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Adaptive Behavior Assessment System – Third Edition (ABAS-3)

The Adaptive Behavior Assessment System – Third Edition (ABAS-III; Harrison & Oakland, 2015) uses a behavior rating format to assess adaptive behavior and related skills for individuals from 0 through 89 years of age. Information on children may be provided by parents and/or teachers; information on adults may be provided by significant others, care providers, supervisors, and/or the client him/herself.


ABAS-III scores help describe a person’s general adaptive behavior as well as his or her functioning in 11 related adaptive skill areas: communication, community use, functional academics, school/home living, health and safety, leisure, self-care, self-direction, social, work (for older adolescents and adults), and motor. These areas encompass the practical, everyday skills required to function and meet environmental demands, including those needed to effectively and independently care for oneself and interact with others.

The ABAS-III groups adaptive skills into three broad domains: conceptual, social, and practical. The conceptual domain includes the skill areas of communication, functional academics, self- direction, and health and safety. The social domain includes social and leisure skill areas. Finally, the practical domain includes the skill areas of self-care, home living, community use, health and safety, and work. The motor skills area is required for ages 0 through 5, and supplemental for ages 5 through 89.

The ABAS-III provides a general adaptive composite score; the composite scores for the conceptual, social, and practical domains; and scaled scores for the 11 skill areas. There are five rating report forms, which can be completed by parents, family members, teachers, daycare staff, supervisors, counselors, or others familiar with the daily activities of the individual being evaluated. In addition, the adult form can be completed as a self-report, or can be rated by others. All forms are available in Spanish.

The ABAS-III can be used to develop treatment plans and training goals, document and monitor progress over time, determine eligibility for services such as Social Security disability benefits, and evaluate ability to live and work independently. The results of this assessment may contribute to research and program evaluation.


Author (yr) Age Range (yrs) Method of Administration/Format Approx. Time to Administer Subscales
Adaptive Behavior Assessment System – Third Edition (ABAS-III) Harrison & Oakland (2015) Birth - 89

Individually administered, norm-referenced assessment of adaptive behavior.

5 forms: parent/primary caregiver (0–5 yrs.); parent (5–21 yrs); teacher/daycare provider (2–5 yrs.); teacher (5–21 yrs.); adult (16–89 yrs.).

Eleven skill areas with three adaptive domains.

Yields composite scores, skills profile, analysis of strengths and weaknesses,

standard scores, confidence intervals for standard scores, percentile ranks. All scores can be categorized descriptively.
20 min.

General Adaptive Composite; Adaptive Domains – Conceptual (Communication, Functional Academics, Self- Direction, Composite); Social (Leisure, Social, Composite); Practical (Community Use, Home Living, Health and Safety, Self-care, Work, Composite); Motor

Availability: Western Psychological Services,

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