The CASA is a rater-report measure designed to assess child/adolescent status with regard to 30 potential strengths, for use in mental health service planning and delivery. Strengths are assessed on 6 dimensions: 1) family, 2) school/vocational, 3) psychological, 4) peer, 5) moral/spiritual, and 6) extracurricular.
Lyons, J.S., Uziel-Miller, N.D., Reyes, F., & Sokol, P.T. (2000). The strengths of children and adolescents in residential settings: Prevalence and associations with psychopathology and discharge placement. Journal of the Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 39(2), 176-181.
Reporters (parents, teachers, clinicians, or those with access and familiarity to clinical record) rate the youth on specific items (e.g., “Reads for pleasure”) on a 3-point scale, anchored to indicate the presence of a strength and the potential for development. In general, anchors indicate: “No Evidence,” “Interest/Potential,” and “Yes, Definitely.”
|Family Strengths||Has strong positive relation with at least one parent.|
|School/Vocational Strengths||Excels in at least one subject.|
|Psychological Strengths||Has a sese of humor.|
|Peer Strengths||Has close friend(s).|
|Morality/Spirituality||Has developed values/morals.|
|Extracurricular Strengths||Has artistic/creative talent.|
CASAs were completed by house parents, primary therapists or caseworkers. The internal consistency was .92. Lyons et al. (2000) report interrater assessed at acceptable levels in other research studies.
Face Valid: Items for each domain appear to assess characteristics of the child/adolescents environment that relate to strengths and may support healthy functioning. The measure was developed through literature reviews and focus groups with family members and service delivery professionals. An initial draft was reviewed by experts in children’s mental health, child welfare, child development, and social services. Feedback from these stakeholders was incorporated and resulted in the final version of the CASA (Lyons, Uziel-Miller, Reyes, & Sokol, 2000).
|Validity Type||Not known||Not found||Nonclincal Samples||Clinical Samples||Diverse Samples|
|Sensitive to Change||Yes|
|Sensitive to Theoretically Distinct Groups||Yes|
(Lyons et al., 2000). Validity research was conducted with children and adolescents in residential treatment facilities. Children and adolescents with higher strengths were more likely to have a positive discharge placement. Child and adolescent strengths (CASA) were compared to level of risk as measured by the Childhood Severity of Psychiatric Illness (CSPI). There were significant negative correlations between strength domains (CASA) and risk domains (CSPI). Potential limitations include that this measure was not compared to an existing valid strength-based assessment of children and adolescents. Additionally, validity was established with a residential population. More research is necessary to determine validity for nonresidential population of children and adolescents.
|Not Known||Not Found||Nonclinical Samples||Clinical Samples||Diverse Samples|
1. The psychometrics have been examined only in a residential treatment population. More research is needed with other populations. 2. More research is needed examining the validity with established measures, including strength-based measures. 3. The full psychometrics of the measure have not yet been examined, including test-retest reliability and interrater reliability.
From Lyons, Uziel-Miller, Reyes, & Sokol (2000): The initial sample in which psychometrics were examined consisted of 450 children and adolescents (55% male and 45% female) aged 5-19 (M=13.7) selected randomly from sixteen residential treatment sites in Florida that billed Medicaid or expressed an interest in billing Medicaid. At the time of the review, 123 of the children had already been discharged. CASAs were completed by house parents, primary therapists, or caseworkers. This sample was ethnically diverse (49% White, 35% African American, 11% Hispanic, 5% mix of Native Americans and Asian/Pacific Islanders).
|Population Type:||Measure Used with Members of this Group||Members of this Group Studied in Peer-Reviewed Journals||Reliable||Good Psychometrics||Norms Available||Measure Developed for this Group|
|1. Patients in residential treatment||Yes|
1. This measure provides a comprehensive assessment of potential strengths in children and adolescents’ lives across multiple contexts. 2. It assesses different categories of strengths from different contexts (e.g., school/vocational strengths and peer strengths). 3. It appears easy to complete and the rating scale makes conceptual sense to clinicians.
1. The psychometrics have been examined only in a residential treatment population. More research is needed with other populations. 2. More research is needed on the measure's psychometrics including test-retest reliability and interrater reliability. 3. More research is needed examining the validity with established measures including strength-based measures. 4. There is no psychometric research regarding the measure’s reliability with specific trauma populations. 5. The measure has not been translated into other languages for use by non-Englishspeaking assessors. English-literate clinicians can use the measure when working with other language groups, but the psychometrics of such a procedure have not yet been determined.
A PsychInfo literature search (6/05) of "Child and Adolescent Strengths and Assessment" or "CASA" anywhere revealed the measure has been referenced in 1 peer-reviewed journal articles. One other article referenced only the paper (not the measure) and is not included. 1. Lyons, J.S., Kisiel, C.L., & West, C. (1997). Child and Adolescent Strengths Assessment (CASA): A pilot study. Family Matters, 3, 30-33.