Behavioral Assessment in School Psychology

Behavioral Assessment in School Psychology

Behavioral Assessment in School Psychology

Behavioral Assessment in School Psychology

Synopsis

This important volume presents strategies and procedures for assessing both emotional/behavioral problems and academic difficulties. Arranged by assessment content areas, the volume discusses such methodologies as behavioral interviewing, observation, self-monitoring, use of self- and informant-report, and both analogue and curriculum-based assessment. All chapters are supported by numerous examples and illustrations.

Excerpt

School psychologists have been involved in trying to define their role since the field began. Increasing pressure has been evident to move from a diagnostic model where the primary responsibility is to make classification decisions to a more active, interventionist model. Reports such as the Blueprint for School Psychology published by the National School Psychology Inservice Training Network and Placing Children in Special Education: a Strategy for Equity, the report of the Panel on selection and placement of students in programs for the mentally retarded (Heller, Holtzman, & Messick, 1982) clearly suggest that school psychologists need to take a new direction in their delivery of services.

With the move toward an intervention rather than diagnostic approach to delivering services, school psychologists are faced with the need to examine alternative strategies to the assessment process. Assessment procedures are needed that closely link evaluation and intervention, can provide on-going methods for effectiveness of interventions, and have demonstrated validity in research. Although no existing methodology meets all the rigorous requirements we would like, behavioral assessment is probably the closet approximation to such an assessment technology.

Interest in behavioral assessment developed in the mid-1970s as a function of the efforts of clinical psychologists to use behavioral strategies to remediate child and adult behavior problems. Typically, these psychologists were treating problems seen in the mental health setting. Unfortunately, many children in need of some form of behavioral intervention first come to the attention of the school, not the practicing clinician. As such, the school psychologist may be the initial evaluator of childhood difficulties. Despite the advances being made in behavioral assessment, school psychologists have lagged behind in both their train-

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