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Enhancement and Standardization of a Universal Social-Emotional Health Measure for Students’ Psychological Strengths


AbstractRobust evidence links students’ positive mental health with academic achievement and provides a compelling rationale for developing and refining strength-based assessments. The Social Emotional Health Survey–Secondary (SEHS-S) assesses adolescents’ social and emotional skills and positive psychological dispositions. Previous studies provide reliability and validity evidence; nonetheless, there is a need for continued refinement and validation across diverse groups. The current study revised and standardized the updated SEHS-S-2020 to validate further its use in secondary schools (Grades 9–12) with a large, diverse adolescent sample. Study participants included 72,740 from 113 California schools (structural validation sample), 10,757 students from 15 randomly selected California schools (criterion validation sample), and 707 students from four additional California schools (test-retest sample). Data analyses examined structural validity, measurement invariance, criterion validity, internal consistency, and response stability. Results supported the SEHS-S-2020 validity across diverse groups of youth in various contexts. The discussion focuses on implications for assessing students’ psychosocial assets and universal school-based screening.

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