Psychological Evaluations: A Definition
A psychological evaluation consists of the administration of a battery of standardized tests designed to measure an individual’s level of functioning in specific areas and the scoring and evaluation of those tests by a qualified mental health practitioner. The ultimate objectives of a comprehensive evaluation are to develop a cohesive narrative of what the child’s current functioning is, the factors contributing to this functioning, and recommendations to treat deficits and support areas of growth. This can then be used as a tool to assist those responsible for the care and control of a child in determining best interest and treatment planning.
Areas of functioning typically measured include:
- Cognitive / Neurological functioning: Addresses concerns regarding IQ, cognitive impairment and giftedness, problems with attention, memory, and the ability to process new information.
- Achievement: Addresses concerns regarding learning disabilities, school performance, and performance in other daily life activities.
- Emotional functioning: Develops an understanding of a child’s self-image and self-value as well as evaluating levels of depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress, aggression, and attachment.
- Personality Structure: Assesses personality traits, coping methods, and view of the external world.