Developing and Applying Measures of Social and Emotional Supports in School Settings

Thursday, January 15, 2015: 1:30 PM-3:15 PM
Balconies J, Fourth Floor (New Orleans Marriott)
Cluster: Research Design and Measurement
Symposium Organizer:
Jenna N. Tucker, MSW, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
School social workers focus on the intersection between academic, social, and emotional functioning of the students with whom they work. Measuring social and emotional supports for students is a useful way for school social workers to assess the populations they serve and to appropriately target and evaluate interventions. This symposium includes four studies focused on the development and application of measures for use with elementary and middle school students.

The first study uses qualitative methods to measure sensitivity to stereotype threat in middle childhood. The study represents the first step in the development of a measure of stereotype threat. The next two studies evaluate the appropriateness of measures across racial/ethnic groups. These measures include assessments of student social support, school belonging, and future orientation. The final study uses items from an established survey to develop new subscales measuring school climate and parent involvement behaviors (including academic socialization, educational expectations, behavior expectations, and behavior monitoring). The adequacy of these subscales is tested and they are used in an analysis to predict student school engagement.

Taken together, the studies demonstrate the range of social and emotional factors that school social workers can measure and address, from parent involvement to social support to motivational variables. Additionally, many methods for scale development and evaluation are demonstrated, including early qualitative work, confirmatory factor analysis, and evaluation of measurement invariance. Finally, the symposium illustrates ways these measures can be applied to address important questions about students’ academic outcomes.

* noted as presenting author
Complementary Effects of School Climate and Home-Based Parent Involvement in Middle School
Jenna N. Tucker, MSW, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Exploring Perceptions of Stereotype Threat Among Children to Guide Scale Development
Kate M. Wegmann, MSW, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
See more of: Symposia