Assessing Adolescents in Educational, Counseling, and Other Settings

By Robert D. Hoge | Go to book overview

7
Personality Tests

This chapter provides a review of personality tests appropriate for use with adolescents. These instruments are variously referred to as structured personality tests, structured personality inventories, or objective personality tests. They are regarded as structured or objective because they contain a fixed number of items, they are presented in a standardized fashion, and they are scored according to structured formulas. These features distinguish these tests from the projective tests with their unstructured, ambiguous items and high degree of interpretation in scoring. Because the focus of this book is on standardized psychological assessments, the projective techniques are not reviewed. Readers are referred to discussions of these measures provided by Aiken ( 1996a) and Kratochwill and Morris ( 1993).

As indicated earlier, classifying assessment instruments is sometimes problematic, and this point is well illustrated in the case of personality tests. Many self-report behavioral checklist and rating measures and some measures of attitudes and beliefs yield scores resembling the constructs represented in personality tests. For example, the self-report version of the Child Behavior Checklist ( Achenbach, 1994) yields a score labeled Somatic Complaints that also appears on several of the structured personality tests. However, these behaviorally oriented measures are discussed in later chapters.

Some of the personality tests reviewed in this chapter are designed to yield information about dysfunctional personality traits or syndromes. As such, they play important roles as screening, referral, and treatment planning instruments in therapeutic and counseling contexts. For example, the adolescent version of the MMPI has been shown to be useful in guiding treatment decisions in clinical settings.

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