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Behavioral Emotional & Social Skills Inventory


Assessment name: Behavioral, Emotional, and Social Skills Inventory (BESSI)

Scale overview: The Behavioral, Emotional, and Social Skills Inventory (BESSI) helps identify five groups of skills associated with health, happiness and success.


Response Type: Items are rated on a scale of agreement from


As of the date of this writing, the researchers identified five skill categories also called domains. There are 32 skills called facets linked to domains.

1.    Self-management skills, used to pursue goals and complete tasks

2.    Social engagement skills, used to actively communicate with other people

3.    Cooperation skills, used to make and keep positive social relationships

4.    Emotional resilience skills, used to regulate emotions and moods

5.    Innovation skills, used to learn from new ideas and experiences

There are also compound skills that combine skills from multiple domains.

There are several versions of the BESSI, which yield various degrees of specificity.

The BESSI-20 quickly assess skills at the domain level as does a slightly longer BESSI 45.

Longer forms provide more details. The 192 item version includes the full 32 skill facets.


Reliability and Validity

See Soto et al. (2022) for an extensive presentation of the psychometric properties of the BESSI within different samples. The researchers present the results of factor analyses and correlations of the domains and facets with the Big Five Personality Traits. High levels of alpha values are also reported. Overall, alpha values ranged from .80 to .94 as reported in Study 4.



The BESSI may be taken online at this link:

The BESSI was written in American English. There is a German version with other translations pending.


The BESSI is free for non-commercial purposes as follows:

The BESSI is freely available for non-commercial purposes, such as scientific research, program evaluation, and personal use. You do not need to ask permission for these uses. However, permission is required for any commercial use of the BESSI. If you are interested in obtaining permission to use the BESSI for a commercial purpose, then please contact Dr. Christopher Soto.


Reference for the scale

Soto, C. J., Napolitano, C. M., & Roberts, B. W. (2021). Taking skills seriously: Toward an integrative model and agenda for social, emotional, and behavioral skills. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 30, 26-33.

Napolitano, C. M., Sewell, M. N., Yoon, H. J., Soto, C. J., & Roberts, B. W. (2021). Social, emotional, and behavioral skills: An integrative model of the skills associated with success during adolescence and across the life span. Frontiers in Education, 6, 679561.

BESSI and wholistic assessment

The facets within the BESSI domains relate to the domains of human functioning common to psychological research and practice. For example, by referring to the colorful BESSI chart, you can see by the domain names and sample skills how they fit with five domains of the SCOPES model of human functioning if we omit the physiological domain.



Reference for using scales in research:

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Reference for clinicians on understanding assessment

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Resource Link:  A – Z Test Index



The information about scales and measures is provided for clinicians and researchers based on professional publications. The links to authors, materials, and references can change. You may be able to locate details by contacting the main author of the original article or another author on the article list.


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