Education

Evaluating ABAS-3 Assessment Reliability via Internal Consistency & Standard Error Measurement

By nature, humans have skills that enable them to adapt to their environment. However, because of learning disabilities, developmental delays, or other environmental factors, some people struggle to develop their adaptive skills and need intervention.

The ABAS-3, or the Adaptive Behavior Assessment System, enables professionals to identify these limitations and create intervention programs that assist children and adults with developing the adaptive skills necessary to function in their everyday environments.

The ABAS-3 helps increase an individual’s independence and improve social behaviors. Assessing a person’s ability to function independently (and using that information to improve theirtreatment plan) enhances their quality of life and enables them to continue into adulthood with the skills they need to perform at work, school, and home.

Reliability and Internal Consistency

It’s important that test scores are consistent and predictable. This stability determines the test’s reliability. Without reliable, measurable results, test scores can’t be evaluated to make diagnoses and develop long-term treatment plans.

There are six approaches to determining the reliability of the ABAS-3. They include internal consistency, standard error of measurement, test-retest reliability, interrater reliability (where two different administrators rate the same individual using the same form), cross-form consistency (where two different administrators rate the same individual using two different forms), and alternate-forms reliability (where one administrator rates an individual using two different forms).

For instance, both a teacher and a parent may evaluate a child using the same form to determine consistent results. They may also assess the child using different forms to cross reference results and establish consistency.

These practices help to establish a baseline for the exam and determine its internal consistency. Internal consistency is the idea that all questions on a test consistently measure the same trait or ability. An internally consistent test demonstrates a strong relationship between scores following a single administration.

Standard Error of Measurement

The standard error of measurement, or SEM, estimates how close an individual’s observed score is to their true score. Their true score is what their score would be without measurement errors. The SEM is directly related to the reliability of the exam.

Greater reliability of the exam increases the confidence clinicians have in the results, allowing them to diagnose and treat disorders more accurately.

By determining the reliability and internal consistency of an exam, we can eliminate the need for a standard error of measurement, because there will be less error (if there’s any error at all). The reliability of exams like the ABAS-3 help evaluate an individual accurately and remain consistent with treatment.

Clinicians, teachers, parents, and other caretakers can use reliable forms like the ABAS-3 to share results and establish consistency in diagnosis and treatment for individuals with a variety of developmental disorders. For more information on the ABAS-3 (Adaptive Behavior Assessment System, Third Edition), visitWPS, an independent publisher of psychological and educational assessments.