School Kindness Scale for Children and Adolescents

Researchers: John-Tyler Binfet, University of British Columbia Okanagan; Anne M. Gadermann and Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl, University of British Columbia


The School Kindness Scale (SKS) was developed by Okanagan School of Education’s Dr. John-Tyler Binfet to test students’ perceptions of kindness in schools. Participants in the original study included 1,753 students in Grades 4 to 8 attending public schools in a large school district in southern British Columbia.

The pattern of associations of the School Kindness Scale to a corpus of theoretically relevant constructs obtained via student self-reports (classroom supportiveness, optimism, happiness, pro-social and social goals, satisfaction with life, and academic self-efficacy) provide evidence for convergent and discriminant validity.

The SKS was significantly and positively associated with teacher reports on students’ empathy, social skills, and peer acceptance.

Analyses by gender and grade indicate that students’ perceptions of kindness in school decreased from fourth to eighth grade, with fourth-grade students reporting the highest levels of kindness in school and eighth-grade students reporting the lowest levels.

The theoretical importance of investigating students’ perceptions of kindness in the school context and the practical implications of this research for informing educational efforts to promote social and emotional competencies in school communities are discussed. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Girls recognize kindness in schools more than boys

In a study of more than 1,700 students between Grades 4 and 8, girls were shown to notice acts of kindness in schools significantly more than boys.

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Explore the scale

The psychometric properties of the School Kindness Scale were published in the journal Psychology in Schools (Binfet, Gadermann, & Schonert-Reichl, 2016). This link provides access to the Scale and Scoring Information.

Permission to Use

The scale is copyrighted but you are free to use it without charge by all professionals (researchers and practitioners) as long as you give credit to the authors of the scale: John-Tyer Binfet, Anne M. Gadermann and Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl as noted in Psychology in the Schools, Vol. 53(2), 2016. Please send a copy of any publications using the SKS to