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Assessment Rating:
A – Reliability and Validity Demonstrated
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Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC™)


Cecil R. Reynolds and Randy W. Kamphaus

Description / Purpose:

The BASC™ (now in its 2nd edition) is designed to measure maladaptive and adaptive behaviors and self-perceptions of children from 2.5 to 25 years old. Includes 5 main components: Structured Developmental History, Parent Rating Scale, Teacher Rating Scale, Self-Report of Personality (for two age groups), and Student Observation System. The BASC™-2 includes three validity checks. High scores suggest that either the child’s behavior is very maladaptive or the child was rated more negatively than warranted.

Target Population: Children ages 2.5 to 25 years

Intended Users: Intended for use by school psychologists, mental health clinicians and child/adolescent development professionals.

Time to Administer: Teacher Rating Scales (TRS): approx. 10-20 minutes; Parent Rating Scales (PRS): approx. 10-20 minutes; Self-Report on Personality (SRP): approx. 30 minutes; Structured Developmental History (SDH) interview/report: approx. 20-30 minutes; Student Observation System (SOS): approx. 15 minutes.

Completed By: Parents/caregivers, teachers, the examinee (ages 2 through college age), and the clinician

Modalities Available: Hand-scored, Q Local software, CD

Scoring Information: Clear and detailed instructions regarding manual scoring are provided.

Languages Available:

Training Requirements for Intended Users: Professionals or paraprofessionals with formal graduate-level training or clinicians with training in psychological assessment.

Availability: The BASC™-2 kit is available from the publisher for a fee at http://psychcorp.pearsonassessments.com/HAIWEB/Cultures/en-us/Productdetail.htm?Pid=PAa30000&Mode=summary  “BASC” is a copyright, in the US and/or other countries, of Pearson Education, Inc. or its affiliate(s).

Contact Information

Company: Pearson Assessments
Website: psychcorp.pearsonassessments.com
Phone: (800) 627-7271
Fax: (800) 232-1223

Summary of Relevant Psychometric Research

This assessment has received the Assessment Rating of "A – Reliability and Validity Demonstrated" based on the published, peer-reviewed research available. The assessment must have 2 or more published, peer-reviewed studies that demonstrated that the measure is reliable and valid. Please see the Assessment Rating Scale for more information.

Show relevant research...

Flanagan, D. P., Alfonso, V. C., Primavera, L. H., Povall, L., & Higgins, D. (1996). Convergent validity of the BASC and SSRS: Implications for social skills assessment. Psychology in the Schools, 33, 13-23.


Participants — 53 minority kindergarten children

Race/Ethnicity — 41 African American, 7 Hispanic


The study examined the psychometric relationship between the BASC and the Social Skills Rating System (SSRS) for a sample (N = 53) of minority kindergarten children using both parent and teacher ratings. The similarities and differences between these instruments were investigated through correlational and content analyses. In general, the results provide preliminary convergent validity evidence for the BASC and SSRS. In regard to the Social Skills subscale of the BASC, convergent validity evidence was demonstrated for the parent form of this instrument, but not the teacher form, when the SSRS Social Skills scale was used as the criterion. In addition, the correlations between the various scales of the BASC and SSRS were in the expected direction. That is, the correlation between the BASC Adaptive Skills Composite and the SSRS Social Skills scale was moderate in the teacher group (r = 0.44) and high in the parent group (r = 0.54). Similarly, correlations between the BASC Hyperactivity, Aggression, and Externalizing Scales and the SSRS Problem Behaviors Scale ranged from 0.50 to 0.60 and 0.50 to 0.56 in the teacher and parent groups, respectively.

Doyle, A., Ostrander, R., Skare, S., Crosby, R. D. & August, G. J. (1997). Convergent and criterion-related validity of the behavior assessment system for children-parent rating scale. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 26(3), 276-284.


Participants — 156 children ages 6.6 to 11.7 years

Race/Ethnicity — Predominantly Caucasian (94.2%)


Examined aspects of the validity of the BASC Parent Rating Scale (BASC-PRS) in 156 children with cross-setting disruptive behavior. Convergent validity was assessed through correlations of BASC-PRS scores with scale scores on the Child Behavior Checklist/4-18 (CBCL/4-18). Criterion-related validity was evaluated as the ability of BASC-PRS and CBCL/4-18 scales to predict membership in diagnostic groupings (no diagnosis, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder [ADHD] only, and ADHD with a comorbid externalizing disorder) derived via structured interviews based on the third, revised edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Results showed the validity of the BASC-PRS to be comparable to that of the CBCL/4-18. Given its conceptually derived scales, the BASC-PRS may prove to be a useful tool for assessing childhood disruptive behavior.

Vaughn, M. L., Riccio, C. A., Hynd, G. W., & Hall, J. (1997). Diagnosing ADHD (predominantly inattentive and combine type subtypes): Discriminant validity of the behavior assessment system for children and the Achenbach parent and teacher rating scales. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 26(4), 349-357.


Participants — 73 children between 6.7 to 11.9 years

Race/Ethnicity — Predominantly Caucasian (95.9%)


Compared the effectiveness of discriminating attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) subtypes using the Parent Rating Scale (PRS) and Teacher Rating Scale (TRS) of the BASC and the Parent Report Form and Teacher Report Form (TRF) of the Achenbach Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). To determine the extent to which these scales measured similar behaviors, Pearson Product-Moment Correlations were computed for the parent scales (PRS and CBCL Parent Report Form) and for the teacher scales (TRS and TRF). Results indicated that correlations were significant for a number of scales. Discriminant analysis does not suggest a strong advantage of either measure in differentiating children with ADHD from those who do not meet criteria for ADHD, except for the BASC TRS which has better predictive ability for children who do not meet ADHD criteria. For subtypes of ADHD, and specifically the ADHD: Predominantly Inattentive subtype, however, results would favor the use of the BASC PRS and TRS.

Weis, R. & Smenner, L. (2007). Construct validity of the Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC) Self-Report of Personality: Evidence from adolescents referred to residential treatment. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 25(2), 111-126.


Participants — 970 adolescents ages 16-18 years

Race/Ethnicity — Caucasian (60%), Latino (24%), African American (10%), Asian American (5%), and Native American (1%)


970 adolescents with histories of disruptive behavior problems and truancy completed the BASC Self-Report of Personality (SRP); a subsample of 290 adolescents also completed the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-Adolescent (MMPI-A). Confirmatory factor analysis supported a three-factor structure for the SRP. The Clinical Maladjustment and Personal Adjustment composites show adequate convergent, discriminant, and discriminative validity. Less evidence for the validity of the School Maladjustment composite was found. Results support the overall construct validity  of the SRP with adolescents referred for behavior problems but suggest that the SRP composites and scales measure a wider range of psychopathology than their labels imply.

Date Reviewed: August 2011