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Psychological Assessment

Gary Geffken, PhD

Gary Geffken, PhD

Faculty: Gary Geffken, Ph.D.

The purpose of this rotation is to familiarize the fellows with formal psychological testing procedures, the content of popular tests, their administration, and the interpretation of resulting reports. Fellows join the Clinical Child Psychologists as observers.

A. Required exposure occurring in the first year at institution 1 and requiring 10% of the resident’s time.

B. Faculty consists of four full-time Child Psychologists.

C. Fellows spend 4-6 hours observing new evaluations, which consist of interviews with patient & family and psychological testing.

D. This service sees 40% females and 60% males, ranging in age from 3 to 17 years, with the majority being of elementary school age. They consist of 62% Caucasian, 27% African American and 8% Hispanic youths. The children and adolescents seen for psychological testing are mainly referred by Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic, about 30% with diagnosis of OCD, 25% for psychological factors affecting medical condition, 15% ADHD, 15% depression and 15% for other presenting problems. Commonly administered tests include WPPSI-III, WISC-IV WAIS-III, WIAT-II, WJ-III, VABS, (M)CDI, Bracken, Bailey II, CDI, R-CMAS, CBCL, MMPI-A, PIC-II, VMI, and PPVT-III.

E. On average, fellows observe a total of 2 to 4 psychological evaluations while in this rotation, but may vary with the fellow’s level of interest. Psychology trainees usually perform these tests.

F. All testing results are presented to the faculty and reports are discussed on an individual basis before being released to the requesting professionals, patient or family. Faculty usually is present during testing.

G. Following are the goals and objectives for this rotation:

Goal: To become familiar with a wide variety of psychological testing procedures employed with children and adolescents.

Objectives:

Knowledge of: 

  • The fellow will be able to conceptualize content and process issues involved in interviewing patients for psychological evaluation.
  • The fellow will become familiar with ethical issues involved in psychological assessment.
  • The fellow will know the purposes of the WPPSI-III, WISC-IV WAIS-III, WIAT-II, WJ-III, VABS, (M)CDI, Bracken, Bailey II, CDI, R-CMAS, CBCL, MMPI-A, PIC-II, VMI, and PPVT-III.
  • The fellow will have an understanding of issues involved in the diagnosis of mental retardation and learning disabilities from the perspective of psychological testing.
  • The fellow will become familiar with issues of cultural diversity in psychological assessment.
  • The fellow will become familiar with modes of family assessment.

Skills:

The fellow will demonstrate the ability to:

  • Request psychological testing appropriately and gather relevant information from completed psychological testing reports.
  • Understand issues relevant to the administration and interpretation of a reasonable sample of highly used psychological tests with children and adolescents, as well as parent report forms.
  • Conceptualize and integrate case and test data for a deeper understanding of clinical cases.
  • Be proficient in test and measurement issues.

Attitudes:

The fellow will demonstrate:

  • Professionalism by being available in a timely fashion, by reviewing assigned readings in psychological testing and by being well-prepared for the experience.
  • Respect for the roles of Clinical Child Psychologists and the contributions provided towards the assessment of patients through psychological testing.
  • Appreciation for the important knowledge provided by faculty through the seminars and rotations in psychological testing of children and adolescents.