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Psychological Assessment - Vol 29, Iss 5

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Psychological Assessment Psychological Assessment publishes mainly empirical articles concerning clinical assessment. Papers that fall within the domain of the journal include research on the development, validation, application, and evaluation of psychological assessment instruments. Diverse modalities (e.g., cognitive, physiologic, and motoric) and methods of assessment (e.g., questionnaires, interviews, natural environment and analog environment observation, self-monitoring, participant observation, physiological measurement, instrument-assisted and computer-assisted assessment) are within the domain of the journal, especially as they relate to clinical assessment. Also included are topics on clinical judgment and decision making (including diagnostic assessment), methods of measurement of treatment process and outcome, and dimensions of individual differences (e.g., race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, economic status) as they relate to clinical assessment.
Copyright 2017 American Psychological Association
  • Resilience in the United States Air Force: Psychometric properties of the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC).
    Results are presented for the largest study (N = 53,692) ever conducted on the 25-item Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC), a popular measure of resilience. We examined the internal consistency of the CD-RISC items and associated mean resilience levels within a sample of enlisted basic trainees in the United States Air Force. In addition, the predictive validity of the CD-RISC Total Score was examined for real-life military outcomes, including attrition from service and mental health diagnosis. The CD-RISC items demonstrated strong internal consistency. Item-level examinations of scores revealed that most trainees reported relatively high resilience. Results indicated that resilience measured at the beginning of military service is a significant predictor of (a) attrition from service and (b) obtaining a mental health diagnosis within 6 months of entry. Implications and future directions are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Use of universal screening scores to predict distal academic and behavioral outcomes: A multilevel approach.
    Initial research suggests screening for behavioral and emotional risk has been found to predict important behavioral and academic outcomes. The current study seeks to investigate the predictive validity of a novel screening measure, the Social, Academic, and Emotional Behavior Risk Screener—Teacher Rating Scale (SAEBRS-TRS). Although the SAEBRS-TRS has demonstrated initial evidence of strong psychometric properties (including reliability and validity), less is known about the SAEBRS-TRS’s prediction of important student academic and behavioral outcomes. Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) was employed due to the nested nature of the data of screening school-age children within classrooms. Results revealed that fall behavior screening data significantly and positively predicted spring reading scores, office disciplinary referrals, and student absences. Very little variance in the current model was due to differences between classrooms. Results suggest screening may be an important tool for school personnel seeking to use preventative methods for addressing student barriers to learning. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Evaluating item endorsement rates for the MMPI-2-RF F-r and Fp-r scales across ethnic, gender, and diagnostic groups with a forensic inpatient sample.
    The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory–2 (MMPI-2) F(p) (Infrequency-Psychopathology) scale was developed to measure overreporting in a manner that was minimally confounded by genuine psychopathology, which was a problem with using the MMPI-2 F (Infrequency) scale among patients with severe mental illness. Although revised versions of both of these scales are included on the MMPI-2–Restructured Form and used in a forensic context, no item-level research has been conducted on their sensitivity to genuine psychopathology among forensic psychiatric inpatients. Therefore, we examined the psychometric properties of the scales in a sample of 438 criminally committed forensic psychiatric inpatients who were adjudicated as not guilty by reason of insanity and had no known incentive to overreport. We found that 20 of the 21 Fp-r items (95.2%) demonstrated endorsement rates ≤ 20%, with 14 of the items (66.7%) endorsed by less than 10% of the sample. Similar findings were observed across genders and across patients with mood and psychotic disorders. The one item endorsed by more than 20% of the sample had a 23.7% overall endorsement rate and significantly different endorsement rates across ethnic groups, with the highest endorsements occurring among Hispanic/Latino (43.3% endorsement rate) patients. Endorsement rates of F-r items were generally higher than for Fp-r items. At the scale level, we also examined correlations with the Restructured Clinical Scales and found that Fp-r demonstrated lower correlations than F-r, indicating that Fp-r is less associated with a broad range of psychopathology. Finally, we found that Fp-r demonstrated slightly higher specificity values than F-r at all T score cutoffs. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Fear of adverse mental health treatment experiences: Initial psychometric properties of a brief self-report measure.
    Many are apprehensive about mental health care, which potentially affects engagement in recovery processes as well as health outcomes. This article introduces a tool to assess fear of adverse mental health treatment experiences from the client’s perspective. In a sample of 656 adults receiving mental health services at community agencies, this study is an initial exploration into the validity of a scale assessing fears associated with commonly experienced coercive or disorganized interventions. Factor analyses supported the construct validity of the 10-item Fear of Adverse Treatment Experiences Scale. It significantly discriminates based upon service characteristics, gender, history of victimization, and past experiences with coercive or disorganized interventions, with higher levels of fear reported by users of traditional mental health services, former inpatients who had their voluntary admission status changed, males, people with history of childhood abuse, and people with certain forms of criminal justice involvement. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • On the validity of self-report assessment of cognitive abilities: Attentional control scale associations with cognitive performance, emotional adjustment, and personality.
    Individual differences in attentional control involve the ability to voluntarily direct, shift, and sustain attention. In studies of the role of attentional control in emotional adjustment, social relationships, and vulnerability to the effects of stress, self-report questionnaires are commonly used to measure this construct. Yet, convincing evidence of the association between self-report scales and actual cognitive performance has not been demonstrated. Across 2 independent samples, we examined associations between self-reported attentional control (Attentional Control Scale; ACS), self-reported emotional adjustment, Five-Factor Model personality traits (NEO Personality Inventory—Revised) and performance measures of attentional control. Study 1 examined behavioral performance on the Attention Network Test (ANT; Fan, McCandliss, Sommer, Raz, & Posner, 2002) and the Modified Switching Task (MST; Suchy & Kosson, 2006) in a large sample (n = 315) of healthy young adults. Study 2 (n = 78) examined behavioral performance on standardized neuropsychological tests of attention, including Conner’s Continuous Performance Test-II and subtests from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scales, Third Edition (WAIS-III; Psychological Corporation, 1997) and Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS; Delis, Kaplan, & Kramer, 2001). Results indicated that the ACS was largely unrelated to behavioral performance measures of attentional control but was significantly associated with emotional adjustment, neuroticism, and conscientiousness. These findings suggest that although self-reported attentional control may be a useful construct, researchers using the ACS should exercise caution in interpreting it as a proxy for actual cognitive ability or performance. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Evaluation of the Response Bias Scale and Improbable Failure Scale in assessing feigned cognitive impairment.
    The present study evaluated the Response Bias scale (RBS), a symptom validity test embedded within the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)-2 Restructured Form (MMPI-2-RF) that assesses for feigned neurocognitive complaints, in a sample of pretrial incompetent to stand trial (IST) criminal defendants. Additionally, we examined the Improbable Failure (IF) scale, a performance validity test embedded within the Structured Interview of Reported Symptoms, Second Edition (SIRS-2), which similarly assesses for feigned cognitive impairment (FCI). Results indicated that both the RBS (area under the curve [AUC] = .76) and IF scale (AUC = .72) achieved moderate classification accuracy using the Test of Memory Malingering (TOMM) as the criterion. Further, the RBS and IF scale appeared to be most useful for screening out those defendants who presented as genuine (specificity = 99% and 88%, respectively), and less effective at classifying those defendants suspected of feigning according to the TOMM (sensitivity = 29% and 46%, respectively). In order to identify a significant proportion of IST defendants who may be feigning impairment, considerably lower cutoff scores than those recommended in each measure’s manual were evaluated. An RBS T score of 63 (sensitivity = 86%; specificity = 37%), and IF scale raw score of 2 (sensitivity = 80%; specificity = 43%), was required to achieve ≥80% sensitivity; these alternate cutoff scores may therefore be useful when screening inpatient forensic psychiatric IST defendants. Further, the 2 scales effectively predicted TOMM classification in combination, although only the RBS significantly contributed to the model. Implications for the assessment of FCI in forensic psychiatric settings are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Development and psychometric evaluation of the Assessment of Core CBT Skills (ACCS): An observation-based tool for assessing cognitive behavioral therapy competence.
    This article outlines the development and psychometric evaluation of the Assessment of Core CBT Skills (ACCS) rating scale. The ACCS aims to provide a novel assessment framework to deliver formative and summative feedback regarding therapists’ performance within observed cognitive–behavioral treatment sessions, and for therapists to rate and reflect on their own performance. Findings from 3 studies are outlined: (a) a feedback study (n = 66) examining content validity, face validity and usability; (b) a focus group (n = 9) evaluating usability and utility; and (c) an evaluation of the psychometric properties of the ACCS in real world cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) training and routine clinical practice contexts. Results suggest that the ACCS has good face validity, content validity, and usability and provides a user-friendly tool that is useful for promoting self-reflection and providing formative feedback. Scores on both the self and assessor-rated versions of the ACCS demonstrate good internal consistency, interrater reliability, and discriminant validity. In addition, ACCS scores were found to be correlated with, but distinct from, the Revised Cognitive Therapy Scale (CTS-R) and were comparable to CTS-R scores in terms of internal consistency and discriminant validity. In addition, the ACCS may have advantages over the CTS-R in terms of interrater reliability of scores. The studies also provided insight into areas for refinement and a number of modifications were undertaken to improve the scale. In summary, the ACCS is an appropriate and useful measure of CBT competence that can be used to promote self-reflection and provide therapists with formative and summative feedback. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Evaluating juvenile detainees’ Miranda misconceptions: The discriminant validity of the Juvenile Miranda Quiz.
    Most juvenile arrestees in custodial settings waive their Miranda rights almost immediately, and many then provide incriminating statements, if not outright confessions. Forensic practitioners are then asked to provide retrospective determinations regarding whether these waivers were effectuated knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently. At present, the forensic assessment instrument for juvenile Miranda issues consists of the Miranda Rights Comprehension Instruments (MRCI)—which as its name implies—focuses mostly on Miranda comprehension with a de-emphasis of Miranda reasoning. In partially addressing this gap, the current study investigated the clinical utility of the Juvenile Miranda Quiz (JMQ) for evaluating key Miranda misconceptions, a critically important component of Miranda reasoning. Using data from 201 juvenile detainees, we evaluated the JMQ’s discriminability with regards to cognitive variables and MRCI scales. Many moderate effect sizes in the predicted direction were found for the JMQ Primary Total and Juvenile Total scores. Finally, these detainees were tested using a mock crime scenario with a representative Miranda warning plus a brief interrogation to evaluate whether they would waive their rights, and if so, whether they would confess. Using Miranda measures to predict problematic outcomes (i.e., impaired waivers followed by confessions), the JMQ Juvenile Total proved the most successful. These findings are discussed within the context of the “intelligent” prong of Miranda waivers. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • The development and validation of attention constructs from the First Year Inventory.
    Individual differences in early attention are associated with later social, cognitive, and emotional development, and attentional deficits in the first year are associated with risk for developmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The First Year Inventory (FYI; Baranek, Watson, Crais, & Reznick, 2003) was developed to identify 12-month-olds at risk for an ASD diagnosis. The current study identifies FYI items that reflect aspects of early attention that might predict future typical and atypical social, cognitive, and emotional development. Using a series of theoretical and statistical methods, we developed 3 attention-based constructs from the FYI: Responding to Social Attention (RSA), Initiating Social Attention (ISA), and Nonsocial Sensory Attention (NSA). A database with completed FYIs was analyzed using these constructs to determine the strength of relations among items. Cronbach’s alpha analyses indicated good internal consistency, and item distribution was further supported using a confirmatory factor analysis. Data analyses showed statistically significant relations between the scores on these domains at 12 months and subsequent social responsiveness scores at 3 years. Analyses demonstrating the statistical and predictive validity of these 3 FYI attention constructs support their use for innovative explorations of infant behavioral patterns that can be used to predict typical and atypical individual trajectories in the development of later social, cognitive, and emotional skills. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Communicating the results of criterion referenced prediction measures: Risk categories for the Static-99R and Static-2002R sexual offender risk assessment tools.
    This article describes principles for developing risk category labels for criterion referenced prediction measures, and demonstrates their utility by creating new risk categories for the Static-99R and Static-2002R sexual offender risk assessment tools. Currently, risk assessments in corrections and forensic mental health are typically summarized in 1 of 3 words: low, moderate, or high. Although these risk labels have strong influence on decision makers, they are interpreted differently across settings, even among trained professionals. The current article provides a framework for standardizing risk communication by matching (a) the information contained in risk tools to (b) a broadly applicable classification of “riskiness” that is independent of any particular offender risk scale. We found that the new, common STATIC risk categories not only increase concordance of risk classification (from 51% to 72%)—they also allow evaluators to make the same inferences for offenders in the same category regardless of which instrument was used to assign category membership. More generally, we argue that the risk categories should be linked to the decisions at hand, and that risk communication can be improved by grounding these risk categories in evidence-based definitions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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