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Author ORCID Identifier



Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Sara A. Whitcomb

Subject Categories

Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | School Psychology


The purpose of this study was to develop, test, and pilot a general outcome measurement tool that will allow educators to test young children’s knowledge of factors of emotional development: emotional identification and fluency, understanding situations where multiple emotions are present, understanding that others may feel differently in situations, and emotional regulation (CASEL, 2014). There are few assessments that reliably measure emotion knowledge in early elementary grades. The Emotion Knowledge and Awareness Test (EKAT) has been developed for kindergarten through second grade students to measure emotion awareness across two domains: knowledge and management. It was developed as a pre/posttest assessment to measure levels of emotion knowledge and strategy gains associated with social-emotional learning curricula. Practitioners will learn about the content validation processes and initial piloting of the EKAT. The EKAT development took place over four distinct phases. Phase One included item development and informal content validation with practitioners. In order to develop the items, the principal investigator trained her research team on the steps for item generation. Phase Two included content validation of the EKAT from a panel of experts in the fields of child development, psychology and education as well feedback from practitioners. The third phase included a pilot study of the EKAT with a diverse population of students throughout Western Massachusetts. The final analysis phase of the EKAT included a classical test theory analysis to eliminate items with poor discrimination and an exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis to measure how the items fit into the knowledge and management domains.