Standardizing the assessment of emotional development in adults with intellectual and developmental disability

Tanja Sappok*, Anton Došen, Sabine Zepperitz, Brian Barrett, Jolanda Vonk, Christian Schanze, Marie Ilic, Thomas Bergmann, Leen De Neve, Joana Birkner, Sandra Zaal, Marco O. Bertelli, Mark Hudson, Filip Morisse, Paula Sterkenburg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Objective: The Scale of Emotional Development—Short (SED-S) is an instrument to assess the level of emotional development (ED) in people with intellectual and developmental disability. Index cases are developed as a didactic tool to standardize the application of the scale. Method: In a stepwise process, a European working group from six countries developed five index cases, one for each level of ED. All cases were first scored by 20 raters using the SED-S and then rephrased to reduce inter-rater variations (SD > 0.5). Results: All five index cases yielded overall ratings that matched the intended level of ED. Across the range of ED, Regulating Affect needed rephrasing most to ensure a distinct description within each level of ED. Conclusions: The tri-lingual, cross-cultural evolution of five index cases contributes to a standardized application of the SED-S and can serve as training material to improve the inter-rater reliability of the SED-S across different cultures and languages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)542-551
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Issue number3
Early online date11 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


  • adults
  • emotional development
  • intellectual disability
  • mental health
  • scale
  • standardized assessment


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