The Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA) is a 72-item, standardised, norm-referenced behaviour rating scale that assesses the social-emotional competencies that serve as protective factors for children in kindergarten through to year eight.
Available as a hard-copy or online assessment, the DESSA can identify children at risk of developing social-emotional problems, assess skills related to social-emotional competence, resilience and academic success and identify social-emotional strengths and needs for individualised education programs.
The assessment is entirely strength-based, meaning that the items query positive behaviours (e.g., get along with others) rather than maladaptive ones (e.g., annoy others).
The DESSA Manual provides information on:
- Uses of the DESSA and Qualifications of DESSA Users and Raters
- Test Development and Standardisation
- Psychometric Properties
- Interpretation & the DESSA Scales
- The Rationale and Use of the DESSA in a Unified Model of Prevention
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- Assessments that are for school use only
- Assessments may only be purchased by schools or approved education institutions
Specialist: Psychology (S1)
- Master degree in psychology OR
- Bachelor degree in psychology, PLUS evidence of training in assessment
Specialist: Social Work (S4)
- Master degree in Social Work OR
- Bachelor degree in Social Work, PLUS evidence of training in assessment
Specialist: Special Education (S6)
- Master degree in Special Education OR
- Bachelor degree in Special Education, PLUS evidence of training in assessment