Identification of individual differences in the assessment practices of child clinicians using latent profile analysis
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Assessment is an integral component of treatment that can be used to identify treatment focus, select an appropriate treatment, and measure client progress and outcomes. However, assessment is of little practical use if the information obtained is inaccurate or unreliable. A survey was conducted with a random sample of 5,000 clinician members of the five largest mental health professional guild associations examining assessment practices, attitudes toward assessment, training in assessment, and other clinician-level variables. The primary purposes of this study were to use a person-centered latent variable approach to classify a large sample of child clinicians based on their approach to assessment, and logistic regression to identify the association between theoretically relevant variables and profile membership. One thousand five hundred and fifteen clinicians that conduct assessment with children were included in the analyses. A four-profile model was retained based on fit indices and included the following profiles: unstandardized assessors (77%), broad-spectrum assessors (12%), minimal assessors (6%), and selective assessors (6%). Compared to broad-spectrum assessors, unstandardized assessors and minimal assessors were more likely to report negative attitudes toward assessment in general, toward standardized measures in particular, and were less likely to report having adequate training in standardized measures.
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