SAGE Journal Articles

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Article 1: Cook, J. R., Hausman, A. J. D., & Hawley, K. M. (2017). Assessment practices of child clinicians: Results from a national survey. Assessment, 24, 210–221. doi:10.1177/1073191115604353

Learning Objective: 3.1.b Understand the basic techniques used to assess children and families, such as diagnostic interviewing, behavioral assessment, intellectual assessment, and personality assessment.

Summary: This survey of 1,510 clinicians examined the assessment practices of counselors, social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists. The largest group of respondents reported using primarily unstandardized instruments, with psychologists and psychiatrists somewhat more likely to report using standardized measures.

Questions to Consider:

  1. Provide some examples of standardized and unstandardized measures.
  2. Why is it important to use standardized measures? The authors point out that the use of some unstandardized assessment measures is not always a problem. Why?
  3. According to the article, one of the biggest impediments to the use of standardized measures is a lack of training. Given that we know that the use of standardized measures is important, why might this be? How would you address this?

Article 2: Gambrill, E. (2014). The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a major form of dehumanization in the modern world. Research on Social Work Practice, 24, 13–36. doi:10.1177/1049731513499411

Learning Objective: 3.2 Describe the DSM-5 approach to diagnosing mental disorders. Evaluate the benefits and limitations of diagnosing children and adolescents.

Summary: Gambrill (2014) presents a series of critiques of the DSM system, arguing that the DSM ignores the importance of the environment and supports the interest of the state in controlling behavior. Students will benefit by considering this strongly worded argument against the DSM.

Questions to Consider:

  1. Before you read the article, what do you view as the strengths and weaknesses of the DSM?
  2. According to Gambrill, why has the DSM been so successful?
  3. Summarize her main arguments against the DSM. Do you find these persuasive? Why or why not?
  4. After reading this article, develop counterarguments to her points. How would you challenge these arguments?