Chapter 15
Assessment Issues with Diverse
Populations
Assessment Procedures for Counselors and Helping Professionals, 7e
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Key Terms
Culture – the set of beliefs, values, customs, and other
variables that drive cognition, behavior and
perception.
Race – often tied to outward appearance, race is often
used to physically identify one group of individuals as
being different from another.
Ethnicity – a cultural group that shares common
identity and heritage.
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Multicultural Assessment
Competencies and standards necessary for
assessing individuals who differ on various
aspects of cultural identity, such as race,
ethnicity, age, language, gender, sexual
orientation, religious/spiritual orientation,
and other cultural dimensions.
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Test Bias
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Differences in test scores that are based
on demographics or culture.
Three forms of test bias:
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content bias
bias in internal structure
selection bias
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Content Bias
There are several forms of content bias:
 Assessment items that favor one group over
another.
 Members of different cultural groups interpreting
items differently.
 Unclear test instructors or poor scoring procedures
Differential Item Functioning (DIF) can be used
as a method for identifying test bias.
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Bias in Internal Structure
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Differences in item correlation when a test is
taken by one group versus another.
This form of bias can occur if the constructs
being measured change from one group to
another.
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Selection Bias
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Selection bias occurs when a tests
predictive ability varies by group.
For example, if the SAT had different
predictive ability for Caucasians than
African Americans, this would be selection
bias.
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Test Taker Bias Factors
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Language
Test wiseness
Motivation and anxiety
Cultural differences
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Examiner Bias
1.
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Differences in class and cultural values between counselor and
client.
Language difference between counselor and client.
The counselor believes stereotypes about culturally different
people.
The counselor fails to understand his or her own culture.
Lack of counselor understanding about the client’s reluctance and
resistance in counseling.
Lack of understanding of the client’s worldviews.
Labeling cultural groups as mentally ill when their behaviors vary
from “so-called” norms.
Expecting all clients to conform to the counselor’s cultural
standards and expectations.
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Acculturation
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The degree to which a minority population
adopts the dominant population’s culture.
The degree of acculturation can be
determined though formal assessment and
testing, as well as interviews.
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Assessment of Linguistically Diverse
Individuals
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Examiners should take care when using tests written in
English with linguistically diverse individuals.
Such tests may unintentionally assess the test takers
knowledge of English rather than the intended
constructs.
The Standards for Educational and Psychological
Testing provide important guidelines for assessing
linguistically diverse individuals.
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Assessment of Individuals with
Disabilities
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The Americans with Disabilities Act defines a
disability as “a physical or mental impairment
that substantially limits a major activity.”
Disabilities can impact the ability of
individuals to be fairly assessed.
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Test Modification Strategies
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modifying the presentation form
modifying the response format
modifying timing
modifying test setting
using only portions of a test
using substitute or alternate tests
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Assessment for Individuals with
Visual Impairments
When testing individuals with visual impairments,
examiners should be aware of the following:

Effects of distracting noise in a testing situation.
Need for additional time to complete tasks, if the test is in
braille or large type.
Need to structure the testing environment and let the
examinee become familiar with the objects by handling them.
Need to describe the setting for the examinee.
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Need for several breaks or multiple sessions.
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Assessment of Individuals with
Hearing Impairments
When testing individuals with hearing impairments,
examiners should be aware of the following:
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Be sure that any individual with problems speaking or understanding
spoken language has a hearing evaluation.
Keep the test environment controlled and free from distraction; an
individual with a mild hearing loss may be distracted by extraneous
noise.
Avoid visual distractions, especially if the examinee is reading lips.
If necessary, have an interpreter help communicate with the examinee.
Allow the interpreter and the person with a hearing impairment to
arrange seating to enhance the lines of communication.
Have more than one assessment approach to measure the construct in
question.
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Assessment of Individuals with
Intellectual Disabilities
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The term intellectual disability is
preferred to the historical term “mental
retardation.”
Adaptive functioning refers to
conceptual, social, and practical skills that
people have learned to be able to function
in their everyday lives.
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Test for Intellectual Disability
Intelligence tests are often used to assess intellectual
disability.
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Assessing Individuals with
Neuropsychological Impairment
Core assessments for measuring
Neuropsychological Impairment caused by brain
injury or damage include:
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Halstead-Reitan Neuropsychological Test Battery
Luria-Nebraska Neuropsychological Battery (LNNB)
Bender Visual-Motor Gestalt Test, Second Edition
(Bender-Gestalt II)
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Assessment of Individuals with
Communication Disorders
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Communication disorders include language
disorders and speech disorders.
During the assessment process, examiners
should:
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Demonstrate acceptance and positive regard for the client as an individual.
Try to remove any distracting stimuli from the testing environment.
Keep instructions and directions simple. Repeat or rephrase questions when
appropriate.
Be alert to facial expressions, gestures, and tone of voice.
Allow the examinee to nod, point, or otherwise indicate the answer in a
nonverbal manner.
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Autism Spectrum Disorders
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Autism is generally characterized by impairment
in:
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Social interaction skills
Communication skills
Autistic individuals often struggle with difficulties
in speech, language, and communication, and
can demonstrate aggressiveness with others.
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Assessing Autism
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Autism Behavior Checklist (ABC)
Autism Screening Instrument for Educational
Planning, Third Edition (ASIEP-3)
Autism Diagnostic Interview, Revised (ADI-R)
Behavior Observation Scale for Autism (BOS)
Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS)
Gilliam Autism Rating Scale, Second Edition
(GARS-2)
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Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
(ADHD)
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Individuals suffering from ADHD have problems
with inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
General assessments used to evaluate children’s
behaviors include:
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Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL)
Behavioral Assessment System for Children (BASC-2)
Conner’s Rating Scales (CRS-R)
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Assessing ADHD
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ADHD Symptom Rating Scale (ADHD-SRS)
Attention Deficit Disorder Evaluation Scale (ADDES-2)
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Rating scale (AD/HDRS-IV)
Barkley Home Situation Questionnaire (HSQ-R)
Strengths and Weaknesses of ADHD Symptoms and
Normal Behavior (SWAN)
Swanson, Nolan, and Pelham Rating Scale (SNAP-IV)
Brown ADHD Scale
CPT Computer-based assessments
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Developmental Delays
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Developmental delay refers to children
who are developing at a slower rate in
one or more of the following areas:
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physical ability
cognitive ability
language
personal or social skills
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Assessing Developmental Delays
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Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development,
Third Edition (Bayley-III)
Battelle Developmental Inventory, Second Edition (BDI2)
Cattell Infant Intelligence Scale
Dallas Preschool Screening Test (DPST)
Denver Developmental Screening Test, Second Edition
(DDST-II)
Kent Infant Development Scale
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Standards for Assessment with
Diverse Populations
There are numerous standards for assessing diverse
populations:
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Code of Fair Testing Practices in Education, Second Edition (Joint Committee on
Testing Practices [JCTP], 2002)
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Responsibilities of Users of Standardized Tests, Third Edition (American
Counseling Association [ACA] & Association of Assessment in Counseling [AAC],
2003)
Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (American Educational
Research Association [AERA], American Psychological Association [APA], &
National Council on measurement in Education [NCME], 1999).
Multicultural Counseling Competencies and Standards (Association for
Multicultural Counseling and Development [AMCD], 1992).
Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the American Counseling Association
(American Counseling Association [ACA], 1996).
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