Date of this Version
Published in Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 12 pp. doi: 10.1177/0734282916676130
The Emotional and Behavioral Screener (EBS) is a recently developed teacher-reported brief screening instrument for identifying students who are at-risk of an emotional or behavioral disorder (EBD). Although prior research supports the technical adequacy of scores from the EBS, there is a gap in the literature regarding strong evidence of the factor structure underlying EBS scores. This study investigated the latent structure of scores from the EBS in a sample of 646 elementary students who were rated by their teachers in a 2-week screening period. Single-factor confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and bifactor models were used to test the hypothesis that EBS scores are a measure of both overall emotional and behavioral risk and students’ externalizing and internalizing behaviors. Results supported a bifactor structure, in that scores from the EBS can be considered to represent a general factor (i.e., risk of EBD) and two group factors (i.e., externalizing and internalizing domains). Findings have implications for interpreting scores when using the EBS as a universal screener for the risk of EBD.