Social-Emotional Assessment and Learning (SEAL) Logo


SEAL Programs SIP-AP CARE
About CARE CARE FAQs
CARE Logo Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is CARE?
  2. How is CARE scored?
  3. What scientific framework does CARE use?
  4. What age group is the tool for?
  5. Can boys and girls use CARE?
  6. How is the application administered?
  7. How long does the program take to administer?
  8. What are the key features of the program?
  9. What credentials are needed to order and use the program?
  10. How do I order CARE?
  11. What are the System Requirements for using CARE?



What is CARE?
  • The Child and Adolescent Recognition of Emotions (CARE) measure is a web-based, audio-CASI (computer assisted self-interviewing) program designed to assess developmentally-appropriate and culturally sensitive skills in emotion recognition.
    • The scientific method used for selecting photographs in CARE involved stringent criteria in which faces were objectively coded using the Facial Action Coding System (FACS) developed by Ekman and Friesen (1976) to ensure that the facial expressions accurately represented a prototypical facial expression of emotion.
    • The demographic characteristics of the models in the photographs were carefully selected to include same-aged peers, boys and girls, as well as black, white, Asian, and Hispanic youth.
    • The method of administration was also carefully developed for the CARE measure. Web-based administration and use of the audio-computer-assisted self-interviewing (audio-CASI) format were designed to 1) help keep children engaged in the task; 2) enable reliable, consistent delivery of stimuli across interviewers; and 3) provide inexpensive, immediate, and accurate access to children’s responses in an electronic database.
  • CARE encompasses five measures: three measures of facial emotion recognition (Face Recall, Face Word, and Four Faces) and two measures of body posture emotion recognition (Body Recall and Body Word).
  • FACE RECALL: Children are presented with 8 photographic stimuli of similarly aged, culturally diverse children depicting facial expressions of happy, sad, mad, scared, surprise, and disgust as well as ambiguous and neutral facial expressions. Children are asked to respond to the open-ended prompt, "How is this child feeling?" and generate an emotion label. An emotion accuracy and anger bias score can be obtained from this measure. Approximate time to complete: 3 minutes
  • FACE WORD: Children are presented with 36 photographic stimuli of similarly aged, culturally diverse children depicting the 6 basic emotions as well as neutral and ambiguous expressions. Children are shown one photograph at a time and are given two emotions to choose from. They will be asked to click on a corresponding colored button to make their decision. For example, the child might be asked to respond to the prompt, "Is this child happy or sad? If (he or she) is happy, click on the yellow button. If (he or she) is sad, click on the blue button." An emotion accuracy and anger bias score can be obtained from this measure. Approximate time to complete: 8 minutes
  • FOUR FACES: Children are presented with four photographic faces on the computer screen and are asked to select a face that represents an emotion label. Thus, the children are asked to respond to the prompt, "Click on the child who is feeling ____ (e.g., mad)". This measure includes 21 items (screens) with four pictures per screen of similarly aged, culturally diverse children depicting one of the six basic emotions or a neutral expression. An emotion accuracy score can be obtained from this measure. Approximate completion time: 4 minutes.
  • All photos of facial expressions were counterbalanced by emotion type, gender, and ethnicity; trained FACS coders provided the evidence that the faces are prototypical exemplars of six basic emotions (happy, sad, angry, fearful, surprise, and disgust). In addition, there are mixed emotion blends (anger/sad, anger/disgust, anger/scared) included in the Face Recall and Face Word measures.
  • BODY RECALL: Children are presented with 7 photographic stimuli of similarly aged, culturally diverse children depicting body poses expressing happy, sad, anger, fear, disgust and surprise, or neutral. For example, children might see a picture of someone jumping in the air for happiness or crossing their arms for anger. The faces in the pictures are blurred out so that children focus on the body pose as the emotion cue. Children are asked to respond to the open-ended prompt, "How is this child feeling?" and are asked to generate an emotion label. An emotion accuracy score can be obtained from this measure. Approximate completion time is 3 minutes.
  • BODY WORD: Children are presented with 8 photographs of similarly aged, culturally diverse children expressing the six basic emotions or a neutral pose. The faces in the pictures are blurred out so that children focus on the body pose as the emotion cue. The child is given two answer options and is asked to pick a corresponding colored button to make their decision. For example, children might be asked to respond to the prompt, "Is this child surprised or sad? If (he or she) is surprised, click on the purple button. If (he or she) is sad, click on the blue button." An emotion accuracy score can be obtained from this measure. Approximate completion time is 3 minutes.

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How is CARE scored?
  • Children’s responses are automatically entered into the CARE database and emotion accuracy summary scores are calculated for each of the tasks. The database can be immediately accessed after data collection.

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What scientific framework does CARE use?
  • The Affective Social Competence (ASC) and Social Information Processing (SIP) models are used as the guiding scientific frameworks for CARE.
  • Emotion recognition is central to the theoretical framework, Affective Social Competence Model (ASC, Halberstadt et al., 2001). In particular, this model captures the development of emotional understanding, communication and experience within relationships. It proposes that children develop emotional skills in three broad domains: sending, "efficacious communication of one’s own affect;" receiving, "successful interpretation and response to others’ affective communications;" and experiencing, "awareness, acceptance, and management of one’s own affect". Within each broad area, children become increasingly skilled with age and experience (Halberstadt et al., 2001).
    • The initial appraisal of another’s emotion is the vital first step in the receiving skill according to the ASC model (Halberstadt et al., 2001). Specifically, children should be skilled in accurately labeling how another person is feeling by encoding cues from the face without any confusion. This contributes to their ability to accurately interpret an emotion message, as well as communicate emotional messages back to others. This ability to encode another’s emotions (e.g., during play or provocation) is important to successful and effective interactions with peers (e.g., Dunsmore, Noguchi, Garner, Casey, & Bhullar, 2008).
  • Peer researchers who study aggressive behavior in children and adolescents rely on another theoretical model, the Social Information Processing Model (SIP, Crick & Dodge, 1994), in order to further their understanding of children’s social problem solving response patterns.
    • Integral to this model is the encoding and interpretation of cues. In particular, the first stage of the SIP model, encoding of internal and external cues (e.g., facial expressions), involves a child’s selective attention to social and environmental cues in a situation with peers or other adults. Aggressive children, in particular, have fewer competencies and thus do not pick up on relevant social cues (Dodge and Tomlin, 1987). A tool that captures children’s encoding of internal and external cues from others will provide valuable information about the emotional competencies of aggressive and non-aggressive children, as well as information about where these patterns begin to emerge.

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What age group is the tool for?
  • CARE is for ages 4-6.

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Can boys and girls use CARE?
  • Yes, both boys and girls can use CARE.

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How is the application administered?
  • The application is a web-based, self-interviewing tool and is administered on a computer with internet access.

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How long does the program take to administer?
  • The program takes children approximately 30 minutes to complete.

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What are the key features of the program?
  • The use of audio-CASI helps to keep respondents engaged in the task; enables reliable, consistent delivery of stimuli; and eliminates the need to be able to read to complete the items somewhat independently.
  • High quality, objectively selected facial expression stimuli that are FACS coded (Ekman and Friesen, 1976) for accuracy.
  • Photographic stimuli that are both developmentally and culturally appropriate. The photographic stimuli includes similar-aged children and represents a diverse population of ethnic and racial backgrounds making the assessment tool appropriate for use with children from a wide variety of backgrounds.
  • The addition of body poses, in addition to facial expressions of emotion.
  • Data from the CARE assessment tool can be downloaded immediately after use.

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What credentials are needed to order and use the program?
  • To order the program you must be a non-student member of the American Psychological Association (APA) or a similar professional association OR provide your educational information and submit a letter from your advisor or employer. For more information on what credentials you must provide to order CARE click here.

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How do I order CARE?
  • Unfortunately, this program is not currently available. The original version of the program was built using Flash which will no longer be supported in web browsers such as Chrome.

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What are the System Requirements for using CARE?
  • Computer:
    • Microsoft Windows 2000 or higher, with Intel Pentium II 450 MHz and 256MB of RAM, OR
    • Macintosh PowerPC® G3 500MHz or Intel Core Duo 1.33GHz and 256MB of RAM, OR
    • Linux 800 MHz with 512MB of RAM, 128MB of graphics memory
  • Internet Browser:
    • Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher, OR
    • Firefox 1.5 or higher, OR
    • other
    • (Optimized for Internet Explorer)
  • Adobe Flash Player version 8 or higher
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Broadband internet connection (1.5 Mbps or faster recommended)
  • Recommended display resolution of 1024 x 768 (minimum)
  • Speakers or Headphones

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