The Development of the Perceived School Experiences Scale

Objectives: This article describes two studies related to the development of the Perceived School Experiences Scale (PSES). The PSES may be used by social workers to assess youths’ perceptions of three school-related protective factors, including school connectedness, academic press, and academic motivation. Method: In Study 1, exploratory and confirmatory analyses were conducted on a calibration (n = 386) and cross-validation sample (n = 387) of middle and high school students. In Study 2, test–retest reliability and predictive validity were established on a sample of high school students (n = 97). Results: The resultant 14-item PSES demonstrated acceptable factorial validity and gender invariance in samples of middle and high school students. The PSES also demonstrated acceptable test–retest reliability, and correlated positively with perceived belonging and social competence. Conclusions: Overall, the PSES has important implications for social workers as they assess important protective factors and document the effectiveness of their interventions for the children and youth they serve.

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