used for years as the Preschool Socio-Affective Profile, the SCBE has now been renamed and standardised on more than 1,200 U.S. preschool children. It includes 80 items that may be completed in just 15 minutes by a preschool or Kindergarten teacher. These items cover eight basic scales and four summary scales:

Basic Scales Summary Scales:

  • Depressive-Joyful
  • Social Competence
  • Anxious-Secure
  • Externalising Problems
  • Angry-Tolerant
  • Internalising Problems
  • Isolated-Integrated
  • General Adaptation
  • Aggressive-Calm
  • Egotistical-Prosocial
  • Oppositional-Cooperative
  • Dependent-Autonomous

Targeting an appropriately narrow age range, SCBE items focus not on obscure or pathological behaviours but on behaviours that are commonly observed among preschoolers. The SCBE is particularly useful to educators as a standardised description of a child's social and emotional adjustment to the classroom setting. While many instruments for young children focus primarily on anger and hyperactivity, the SCBE measures a full range of behaviours and emotions, including anxiety and depression, that are relevant to the teacher and parent.

In addition, the scale's high reliability makes it ideal for outcome assessment in experimental intervention programs. It is an excellent tool for evaluating the child's ongoing adaptation at various ages.

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