Evidence-Based Assessment Tools for Common Mental Health Problems: A Practical Guide for School Settings

Jan 21, 2020

cands cover croppedThe most recent issue of the journal Children & Schools, co-published by NASW and Oxford University Press, is a themed issue on assessment tools for school social workers.

Evidence-based assessment, which requires the use of reliable and valid measurement tools, is an essential component of many services that school social workers provide to promote the social, emotional, and behavioral health of students. A wide variety of psychometrically sound assessment tools exist to choose from, but it can be difficult for school personnel to identify and access the tools best suited to meet their needs.

In an effort to reduce these barriers, the authors of one of the articles provide a concise guide to free, validated measurement tools that are feasible for routine use in school settings for the most common youth mental health concerns (anxiety, depression, and disruptive behavior). The psychometric properties and other practical characteristics of 37 measurement tools are reviewed, accompanied by links to access each tool and suggestions to help social workers identify which may best fit any particular combination of the diverse goals, school settings, and student populations they serve.

Article authors:

Jack H. Andrews, BS, is an MD/PhD student; Evelyn Cho, MA, Siena K. Tugendrajch, MA, and Brigid R. Marriott, MA, are doctoral students; and Kristin M. Hawley, PhD, is associate professor, Psychological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia. e-mail: hawleyk@missouri.edu.


The journal Social Work is a benefit of NASW membership. It is available online or, at a member’s request, in print. Children & Schools, Health & Social Work and Social Work Research are available by subscription at a discounted rate for NASW members, either online or in print. You can find out more about the journals and subscriptions at this link.