Construct validation of the social competence scale in preschool-age children

Kathleen Kiely Gouley, Laurie Miller Brotman, Keng Yen Huang, Patrick E. Shrout

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study evaluated the utility of the social competence scale (SCS)-parent version, a measure of social competence developed for children of elementary school age, for use with preschool-age children. Data were derived from two samples of preschoolers: a community sample assessed at enrollment to pre-kindergarten programs and a high-risk sample of children at familial risk for conduct problems participating in a preventive intervention trial. Using data from both samples, we assessed the factor structure, internal consistency, and stability of the SCS, and whether the SCS discriminated the high-risk sample from the community sample. Results support the utility and construct validity of the SCS for use in preschoolers. The total SCS scale was relatively stable over 24 months during the preschool period and was correlated with other measures of social competence, parent ratings of emotion regulation, lability and behavior problems, and tests of child cognitive ability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)380-398
Number of pages19
JournalSocial Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2008


  • Preschool
  • Psychometrics
  • Social competence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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