Assessing Adolescents in Educational, Counseling, and Other Settings

Assessing Adolescents in Educational, Counseling, and Other Settings

Assessing Adolescents in Educational, Counseling, and Other Settings

Assessing Adolescents in Educational, Counseling, and Other Settings

Synopsis

Adolescence is a distinct period of development that presents a number of special challenges. This fact has important implications for professionals selecting and administering assessment procedures and interpreting the data they yield, yet assessment texts have focused on adults or children and devoted minimal attention to adolescents. This book constitutes the first up-to-date and practical guide to the effective psychological assessment of adolescents.

Throughout, the author's emphasis is on standardized instruments. Their use, he argues, provides more valid information about individuals, leads to better treatment or placement decisions, and contributes to the more efficient management of organizational resources than does reliance on clinical interviews and judgment alone.

Assessing Adolescents in Educational, Counseling, and Other Settings will be welcomed by all those professionally involved in the assessment of adolescents--psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, child care agency staff, and educators--as well as by those who must make decisions based on their assessments--school principals, youth court judges, and managers of residential treatment facilities among others. Developmental researchers will also find this review of available standardized tools helpful in their work.

Excerpt

The goal of this book is to explore the role of standardized psychological assessments in the treatment of young people in educational, counseling, forensic, and other settings. A basic argument is that standardized assessments provide a better basis for assessing individuals than the informal and unsystematic procedures commonly used in schools, agencies, clinics, and practitioners' offices, and that in turn, more valid assessments lead to better decisions about possible courses of action. This argument is more fully developed in the coming chapters.

Why focus on the assessment of adolescents? First, adolescence is a distinct development period and youths in the teen years display somewhat different risk and need factors than younger and older groups. We know this from experience and from a large body of theory and research on adolescent development. Second, most texts and handbooks on psychological assessment either concentrate on adults or lump together younger children and adolescents. In both cases, there is a relative neglect of assessment issues specific to adolescents.

The book is directed toward three audiences. The first group includes mental health professionals involved in the conduct and interpretation of psychological assessments of adolescents. This group is composed primarily of psychologists, but other professionals such as psychiatrists, social workers, educators, and child care workers are sometimes involved as well. The second group includes professionals who may be required to use the results of psychological assessments in their decision making. School principals, youth court judges, and managers of residential treatment facilities are three exemplars of such professionals. This book should help them understand the purposes and procedures of psychological assessments, as well as the associated strengths and weaknesses. The third group includes developmental researchers interested in adolescents. They may benefit from the review of standardized assessment tools presented in the book.

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