After-School Environment Scale

The 36-item After-School Environment Scale (ASES) was developed for use with third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade children as a measure of psychosocial climate in after-school programs.  Several features of programs are assessed, including relations with caregivers, provisions for autonomy, and relations with peers at the program.  Three scales are identified by Rosenthal & Vandell (1996): emotional support, autonomy/privacy, and peer affiliation.


Administration Method
Number of Questions
Creator(s) of Tool
Complete measurement tool reference: Rosenthal, R., & Vandell, D. L. (1996). Quality of care at school-
aged child care programs: Regulatable features, observed experiences, child perspectives, and parent perspectives. Child Development, 67, 2434-2445. doi:10.2307/1131632

Complete measurement tool hyperlink:
Scoring / Benchmarking
Before analyzing the data, code the answer options as follows:
Never = 1
Sometimes = 2
Most of the Time = 3
Always = 4

The tool is scored on three scales. The overall climate score is the mean of the three scales. The questions composing scales are listed below. A (-) indicates that the question is scored inversely. This means that a score of 4 becomes 1, a score of 3 becomes 2, a score of 2 becomes 3, and a score of 1 becomes 4.

Emotional Support
2. I trust the teachers here.
5. I wish I was anywhere but here (-)
6. I can tell the teachers here about my problems if I need to
8. There are too many rules to follow. (-)
9. When I want to be alone the teachers bother me. (-)
12. The teachers really listen to me when I have something important to say.
13. I’m usually bored here. (-)
15. The teachers are very strict here. (-)
16. It seems like the teachers never leave us alone here. (-)
17. I really like coming here.
21. The teachers here are more like friends than teachers.
25. The teachers go out of their way to help kids here.
26. I like the activities here.
27. The teachers are always telling me what to do. (-)
31. The teachers yell a lot here. (-)
32. I miss it here when I don’t come.
34. The teachers here care about me.
35. I’m always being bothered by the teachers. (-)
36. This is a great place to be.

10. I have to do what’s planned, no matter what. (-)
14. I get to choose what I want to do here.
19. We get into trouble for talking when we aren’t supposed to. (-)
23. I get to do what I want to do here.
28. I can be by myself here whenever I want to.
30. The teachers let me decide what to do here.

Peer Affiliation
1. I get to know other kids really well here.
7. I can really trust the other kids here
11. I have lots of friends here.
22. I like the other kids here.
29. I have a good time playing with other kids here.
33. I have a hard time finding friends here. (-)

Summary scores may be obtained by adding all responses and dividing by the total number of responses. Higher scores indicate a better environment (more emotionally supportive, more autonomous, and more supportive of peer affiliation).
Background / Quality
This tool has been found to have good reliability (Rosenthal & Vandell, 1996). Internal consistency is .95 for Emotional Support, .79 for Autonomy/Privacy, .80 for Peer Affiliation, and .95 for overall climate. Test-retest coefficients for an average 17-day interval (range = 6-29 days) are .91 for Emotional Support, .70 for Autonomy/Privacy, .77 for Peer Affiliation, and .90 for overall climate.
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