Reliability of Direct Behavior Ratings – Social Competence (DBR-SC) Data: How Many Ratings Are Necessary?

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Abstract

The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the reliability of Direct Behavior Ratings—Social Competence (DBR-SC) ratings. Participants included 60 students identified as possessing deficits in social competence, as well as their 23 classroom teachers. Teachers used DBR-SC to complete ratings of 5 student behaviors within the general education setting on a daily basis across approximately 5 months. During this time, each student was assigned to 1 of 2 intervention conditions, including the Social Competence Intervention–Adolescent (SCI-A) and a business-as-usual (BAU) intervention. Ratings were collected across 3 intervention phases, including pre-, mid-, and postintervention. Results suggested DBR-SC ratings were highly consistent across time within each student, with reliability coefficients predominantly falling in the .80 and .90 ranges. Findings further indicated such levels of reliability could be achieved with only a small number of ratings, with estimates varying between 2 and 10 data points. Group comparison analyses further suggested the reliability of DBR-SC ratings increased over time, such that student behavior became more consistent throughout the intervention period. Furthermore, analyses revealed that for 2 of the 5 DBR-SC behavior targets, the increase in reliability over time was moderated by intervention grouping, with students receiving SCI-A demonstrating greater increases in reliability relative to those in the BAU group. Limitations of the investigation as well as directions for future research are discussed herein.

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