Social-Emotional and Character Development Scale (SECDS)

General Information on the Measure
Purpose of the measure

The Social-Emotional and Character Development Scale (SECDS) measures social-emotional skills and character traits including prosocial behavior, honesty, and self-control for elementary school children.

Main constructs measured

Intrapersonal competencies; Interpersonal competencies

Applicable grade levels

Elementary grades

Publication year for the most recent version


Year originally developed


Related measures
Measure Administration


Method of administration


Number of items


Item format

Four-point Likert-type scale

Administration time

No information is available in the references reviewed.

Available languages


Fee for use Free and publicly available
Credentials required for administration


Overall score reporting

The overall score is reported.

Subscore reporting

There are six subscores:

  • Prosocial behavior
  • Honesty
  • Self-development
  • Self-control
  • Respect at school
  • Respect at home
Scoring procedures

The measure is self-scored.

Interpretive information

No information is available in the references reviewed.

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

Evidence is based on elementary schools in Chicago, which were sampled in five waves (N=593, 563, 549, 512, and 500).

Reliability evidence

Internal consistency (alpha) estimates were reported for each subscale in each wave. Estimates were also reported separately for demographic subgroups. Estimates range from 0.53 to 0.92 (Ji et al., 2013). Test-retest reliabilities (two-week interval) ranged from 0.62 to 0.79.

Validity evidence
Evidence based on content
No information is available in the references reviewed.
Evidence based on response processes
No information is available in the references reviewed.
Evidence based on internal structure
Confirmatory factor analysis supported six subscales and a general score (Li et al., 2013).
Evidence based on relations with other variables
SECDS scores were significantly correlated with other measures of social-emotional and character development, including measures of altruistic behavior, self-esteem and life satisfaction, as well as with self-reported grades (Li et al., 2013).
Locating the Measure
Obtaining a copy of the measure

Ji, P., DuBois, D. L., & Flay, B. R. "Social-Emotional and Character Development Scale," Journal of Research in Character Education, 9, 2, 2013.


Measure summary updated October 3, 2018.