The final project for this course is the planning and writing of a psychological report using simulated case data.
In Final Module, you will submit your psychological report. It should be a complete, polished artifact containing all of the critical elements of the final product.
Final Product Rubric Guidelines for Submission: Your psychological report must be 8 to 10 pages in length (plus a cover page and references) and must be written in APA format. Use double spacing, 12-point Times New Roman font, and one-inch margins. Include at least three references cited in APA format.
While there are many different types of mental health professionals who perform counseling and psychotherapy, the one role that is unique to the psychologist is conducting tests and measurements, analyzing and reporting the results, and making recommendations. Psychological reports are used for many purposes in many settings, including educational and training, legal, medical, mental health, and vocational settings. While this course will not provide you with the professional qualifications to administer these tests, this exercise will give you an experience in planning and writing a psychological assessment report, evaluating the choice of measurements, describing and reporting the results, synthesizing assessment information, and making sound conclusions and recommendations based on your data. Whether your career path leads to being a producer or consumer of psychological reports, this project will give you a basis for understanding the assessment process.
The project is divided into three milestones, which will be submitted at various points throughout the course to scaffold learning and ensure quality final submissions. These milestones will be submitted in Modules Two, Four, and Six. The final submission will occur in Module Seven.
In this assignment, you will demonstrate your mastery of the following course outcomes:
Demonstrate knowledge of the APA Ethical Code and the relevant issues related to psychological assessment
Develop a broad understanding of the complexity of psychological assessment and the various approaches to assessment
Be familiar with a number of assessment instruments
Understand the benefits and limitations of assessment and testing
Be able to determine the appropriate use and misuse of tests
Demonstrate their understanding of basic concepts and terminology
Develop their critical thinking skills by systematically analyzing test results from case studies
Be able to demonstrate their ability to comprehend current research related to assessment and testing
Effectively communicate in a professional manner both through written and verbal assignments
Imagine you have landed an internship as a psychologist’s assistant within a mental health organization. The psychologist needs your assistance in creating a psychological report for one of her clients. She has presented you with two case histories (which you will find below) and has asked you to complete the entire report, in which you will analyze the case history of your choosing and the corresponding data dossier to suggest results, conclusions, and recommendations for the client. The recommendations a professional makes in this area could impact the follow-up actions that other professionals might take. Be sure to carefully analyze all data to ensure a best possible situation for case study Barbara B.
Test results: Barbara received two projective personality tests and completed a depression-screening questionnaire.
Within your report, specifically the following critical elements must be addressed:
I. Introduction and Data Analysis
a) Introduce the client’s case you chose by briefly recapping the background of the client you are assessing. What is the reason for referral? State the presenting problem and the questions to be addressed through your evaluation of the data. Relate the problem to the APA Ethical Code and the psychological assessment issues that could be encountered.
b) In your response, consider who is making the referral and how this impacts your assessment of the data; is the intended consumer of the report a parent, a school system, a mental health practitioner, a probation officer, or another stakeholder?
c) Describe how you will analyze your data by considering the following questions. What is the best way to organize your data to address your referral question? How do you make this technical information useful and understandable for the intended reader? Justify your choice of method with other research.
a) Using the field notes provided and, referring to the specific testing instruments and methods used, describe the pertinent client behaviors and test conditions relevant to test outcomes and conclusions. What is the setting for the observation? Was it a natural or contrived situation? Was the subject aware of the observation (Hawthorne effect)? How did the observed behaviors relate to the referral question?
b) How did the subject respond to testing? What was his or her level of comfort, effort, emotional state, and so on? Using other research, justify how the subject’s behavior could have been impacted by the test conditions.
III. Benefits and Limitations
a) Provide a rationale for the test selection used, a brief description of the tests used, and the obtained scores.
b) For each test performed in the case history, assess the different approaches used by examining the benefits and limitations of each test performed.
c) Relate the tests performed to the APA Ethical Code; did each test follow ethical guidelines? Justify your viewpoint by using current research and theory.
a) Given test behaviors, how confident are you in your results? Rationalize and justify your opinion with research.
b) Address the common themes and/or contradictions in your client’s test results. What common themes emerged from the data? In your response, relate the results to the referral question. What information in your data is most relevant to your referral question?
c) Discuss the limitations of testing or threats to the reliability or validity of the results. What suggestions would you make for additional assessment?
d) What evidence do you have to report to the psychologist to help her make a diagnosis? How might this evidence inform her diagnosis? Thoroughly explain your conclusion.
a) Given the conclusions you made, explain whether or not you have enough information to make recommendations for treatment or other interventions. If so, identify, explain, and justify with research what your recommendations for future assessments would be.
b) Explain how your recommendations are consistent with evidence-based practice by relating your response to current and relevant research.
a) Upon completion of your recommendations section, reflect on the process and work you did to create this report. Address what evidence you found most useful and why.
b) What additional client information would have been useful? How would you obtain it?
c) What have you learned through this process? What would you like to know more about?
Milestone One: Draft of Introduction and Data Analysis Milestones In Module Two, you will submit a two- to three-page draft of the Final Project’s Introduction and Data Analysis section.
The first step to creating a professional psychological report begins with considering the client’s background and reason for referral and the conditions surrounding why an assessment is needed, who the stakeholder of the assessment is, and whether or not the factors surrounding the client’s situation could impact the assessment. In this milestone, you will first be choosing a case history to analyze, “Barbara B.,” and you will also need to describe how you will be analyzing your data. The work you do in this milestone will impact the analysis and recommendations you will make in future milestones. This milestone is graded with the Milestone One Rubric.
Milestone Two: Draft of Observation and Benefits and Limitations In Module Four, you will submit a two- to three-page draft of the final project’s Observation and Benefits and Limitations sections. In this milestone, you begin to analyze the data in your client’s case history’s dossier. You will be addressing how the client’s behaviors and the test conditions impacted the test results. You will also closely examine the different tests used to determine the benefits and limitations of each. Finally, you will consider whether or not the assessments were conducted ethically. All of your observations and insights will need to be supported with current research and accepted professional practices. This milestone is graded with the Milestone Two Rubric.
Milestone Three: Draft of Conclusions, Recommendations, and Reflection In Module Six, you will submit a two- to three-page draft of the final project’s Conclusions, Recommendations, and Reflection sections. This milestone provides you an opportunity to work more closely with your data by requiring you to identify common themes that emerged from the data, to analyze the reliability and validity of the data, to offer recommendations for the client, and to reflect on the entire process. Milestone Three also culminates the work you did in the first two milestones. This milestone is graded with the Milestone Three Rubric.