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SESBI-R - Sutter-Eyberg Student Behavior Inventory-Revised

The SESBI-R is a reacher-report measure used to assess conduct problems in youth ages 2-16. It contains 38 items that are rated on both Intensity and Problem scales. Teachers are able to indicate the current frequency of behavior problems and determine whether or not they find the behaviors to be problematic. The SESBI-R can be used in conjunction with the Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory (ECBI).




Eyberg, Sheila, Ph.D., & Pincus, Donna, M.A.

Eyberg, S., & Pincus, D. (1999). Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory & Sutter-Eyberg Student Behavior Inventory-Revised:
Professional Manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.

Contact Information: 

Psychologty Assessment Resources, Inc. (phone) 800.331.8378

Cost Involved
Domain Assessed: 
Anxiety/Mood (Internalizing Symptoms)
Age Range: 
Measure Type: 
General Assessment
Measure Format: 


Number of Items: 
Average Time to Complete (min): 
Reporter Type: 
Teacher/Day Care Provider
Average Time to Score (min): 
Response Format: 

Consists of 2 response formats:
1. Problem Scale: Yes or No
2. Intensity Scale: 7-Point Likert-type Scale: 1= Never Exhibits Behavior to 7=Always Exhibits Behavior

Materials Needed: 
Sample Items: 
DomainsScaleSample Items
Externalizing BehaviorsProblem ScaleNot available
Intensity ScaleNot available
Information Provided: 
Areas of Concern/Risks
Clinician Friendly Output
Continuous Assessment
Raw Scores
Standard Scores


Training to Administer: 
Training to Interpret: 

Parallel or Alternate Forms

Parallel Forms: 
Alternate Forms: 
Different Age Forms: 
Altered Version Forms: 
Alternative Forms Description: 

1. This form is a revision of the original SESBI. The SESBI-R differs from the SESBI in that 8 of the SESBI items that were rated infrequently were deleted. Ten items that, when tested, occurred frequently were added. These symptoms were derived from DSM-IV disruptive behavior categories.
2. The SESBI-R can be used in conjunction with the Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory (ECBI), a parentreport measure of disruptive child behavior, which is also reviewed in this database.


Clinical Populations
Age Groups
Notes on Psychometric Norms: 

Normative data were gathered from 2 samples of children in the Southeast (Eyberg & Pincus, 1999; Rayfield, 1998).

Sample 1: 62.7% White, 36.8% African American children in the 5th-12 grade. Described under “Population Used To Develop Measure” (Rayfield, 1998)
Sample 2: 49.6% White, 49.5% African American children in kindergarten through 5th grade receiving services for emotional or behavioral disorders. Described under “Population Used To Develop Measure” (Eyberg & Pincus, 1999).

Clinical Cutoffs: 
Clinical Cutoffs Description: 

Intensity Score: T>=60, Problem Score: T>=60

Internal ConsistencyAcceptableChronbach's alpha0.930.980.96
Inter-raterAcceptable Correlation0.680.680.68
References for Reliability: 

Data reported above and below are for the SESBI-R (Querido & Eyberg, 2003). TEST-REST (1-week correlation) Intensity (.81, n=52), Problem (.84, n=50) INTERNAL CONSISTENCY (alpha) Intensity (.98), Problem (.93) Rayfield et al. (1998) Intensity (.98), Problem (.96) INTER-RATER (weighted means for Intensity are provided in table. Problem scores are expected to vary, given that they are dependent on the rater’s perception of a problem. Intensity, calculated for 8 pairs of teachers (range .43-.84, weighted mean=.68, n=72) Problem, calculated for 5 pairs of teachers (range -.02-.22, weighted mean=-.04)

Content Validity Evaluated: 
References for Content Validity: 

The original SESBI was developed as a companion to the Eyberg Child Behavior Checklist: 11 items are identical; 12 items had slightly altered wording to be consistent with classroom tasks and behaviors; and 13 items were selected from “a chart review of problem behaviors most frequently reported by teachers of children referred for treatment of behavior problems” (Querido & Eyberg, 2003).

Items added during the development of the SESBI-R were derived from DSM-IV disruptive behavior categories.

Construct Validity Evaluated: 
Construct Validity: 
Validity TypeNot knownNot foundNonclincal SamplesClinical SamplesDiverse Samples
Sensitive to ChangeYes
Sensitive to Theoretically Distinct GroupsYesYes
Factorial ValidityYes
References for Construct Validity: 

The SESBI-R is considerably different from the original SESBI, with 8 of the
items deleted and 10 new items added. However, it would be expected that theSESBI would share similar psychometric properties as the original SESBI.

Convergent and discriminant validity data from the original SESBI, as well as evidence of sensitivity to treatment effects, are presented below separately for the SESBI and SESBI-R. Results of factor analysis are presented only for the SESBI-R. However, the tables reflect only data found using the SESBI-R.

Numerous studies have examined the validity and reliability of the original SESBI (see manual for a full description).

1. The SESBI has been found to correlate with other teacher-rated measures of disruptive behavior (e.g., Funderburk, Eyberg, Rich, & Behar, 2003) and with observations of disruptive behavior (Jacobs, Boggs, Eyberg, Edwards, Durning, & Querido, et al., 2000; Teegarden & Burns, 1993).

2. The SESBI is sensitive to intervention effects (McNeil, Eyberg, Eisenstadt, Newcomb, & Funderburk, 1991; McTaggart & Sanders, 2003; Zivin, Hassan, DePaula, Monti, Harlan, Hossain, et al., 2001).

3. McNeil, Eyberg, Eisenstadt, Newcomb, & Funderburk (1991) found that although SESBI and ECBI scores were not correlated at either pre- or posttreatment, change scores revealed a significant correlation (r=.78), suggesting that relative improvements reported by teachers and parents using these scales are related.

4. The SESBI was also found to discriminate between different groups of children, including clinic and non-referred samples and children with a learning disability (Floyd, Rayfield, Eyberg, Riley, 2004).

5. In a large rural sample of 726 children (37% African American), significant gender effects were reported, with boys showing higher intensity scores than girls (gender effects also found by Burns & Owen, 1990; Lumley, McNeil, Herschell, & Bahl, 2002). There was also a race x grade effect, with African American children receiving higher intensity scores than did White children in middle school and junior high but similar scores (although statistically different) in high school.

From Querido and Eyberg (2003)
The SESBI-R has been found to correlate with another teacher-rating scale of disruptive behavior, the Conners Teacher Rating Scale-Revised (SESBI and Conner’s Global Index: r=.74). The Intensity score correlated with all Conners subscales; and the Problem scale was significantly correlated with all scales except Perfectionism and Social Problems.

Clinic-referred versus non-clinic referred children also differed on SESBI-R Intensity and Problem scores, providing evidence of discriminant validity. In
regression analyses, predicting membership to referred or non-referred groups, the SESBI-R contributed variance above that accounted for the Connor’s Oppositional subscale and demographic variables.

Principal components factor analysis of the SESBI-R Intensity scale suggested a 2-factor solution based on the scree test. The first factor accounted for 60% of the variance and contained items related to oppositional behavior. The second factor accounted for 38% of the variance and contained items related to attentional difficulties (Rayfield et al., 1998).

Items and their factor loadings are listed in Rayfield et al. (1998).
SESBI-R items included in factor 1 are: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16,
18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 33, 35, 36, 38.
Items included in factor 2 are: 5, 8, 14, 17, 19, 32, 34, 37.

Overall Psychometric Limitations: 

1. While norms and some studies (e.g., Querido & Eyberg, 2003) have included a significant number of African Americans, the measure has not been examined with large numbers of other ethnic groups (e.g., Latinos and Asians); and norms do not include these populations.
2. Sensitivity and Specificity rates were not reported in the manual.
3. The majority of studies have involved the original version of the SESBI and not the SESBI-R.


Translation Quality: 
Language:TranslatedBack TranslatedReliableGood PsychometricsSimilar Factor StructureNorms AvailableMeasure Developed for this Group
1. ChineseYesYes
2. GermanYesYes
3. SwedishYes

Population Information

Population Used for Measure Development: 

From Eyberg & Pincus (1999):
The original sample consisted of 55 non-referred lower-middle SES preschool children. Psychometric properties of the SESBI-R were established with 415 elementary school students from 11 schools in Gainesville, Florida. Of the 52 teachers that rated the children, 8 were African American and 48 were Caucasian.

Distribution of grade levels were as follows: 8 kindergarten teachers, 7 first-grade teachers, 9 second-grade teachers, 8 third-grade teachers, 6 fourth-grade teachers, 8 fifthgrade teachers, and 6 teachers teaching classes with various grade levels. 314 children were in mainstream classes and 101 were in classes for behavioral or emotional problems.

Ethnicity: 206 Caucasian, 205 African-American, 2 Latino, and 2 Mixed Ethnic Background.
Gender: 223 boys, 192 girls.
SES: 16% of sample fell below poverty level on annual income.
The SESBI was later revised (Rayfield, Eyberg, & Foote, 1998) with a sample of 726 students (grades 5-12); 50% female; 36.8% African American, 62.7% White, and <1% Asian or Hispanic.
Of the 38 teachers who completed the forms: female (89%), male (11%); Caucasian (79%) and African American (21%).

Use with Diverse Populations: 
Population Type: Measure Used with Members of this GroupMembers of this Group Studied in Peer-Reviewed JournalsReliableGood PsychometricsNorms AvailableMeasure Developed for this Group
1. Lower socio-economic statusYes

Pros & Cons/References


1. Both the manual and the test administration are user friendly.
2. Scoring is quick and easy.
3. The scales derived from factor analysis may be helpful in providing more information for diagnoses.
4. Revised to improve validity and reliability.
5. The measure may be administered in conjunction with the Eyberg Child Behavior Checklist (ECBI) for cross informant data-gathering purposes.


1. The revision needs further empirical study, given that there are only two published empirical studies (as of 7/05) that used the revised version.
2. This measure does not assess symptoms relevant to trauma-exposed children such as internalizing problems and PTSD symptomatology. It focuses primarily on externalizing symptoms.
3. Although the normative sample includes African Americans, it includes few Asians and Latinos, and caution should be used when applying the norms to those ethnic groups.

Author Comments: 

No comments from author. The publisher reviewed the report and provided corrections, which were integrated.


The reference for the manual is:
Eyberg, S., & Pincus, D. (1999). Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory & Sutter-Eyberg Student
Behavior Inventory-Revised: Professional Manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment

A PsychInfo literature search of "Sutter Eyberg Student Behavior Inventory” or “SESBI" (6/05) anywhere revealed the measure has been referenced in 65 peer-reviewed journal articles.

Note: However, because many of these articles only used the ECBI, and the search was identifying citations of the manual, the search was limited to Sutter Eyberg as a keyword or measure. This resulted in 18 peer reviewed journal articles. Two (#15, #16) were identified as having used the SESBI-R as opposed to the original version. One did not cite the SESBI, but four other articles were identified while conducting the review. Given that the revised version most likely shares psychometric properties with the full version, the review was based on the 21 articles identified. A sampling is below.

1. Burns, G. L., & Owen, S. M. (1990). Disruptive behaviors in the classroom: Initial standardization data on a new teacher rating scale. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 18(5), 515-525.

2. Burns, G. L., & Patterson, D. R. (2001). Normative data on the Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory and Sutter-Eyberg Student Behavior Inventory: Parent and teacher rating scales of disruptive behavior problems in children and adolescents. Child & Family Behavior Therapy, 23(1), 15-28.

3. Burns, G. L., Sosna, T. D., & Ladish, C. (1992). Distinctions between well-standardized norms and the psychometric properties of a measure: Measurement of disruptive behaviors with the Sutter-Eyberg Student Behavior Inventory. Child & Family Behavior Therapy, 14(4), 43-54.

4. Burns, G. L., Walsh, J. A., & Owen, S. M. (1995). Twelve-month stability of disruptive classroom behavior as measured by the sutter-eyeberg student behavior inventory. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 24(4), 453-462.

5. Floyd, E. M., Rayfield, A., Eyberg, S. M., & Riley, J. L.,III. (2004). Psychometric properties of the Sutter-Eyberg Student Behavior Inventory with rural middle school and high school children. Assessment, 11(1), 64-72.

6. Funderburk, B., & Eyberg, S.M. (1989). Psychometric characteristics of the Sutter-Eyberg Student Behavior Inventory: A school behavior rating scale for use with preschool children. Behavioral Assessment, 11, 297-313.

7. Funderburk, B. W., Eyberg, S. M., Rich, B. A., & Behar, L. (2003). Further psychometric evaluation of the Sutter-Eyberg Student Behavior Inventory rating scales for parents and teachers of preschoolers. Early Education & Development, 14(1), 67-81.

8. Hoath, F. E., & Sanders, M. R. (2002). A feasibility study of enhanced group Triple PPositive Parenting Program for parents of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Behaviour Change, 19(4), 191-206.

9. Jacobs, J. R., Boggs, S. R., Eyberg, S. M., Edwards, D. L., Durning, P., Querido, J.G., et al. (2000). Psychometric properties and reference point data for the Revised Edition of the School Observation Coding System. Behavior Therapy, 31, 695-712.

10. Little, E., Hudson, A., & Wilks, R. (2002). The efficacy of written teacher advice (tip sheets) for managing classroom behaviour problems. Educational Psychology, 22(3), 251-266.

11. Lumley, V. A., McNeil, C. B., Herschell, A. D., & Bahl, A. B. (2002). An examination of gender differences among young children with disruptive behavior disorders. Child Study Journal, 32(2), 89-100.

12. McNeil, C. B., Eyberg, S., Eisenstadt, T. H., Newcomb, K., & Funderburk, B. (1991). Parent-Child Interaction Therapy with behavior problem children: Generalization of treatment effects to the school setting. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 20(2), 140-151.

13. McTaggart, P., & Sanders, M. R. (2003). The transition to school project: Results from the classroom. Australian e-Journal for the Advancement of Mental Health, 2(3).

14. Polaha, J., Larzelere, R. E., Shapiro, S. K., & Pettit, G. S. (2004). Physical discipline and child behavior problems: A study of ethnic group differences. Parenting: Science & Practice, 4(4), 339-360.

15. Querido, J. G., & Eyberg, S. M. (2003). Psychometric properties of the Sutter-Eyberg Student Behavior Inventory-Revised with preschool children. Behavior Therapy, 34(1), 1-15.

16. Rayfield, A., Eyberg, S. M., & Foote, R. (1998). Revision of the Sutter-Eyberg Student Behavior Inventory: Teacher ratings of conduct problem behavior. Educational & Psychological Measurement, 58(1), 88-98.

17. Ross, C. N., Blanc, H. M., McNeil, C. B., Eyberg, S. M., & Hembree-Kigin, T. L. (1998). Parenting stress in mothers of young children with oppositional defiant disorder and other severe behavior problems. Child Study Journal, 28(2), 93-110.

18. Teegarden, L. A., & Burns, G. L. (1993). Construct validity of the Sutter-Eyberg Student Behavior Inventory: Relation between teacher perception of disruptive behavior and direct observation of problem classroom behavior over a seven-month period. Child & Family Behavior Therapy, 15(4), 43-58.

19. Zivin, G., Hassan, N. R., DePaula, G. F., Monti, D. A., Harlan, C., Hossain, K. D., et al. (2001). An effective approach to violence prevention: Traditional martial arts in middle school. Adolescence, 36(143), 443-459.

Developer of Review: 
Jennifer DeFeo, M.A. & Chandra Ghosh Ippen, Ph.D.
Editor of Review: 
Chandra Ghosh Ippen, Ph.D. Nicole Taylor, Ph.D., Robyn Igelman, M.A., & Madhur Kulkarni, M.S.