- How was the DTORF Online content developed? -
During development of the DTORF-R, the findings of 164 theorists and researchers were extensively reviewed to identify widely recognized constructs of social, emotional, and behavioral competence. Among these were human development experts, among them Erikson, Cole, Gilligan, Kagan, Kohlberg, Lickona, Mahler, Maslow, Piaget, Selman, and Turial. In doing this, four major developmental domains became evident: behavior (DOING), communication (SAYING), socialization (RELATING), and academics/cognition (THINKING). Within these domains, a large pool of indicators of healthy personality development was formed. The descriptors were then organized into sequential developmental pathways for specific ages and stages within each domain from birth to age 16. These characteristics were defined further in observable operational terms and sequenced into four subscales of increasing item difficulty. Finally, to verify that every item had validity for the four subscale constructs, each item was referenced directly to the original domain analyses.
- What does research show about the effectiveness of DTORF online? -
The DTORF-R (paper-based version of DTORF Online) has been used over four decades in field research to document program effectiveness for students with emotional and behavioral disabilities (EBD), with support from the U. S. Department of Education and the University of Georgia in collaboration with numerous public school and clinical programs. In repeated studies, children and young teens with EBD made significant gains in DTORF-R social-emotional-behavioral competencies in a single school year. These gains were achieved by students with varying types and severity of disabilities, multiracial and ethnic backgrounds, in low and middle socioeconomic levels, and in urban and rural locations in the U.S. and internationally. Similar results were found in DTORF-R gains for intensive intervention (students in restrictive special education classes), targeted intervention (transitioning to special education resource classes) and for inclusion in general education, thereby providing program continuity across multi-tier levels of services.
Evidence submitted to the American Psychiatric Association and to the National Institute of Education Program Effectiveness Panel for peer review resulted in four separate designations as "a program that works." These studies also found evidence of high inter-rater reliability and content validity for the instrument, providing added confidence in its psychometric properties:
For detailed reports: