The Adjustment Scales for Children and Adolescents is an objective behavioral assessment device to be completed by a youth's classroom teacher. Scoring should be completed by a psychologist or other specialist trained in assessment. ASCA assesses youth behavior problems, subtypes of psychopathology, and specific styles of healthy adjustment for youths aged 5 through 17 years. It contains 97 problem and 26 prosocial behavior indicators, each presented in one of 29 specific situations involving authority, peers, smaller or weaker youths, recreation, learning, or confrontation. The behavioral indicators and situations were designed and revised in field trials to provide clear content meaning for teachers to reduce any tendency for unwarranted inferences about a youth's internal cognitive or emotional processes.

ASCA is standardized nationwide on 2,818 five through seventeen year old youths. This includes a normative sample of 1,400 youths stratified according to the 1990 U.S. Census by age, grade level, gender, race/ethnicity, mother's and father's education, family structure, national region, community size, and associated handicapping conditions. An additional 1,418 cases comprise validity generalization and ethnic-bias study samples. Evidence demonstrates the substantial stability and accuracy of ASCA across youth developmental levels, gender, and racial/ethnic groups (White, African-American, and varied non-White youngsters).


Special Features

ASCA takes 15-20 minutes to complete. It also applies an easy, one-step scoring system that requires no templates or overlays. Percentiles and standard T scores are produced for 6 core behavior syndromes, 2 supplementary syndromes, and 2 overall adjustment scales. Standard T scores (M = 50, SD = 10) are used to form profiles and to assess the likelihood of social and emotional disturbance. ASCA's core syndromes and scales afford appreciable generalizability to childhood and adolescence, across gender, and across ethnicity.

A variety of research studies concerning ASCA have been conducted and published.
Press this button to read summaries of ASCA research papers.

Clinical Syndromes


Syndromic Profile Interpretation

Based upon the 1,400 standardization children and adolescents, 14 major types and 8 clinical subgroups were identified and described according to distinct behavior and severity, and by prevalence for age, gender, socioeconomic status, cognitive ability, achievement, handicapping conditions, and observed physical morbidity. To use the syndromic profile method, compare obtained ASCA scores with standardization type scores and calculate as per the ASCA manual. Statistical computation of these comparisons can be performed with the ASCA Profile Analysis Macintosh EXCEL template or the ASCAcalculator program for Macintosh and Windows. The ASCA Assistant program is available for both Macintosh and Windows. Behavioral styles include:

Adjusted and Subclinical Styles


At Risk and Clinical Behavior Styles

Order ASCA and Learning Behavior Scale materials

| Marley Watkins | EdPsych Associates