School Social Behavior Scale- 2 (SSBS-2)

General Information on the Measure
Purpose of the measure

The School Social Behavior Scale- 2 (SSBS-2) is a screening instrument that can be used to evaluate students social and emotional behaviors, identify children with challenges, and plan targeted classroom interventions.

Main constructs measured

Intrapersonal competencies; Interpersonal competencies

Applicable grade levels


Publication year for the most recent version


Year originally developed


Related measures
Measure Administration


Method of administration


Number of items


Item format

Five-point Likert-type scale

Administration time

10 minutes

Available languages

English, Spanish

Fee for use Fee charged by developer
Credentials required for administration

The assessment should be scored and interpreted by a psychologist, social worker, counselor, or SLP.

Overall score reporting

There are two overall scores reported:

  • Social competence
  • Antisocial behavior
Subscore reporting

There are six subscores:

  • Peer relations
  • Self management/Compliance
  • Academic behavior
  • Hostile/Irritable
  • Anti-social/Aggressive
  • Defiant/Disruptive
Scoring procedures

The measure is self-scored.

Interpretive information

The measure is standardized and norm-referenced. The norming sample included children from diverse backgrounds and children with a wide range of disabilities.

Evidence of Technical Quality
Populations for which technical quality evidence has been collected

Evidence is based on teacher ratings of 1,858 students in grades K-12 from 22 different public school districts across the United States.

Reliability evidence

Internal consistency was estimated for the overall scales (0.98) and the six subscales (ranged from 0.94 to 0.96). Test-retest reliability was estimated over a three-week interval, and estimates ranged from 0.60 to 0.82. Inter-rater reliability was estimated by correlating teacher ratings with classroom aide ratings (0.53-0.83) (Merrell, 1993).

Validity evidence
Evidence based on content
Initial development of the SSBS was based on literature review of behavioral descriptors and a review of existing instruments. These descriptors and items were reviewed by teachers, graduate students, and parents of children in grades K-12 (Merrell, 1993).
Evidence based on response processes
No information available in the references reviewed.
Evidence based on internal structure
Exploratory Factor Analysis was used to find empirical evidence for distinct constructs (Merrell, 1993).
Evidence based on relations with other variables
SSBS scores correlated in the expected directions with scores on similar scales on the Waksman Social Skills Ratings Scale, the Connors Teacher Ratings Scales, and the Walker-McConnell Scale of Social Competence and School Adjustment. SBSS scores correlated significantly with independent behavioral observations (Merrell, 1993). Separate studies have found evidence that scores of special education students diverged from regular education students (Merrell, 1992)
Locating the Measure
Obtaining a copy of the measure

Merrell, K. W. , "School social behavior scales user's guide," Paul H. Brookes Publishing, 2008.

Conners, C K. , "Manual for the Conners rating scales," Multi-Health Systems, Inc. , 1990.

Waksman, S. A. , "The Waksman social skills rating scale," ASIEP Education Co. 1985.

Walker, H. M., & McConnell, S. R. , "The Walker-McConnell scale of social competence and school adjustment," Pro-Ed, 1988.

Merrell, K. W. , "Using behavioral rating scales to assess social skills and antisocial behavior in school settings: Development of the School Social Behavior Scales," School Psychology Review, 1993.

Merrell, K. W. , "The utility of the School Social Behavior Scales in differentiating students with behavioral disorders from other handicapped students," Severe Behavior Disorders of Children? and Youth, 15, 1992, pp. 27–34.


Measure summary updated October 3, 2018.