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Affective Reactions and Psychosocial Functioning in the Course of Psycho-Educational Assessment

Description: Every day, children throughout the United States are given psychological evaluations for many different clinical and psycho-educational purposes. Very little research has attempted to investigate children's responses to the experience of having intellectual and achievement tests administered. The goal of the current research was to explore the effect a psycho-educational evaluation has on children in areas of self-concept and anxiety. Dependent variables consisted of pre- and post-test measures of anxiety and self-concept. A total of 75 children in the 4th 5th and 6th grades were recruited after referral for evaluation and possible placement in the Talented and Gifted Program or Special Education. This study employed Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), t-tests, multiple regression analysis, and correlational analysis. Findings included initial evidence that children endorsed decreased anxiety after psycho-educational assessments rather than increased anxiety, suggesting that fear of unknown situations may be more anxiety provoking than the actual situation itself, potentially beneficial findings for psychology and psychometric professionals who evaluate children daily. Students endorsement of academic self-concept significantly predicted anxiety after a psycho-educational evaluation, indicating that students who feel capable in academic areas may endorse less anxiety after an evaluation than students who do not feel academically capable. Finally, negative verbal interaction with parents significantly predicted lower general self-concept scores, providing evidence that the manner in which parents verbally relate to their children may have significant impact for the mental health of children.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Buenrostro, Martha

The Relationship Between the Grief Process and the Family System: The Role of Affect, Communication, and Cohesion

Description: Sixty-six people who had recently experienced the death of a parent or a spouse completed a questionnaire packet to assess their current grief symptomatology and some characteristics of the relationships within their family. Participants were asked to fill out a questionnaire 4-5 weeks after the death and then again six months later. The present study compared two competing models to explain whether the grief process affects the characteristics of relationships within the family system or that family characteristics affect the experienced grief symptoms.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Schoka, Elaine

Retrospective Evaluation of Malingering: A Validational Study of the R-SIRS and CT-SIRS

Description: Empirically based methods of detecting retrospective malingering (i.e., the false assertion or exaggeration of physical or psychological symptoms reportedly experienced during a prior time period) are needed given that retrospective evaluations are commonplace in forensic assessments. This study's main objective was to develop and validate a focused, standardized measure of retrospective malingering. This objective was addressed by revising the Structured Interview of Reported Symptoms (SIRS), an established measure of current feigning. The SIRS' strategies were retained and its items modified to produce two new SIRS versions: The Retrospective Structured Interview of Reported Symptoms (R-SIRS) and The Concurrent-Time Structured Interview of Reported Symptoms (CT-SIRS). Forensic inpatients were used to test the R-SIRS (n = 25) and CT-SIRS (n = 26) which both showed good internal consistency and interrater reliability. The overall effectiveness of the R-SIRS and the CT-SIRS in the classification of malingerers and genuine patients was established in this initial validation study. Moreover, their classification rates were similar to those obtained by the SIRS. Pending additional validation, these measures are expected to increase the quality of forensic evaluations by providing the first standardized methods of assessing retrospective malingering.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Goodness, Kelly R.

Structured Child and Parent Groups with ADHD Children: Evaluation of Varying Levels of Parent Involvement

Description: Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most commonly diagnosed disorders of childhood. This study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of combined parent training and structured group therapy with children diagnosed with ADHD. The study sought to evaluate the amount of parent training needed to lead to significant changes in children and parents. Families were assigned to a wait-list control condition or to one of two parent treatment conditions: a complete parent group or a handout-only group. Children participated in a seven session social skills and behavior management group. The treatments were designed to concurrently enhance skills of both parents and children. Dependent measures assessed change in the following three areas: (1) child symptomatic behaviors, (2) parental attitudes, and (3) parental behaviors. Results showed that the full parent group led to greater levels of improvement in both child behavior problems and parental feelings of stress and control. The full parent group also led to greater consistency in parenting methods. Findings in the study are discussed in the context of the parent-child coercive cycle model.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Driskill, Julie D. (Julie Diane)