Emotional development and adaptive abilities in adults with intellectual disability. A correlation study between the Scheme of Appraisal of Emotional Development (SAED) and Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale (VABS)

Giampaolo La Malfa, Stefano Lassi, Marco Bertelli, Giorgio Albertini, Anton Dosen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The importance of emotional aspects in developing cognitive and social abilities has already been underlined by many authors even if there is no unanimous agreement on the factors constituting adaptive abilities, nor is there any on the way to measure them or on the relation between adaptive ability and cognitive level. The purposes of this study was to test the psychometric characteristics of a specific tool for the assessment of the emotional development and correlating such test with the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale, one of the most widely used tools to assess adaptive abilities in order to verify possible correlations between emotional development and adaptive abilities. Thirty-three adults living in residential centres for people with Intellectual Disability without psychiatric/behavioral disorders of clinical significance, were evaluated by administering the Scheme of Appraisal of Emotional Development (SAED) and the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale (VABS) and a statistical analysis was been conducted to verify possible correlations. The SAED proved to be a reliable psychometric tool and a strong positive correlation has indeed emerged between VABS' and SAED's general scores, therefore as the emotional development age increases so does at the same time adaptive age. The need to complete the assessment of adaptive abilities with that of emotional development seems therefore confirmed. Such tools provide the opportunity to gather extremely important information on the emotional needs of particular person regardless of the presence or absence of Intellectual Disability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1406-1412
Number of pages7
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009



  • Adaptive abilities
  • Assessment
  • Behavior
  • Emotional development
  • Intellectual disability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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