Holistic Student Assessment (HSA)

General Information on the Measure
Purpose of the measure

The Holistic Student Assessment (HSA) uses student-self reports to measure and promote social and emotional development in young people. It can be used in both in-school and afterschool settings to provide educators, administrators, and other education professionals with information about students' strengths and challenges.

Main constructs measured

Cognitive competencies; Intrapersonal competencies; Interpersonal competencies

Applicable grade levels

Grades 4 and above

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 items

Administration time

10-20 minutes

Available languages

Amharic, Arabic, Bengali, Cape Verdean Creole, Chinese, English, German, Haitian Creole, Hmong, Karen, Nepali, Portuguese, Somali, Spanish, Vietnamese

Fee for use Fee charged by developer
Credentials required for administration

Developer requires that anyone who wishes to administer the HSA be trained on proper survey administration techniques.

Overall score reporting

Normative scores by gender and/or age, percentage of strengths, percentage of challenges, average strengths and challenges per student, level of support need (three tiers), demographic information (age, gender, race/ethnicity, grade), change scores.

Subscore reporting

Seven to 14 scale scores are reported in three domains (resiliencies, relationships, learning and school engagement), depending on the length of the survey schools/programs selected.

Scoring procedures

Scores are calculated by the assessment developer using nationally representative norms based on a random stratified sample.

Interpretive information

Scores are norm-referenced and reported as either averages, strengths, or challenges for each student. Aggregated (school or program) data are also reported, and aggregated strengths and challenges are indicated in score reports.

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

Recent validation used a sample of 5946 students in grades 5-12 from New York, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, and Maine (Malti et al., 2017).

The Holistic Student Assessment (HSA) standardization or normative sample is based on a stratified random sample of 9,000 male and female participants ages 9-19 years of age from a population of N=27,808 respondents in geographic locations where the HSA is in active use (Allen, Thomas, Triggs & Noam, 2017).

Reliability evidence

Congeneric reliability estimates based on latent variable models ranged from 0.68 to 0.89 (Allen et al., 2017).

Omega coefficients were estimated for seven scales (Reflection, Trust, Optimism, Empathy, Assertiveness, Action Orientation and Emotion Control). Estimates ranged from 0.76 to 0.91 (Malti, Zuffiano & Noam, 2017).

Validity evidence
Evidence based on content
Items adapted from the Resiliency Inventory, a previously established instrument (Noam & Goldstein, 1998).
Evidence based on response processes
No information is available in the references reviewed.
Evidence based on internal structure
Exploratory and Confirmatory Factor analyses were used to find evidence supporting subscales. No evidence was found for measurement invariance by gender, grade or race/ethnicity (Allen et al., 017; Malti, Zuffianò, & Noam, 2017).
Evidence based on relations with other variables
HSA scales correlate with measures of similar constructs on the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (Goodman, 1997) in the anticipated directions.
Locating the Measure
Obtaining a copy of the measure thepearinstitute.org

Allen, P. J., Thomas, K., Triggs, B., & Noam, G. "The Holistic Student Assessment (HSA) technical report," The PEAR Institute: Partnerships in Education and Resilience , 2017.

Noam, G., Malti, T., & Guhn, M. "From clinical-developmental theory to assessment: The Holistic Student Assessment tool," International Journal of Conflict and Violence, Vol. 6, No. 2, 2012, pp. 201–213.

Noam, G. G., & Goldstein, L. S. The resilience inventory (Unpublished protocol), 1998.

Goodman, R. , "The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire: a research note," Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, Vol. 38, No. 5, 1997, pp. 581–586.


This measure is also reviewed in the AWG Guide.

Measure summary updated October 29, 2018.