Foster Care Review Board

Psychological Evaluations



 

 Common types of psychological evaluations

Achievement (Or aptitude) tests measure one’s knowledge or mastery of a specific area. These tests are often administered by schools and educational institutions. Subjects such as language and mathematics are often the topics of such assessments.

Diagnostic psychological evaluations are used by psychologists to determine if an individual exhibits any signs of specific psychological diagnosis. These tests are useful in determining if any psychological conditions are underlying an individual’s behavior.

Intelligence tests differ from achievement tests in that they measure one’s potential for learning as opposed to what one already knows. These tests have often been criticized as being culturally biased. It is for this reason that many school districts will not administer intelligence tests.

Neuropsychological tests are designed to measure difficulties with cognitive functioning. These difficulties may include one’s ability to reason, think, or speak; often the result of brain damage, stroke, or substance abuse.

Occupational tests are designed to match your interests with the interests of persons in known careers.

Personality tests are used to assist psychologists in developing clinical diagnoses of personality traits.
                                                                

 Commonly Used Psychological Evaluations

Alcohol Use Inventory (AUI)
The Alcohol Use Inventory (AUI), assists chemical dependency counselors, psychologists, and social workers assess the reasons behind an individuals alcohol use.  This evaluation also assists in classifying an individual according to DSM-IV® classifications, which aids in identifying appropriate and specific treatment options. This test includes a self-assessment format  that enables substance-abuse professionals to compare an individual's perceptions about his or her use of alcohol with the interviewer's perceptions and those of family members and others.

BASC-2 system
The BASC-2 system is designed to assess the behaviors and emotions of preschool through college-age individuals. The BASC-2 system enables assessment from three vantage points – self, teacher, and parent/caregiver – to help ensure a balanced evaluation. The system allows an extensive view of adaptive and maladaptive behavior and measures areas important for both IDEA and DSM-IV® classifications. Developed by renowned authors Cecil Reynolds, PhD, and Randy W. Kamphaus, PhD, the BASC-2 system is respected for its developmental sensitivity. This multi-dimensional tool provides strong support to clinicians in helping children and adolescents thrive.


BASI™ (Basic Achievement Skills Inventory)
BASI is an achievement test that assesses math, reading, and language skills for children and adults. This may be used to identify areas that require reinforcement.

BHI™ 2 (Battery for Health Improvement 2)
The BHI 2 is a toll used to assess medical patients. It encompasses a multi-dimensional approach that address psychological, social, and biological issues that enable medical professionals diagnose issues may be relevant to the course of a patient’s medical treatment. Based on the principle that psychological and social issues may interfere with a patient’s response to treatment, and it’s outcomes, this evaluation is designed to improve the effectiveness of medical treatments. The BHI also aids medical professionals help those who are survivors of violent crimes.


The Children’s Depression Inventory
The Children’s Depression Inventory assesses signs of depression in children and adolescents (Ages 6-17).  This evaluation looks at behavior, affect, and cognitive responses in evaluating an individual. The person being evaluated responds to series of statements, and chooses an answer that best describes how he/she is feeling at the time. Some areas addressed in this evaluation include feelings of worthlessness, depressions, and hopelessness.

This assessment may be administered at school or in a medical or therapeutic environment.

CAARS (Conner’s' Adult ADHD Rating Scales)
CRS-R (Conner’s’ Rating Scales-Revised)
The Conner’s’ Adult Rating Scales has been designed to address Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in children and adults (CAARS is for adults only). The CRS-R may be administered to children as young as three years of age. This evaluation is used in the diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of ADHD.

Some common behaviors identified through the Conner’s Rating Scales include:

  • Oppositional behaviors

  • Cognitive difficulties

  • Hyperactivity

  • Anxiety

  • Perfectionism

  • Social difficulties

 

 

DPRS® (Derogatis Psychiatric Rating Scale)
The Derogatis Psychiatric Rating Scale (DPRS) instrument, formerly known as the Hopkins Psychiatric Rating Scale, is psychiatric rating scale used to validate patients’ self-reports.

Some elements of this scale include:

  • Somatization

  • Obsessive-Compulsive

  • Interpersonal Sensitivity

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Hostility

  • Phobic Anxiety

  • Paranoid Ideation

  • Psychoticism

  • Additional Dimensions

  • Sleep Disturbance

  • Psychomotor Retardation

  • Hysterical Behavior

  • Abjection-Disinterest

  • Conceptual Dysfunction

  • Disorientation

  • Excitement

  • Euphoria

 

GAMA (General Ability Measure for Adults)
The GAMA is an intelligence test that uses sequencing, matching, and construction of shapes, colors, and designs. The test is non-verbal and self-administered.

 

ISO-30 (Inventory of Suicide Orientation-30 for adolescents 13-17 years old)
Developed by Dr. Theodore Millon, a renowned leader in the field of personality development, the ISO-30 is a tool for measuring the risk of suicide. The evaluation is often used to identify at-risk adolescents, facilitate therapeutic intervention, and measure progress after treatment.

 

Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI-II/III/MACI)
The Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI-II/III/MACI) has been used for more than twenty years and is the second most widely used of all psychological tests. Not only does the MCMI evaluate Mental Health problems, more importantly, its strength is in determining underlying personality patterns that are essential to understanding and effectively treating clients. These personality patterns are also vital in identifying Thinking Errors that can be treated with a Cognitive Behavioral approach.


 

MMPI-2™ (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2™)
MMPI-A (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-Adolescent™)
The MMPI-2 remains the most widely used and widely researched test of adult psychopathology. Used by clinicians to assist with the diagnosis of mental disorders and the selection of appropriate treatment methods, the MMPI-2 test continues to help meet the assessment needs of mental health professionals in an ever-changing environment.



This test can be used to help:

  • Assess major symptoms of social and personal maladjustment.
     

  • Identify suitable candidates for high-risk public safety positions.

  • Support classification, treatment, and management decisions in criminal justice and correctional settings.

  • Give a strong empirical foundation for a clinician's expert testimony.

  • Assess medical patients and design effective treatment strategies, including chronic pain management.

  • Evaluate participants in substance abuse programs and select appropriate treatment approaches.

  • Support college and career counseling recommendations.

  • Provide valuable insight for marriage and family counseling.

 

MSI (Multiphasic Sex Inventory)
The Multiphasic Sex Inventory (MSI) is a self-report questionnaire which consists of statements about sexual activities, problems, and experiences. It has scales which assess the level of openness about the deviant sexual behaviors. It is intended to be used in assessing sex offenders to develop treatment plans and to be used during treatment to assess progress. It must never be used when the defendant is denying the offense.

 

PDS (Posttraumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale)
The Posttraumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale (PDS) assessment is designed to identify and diagnose PTSD according to DSM-IV® diagnostic criteria. This assessment may be also used as a tool for monitoring PTSD throughout the course of treatment. This test is designed for adults.

 

Rorschach
Most people have heard of the famed Rorschach test, developed by Hermann Rorschach, MD.  This test was designed to determine personality traits by interpreting a subject's responses to inkblot images. There are only ten Rorschach inkblots. These inkblots are used to assess personality structure and possible psychopathology. This test is widely used and highly respected. The cards break cultural and language barriers because they do not require the use of reading for administration. This test can be administered to anyone five years of age or older.

 

Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI-3/SASSI-A2)
The Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI-3/SASSI-A2) was designed to detect addiction even in resistant clients. Based on empirical data, the SASSI not only measures reported substance use, but, more importantly, detects personality and social system characteristics that research has shown to be disproportionately present in addicted individuals including subtle characteristics that are not easily predicted and so are harder to fake. Levels of present exposure to systems that use alcohol, as well as ACOA features, are identified by the SASSI and may prove important to rehabilitative efforts.

 

T-JTA (Taylor-Johnson Temperament Analysis)
The Taylor-Johnson Temperament Analysis (T-JTA) is an assessment designed for adults, as a toll to identify personal characteristics that influence one’s relationships with others. This assessment is often used in marriage or couples counseling. This assessment may be administered individually as well, proving insight into ones self-awareness of traits and temperament in dealing with others. This assessment is useful in encouraging discussion in a multitude of relationship counseling and enrichment settings. This assessment has also proven to be useful in pre-marital counseling as well.