Development and initial validation of the symptoms and assets screening scale

Andrew Downs, Laura A. Boucher, Duncan G. Campbell, Michelle Dasse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective: To develop and test a screening measure of mental health symptoms and well-being in college students, the Symptoms and Assets Screening Scale (SASS). Participants: Participants were 758 college students at 2 universities in the Northwest sampled between October 2009 and April 2011. Methods: Participants completed the SASS, as well as measures of depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, substance problems, and eating problems in 1 session. A subset of participants (n = 259) completed the SASS 1 to 2 weeks later to allow an examination of test-retest stability. Results: The SASS demonstrated good reliability and validity and appears to assess similar constructs as well-established measures in college students. Fifty-nine percent of the sample reported having problems with their thoughts, behaviors, or emotions, whereas only 9.7% reported currently receiving treatment. Conclusions: The SASS is a brief instrument that has the potential to effectively screen for the most prevalent mental health problems in college students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-174
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of American College Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013


  • assessment
  • mental health
  • psychopathology
  • screening
  • well-being


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