Behavioral and Emotional Rating Scale-Parent Form (BERS-2)

General Information on the Measure
Purpose of the measure

Designed for use in schools, mental health clinics, juvenile justice settings, and child welfare agencies, the Behavioral and Emotional Rating Scale – Second Edition (BERS-2) helps to measure the personal strengths and competencies of children ages 5-0 through 18-11.

Main constructs measured

Intrapersonal competencies; Interpersonal competencies

Applicable grade levels Ages 5-18
Publication year for the most recent version


Year originally developed


Related measures
Measure Administration
Respondent Parent
Method of administration Paper/Pencil
Number of items 57
Item format 4-point Likert-type items; free-response items
Administration time 10-20 minutes
Available languages

English, Spanish

Fee for use Fee charged by developer
Credentials required for administration


Overall score reporting

An overall strength quotient is available.

Subscore reporting

Six subscales

  • Interpersonal strength
  • Family involvement
  • Intrapersonal strength
  • School functioning
  • Affective strength
  • Career strength
Scoring procedures

A scoring manual and software are provided by the assessment developers.

Interpretive information

Scores are norm-referenced and based on a nationally representative sample of students.

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

No information is available in the references reviewed.

Reliability evidence

Subscale internal consistency estimates ranged from 0.84 to 0.93. Test-retest coefficients (across six weeks) ranged from 0.84 to 0.98.

Validity evidence
Evidence based on content
No information available in the references reviewed.
Evidence based on response processes
No information available in the references reviewed.
Evidence based on internal structure
Confirmatory Factor Analysis was used to explore dimensionality of the instrument. Evidence supporting the subscales was mixed (Liao, Holden, & Epstein, 2002; Buckley, Ryser, Reid, & Epstein, 2006).
Evidence based on relations with other variables
BERS-2 showed evidence of discriminant validity in two separately conducted studies (Epstein, 2004; Reid, Epstein, Pastor, & Ryser, 2000). Students with emotional disturbance scored systematically lower than students without emotional disturbance, and BERS scores could be used to identify students with behavior disorders and learning disabilities. BERS scores correlated positively with scores from instruments measuring similar constructs, including the Systematic Screening for Behavior Disorders (Walker & Severson, 1992) and BERS scores correlated negatively with scores measuring behavior problems or deficits, including the Scale Assessing Emotional Disturbance (Epstein & Cullinan, 1998).
Locating the Measure
Obtaining a copy of the measure

"Confirmatory factor analysis of the behavioral and emotional rating scale–2 (BERS-2) parent and youth rating scales," Journal of Child and Family Studies, Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 27–37.

Liao, Q., Holden, E. W., & Epstein, M. H. , "Confirmatory Factor Analysis of the Behavioral and Emotional Rating Scale (BERS)," In C. Newman, C. Liberton, K. Kutash, & R. M. Friedman (Eds.), The 15th annual research conference proceedings, a system of care for children’s mental health: Expanding the research base , University of South Florida, The Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, Research and Training Center for Children’s Mental Health, 2002, pp. 467–470.

Reid, R., Epstein, M. H., Pastor, D. A., & Ryser, G. R. , "Strengths-based assessment differences across students with LD and EBD," Remedial and Special Education, Vol. 21, No. 6, 2000, pp. 346–355.

Walker, H. M., & Severson, H. H. "Systematic screening for behavior disorders (SSBD)," Sopris West, 1992.

Epstein, M. H., & Cullinan, D. , "Scale for assessing emotional disturbance," Pro-Ed, 1998.


Measure summary updated October 3, 2018.