Measuring social-emotional development with SEDAL

Assessing social-emotional level

The SEDAL is a behavioural assessment scale designed to establish social-emotional progress in children and adults with a developmental age ranging from 0 to 14. Test results deliver crucial information, key in supporting the individual's ongoing positive growth and development.

How it works

The SEDAL's scale includes 152 items divided equally into two interrelated domains, social and emotional, classified in increasing age categories from 0 to 14. Its broad application is useful for children with intellectual disabilities, behavioural problems, sensory or motor disabilities, and normal developing children. It is also appropriate for use with adults with intellectual disabilities or delayed development.

The social development domain focuses on topics that include:

  • initiating contact
  • social independence
  • moral development
  • impulse control
  • self-awareness
  • social assessment skills

The emotional development section measures closely connected dimensions, such as:

  • self-image
  • emotional independence
  • sense of reality
  • moral development
  • regulation of emotions
  • fears

Simple and straightforward in practice, the scoring system is based on responses to behaviours deemed either 'characteristic' or 'non-characteristic'. Responses are applied to the scoring program or assessed manually, depending on the user's preference.

By measuring the domains separately, the SEDAL is able to calculate a developmental age level for each area individually, as well as a global score combining the two domains — emphasising the important connection between social and emotional development. By focusing on just the preceding three months, administrators also have the ability to observe and chart an individual's developmental growth over time.

The SEDAL will be published by Hogrefe in January 2015. For more information, email

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