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Psychological Testing and Assessment of Mental Disorders Research Paper



Psychological assessments involve attempts by psychologists, among other skilled professionals, to explore facts about other people. Psychological assessments are usually conducted to predict peoples’ behaviors. Additionally, psychological assessments are conducted to explore how people function. DSM (Diagnostics and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) is a manual that is usually published by the American Psychological Association. DSM manual offers a common ground for classifying mental disorders. DSM manual is utilized widely by stakeholders in health industry. This paper will define tools and techniques in psychological assessment. In addition, the paper will relate DSM to the tools and techniques mentioned above (Martin, 2014).

Case History Data

A case history data can be defined as a comprehensive data sheet that entails all information concerning an individual or patient’s psychological or medical condition. In most cases, a case history contains all-inclusive background information on an individual or patient. A case history must have an introduction, which establishes the focus of an individual or patient’s case.

Essentially, a case history contains the pseudonym of the patient, as well as his/her age and occupation. Additionally, a case history contains data on a patient’s marital status, main problem and referral details. Furthermore, a case study must entail the problem history, psychiatric history, family history, medical history and personal history, among others. In essence, a case history provides detailed information on the patient’s background (Cohen, Swerdlik, & Sturman, 2013).

Clinical Interview

Clinical interview refers to the practice of assessing a client or a patient with the aim of revealing significant information on his/her personality. Clinical interview is usually utilized in psychological tests to get information about one’s past, as well as existing weaknesses and strengths. Clinical interview can also be defined as a tool of diagnosis, which enables psychologists and other skilled professionals to identify mental sicknesses. For instance, clinical interviews are usually conducted for DSM disorders. Clinical interviews are usually standardized to guarantee that each patient is asked similar questions. In most cases, the questions contained in clinical interviews concerns symptoms of the problem (POL, 2014).

Mental Status test

This defined as an appraisal, which examines an individual’s cognitive performance as well as an individual’s behavioral performance. The exam entails illustration of a patient’s general behavior and appearance. Additionally, the exam describes a patient’s insight and attitude, as well as a patient’s affect and mood. Mental exam also describes a patient’s attentiveness and consciousness. In mental examination, the most relevant tests examined are memory, abstract reasoning, language, ability to construct and alertness, among others. In essence, mental exam majors mainly on the patient’s cognitive functions. Mental examination follows a structured or systematic approach to examination as opposed to other alternatives (Strub & Black, 1985).

Psychological report

A psychological report is a document designed to summarize the test scores as well as their interpretations after a psychological assessment has been conducted. Usually, a psychological report contains an introduction, assessment procedures, case history or background information, as well as referral information. Additionally, a psychological report contains impressions and general observations.

Furthermore, the report contains test results from the assessment, as well as the interpretations. A psychological report also contains a summary, as well as recommendations from a psychological test and assessment. In essence, a psychological report provides a comprehensive report on a psychological assessment through test scores, results, interpretations, summary and recommendations (POL, 2014).

How DSM is used as a tool for the above

As explained earlier, a DSM is a manual utilized to spot psychological disorders. The current DSM manual is presently in its fifth modification, which is also known as DSM-5. DSM is essentially a guidebook that enables clinicians and other specialists to identify mental disorders using standard tools and techniques. DSM is used widely in various research and clinical orientations. However, it should be noted that its use in assessing psychodynamic, as well as cognitive orientations are closely linked to psychological testing and assessment. The link is obvious since psychological testing and assessment also focus on cognitive functionalities (APA, 2014).

DSM is utilized by a variety of professionals including counselors, psychologists and mental health professionals, among others. DSM also provides professionals with tools for collecting, as well as communicating public health information. DSM comprises of classification, criteria sets and descriptive text. The three components of DSM are related to the tools above since the latter are utilized to classify mental disorders (Grohol, 2013).

Moreover, the diagnostic criteria in DSM can only be achieved after the tools and techniques of psychological testing and assessment are utilized. For instance, case history, and mental exam are essential in DSM diagnosis. Moreover, clinical interview and psychological report are also essential in diagnosis of mental disease. In essence, DSM is closely linked to psychological assessment and testing since they are both used to diagnose mental health diseases (POL, 2014).


DSM is a manual utilized to identify metal disorders in patients while psychological testing and assessment entails exploration of people’s behavior. DSM provides a manual, which lists mental disorders, symptoms and texts that describes each mental disorder. In essence, DSM enables professionals to identify mental disorders after conducting psychological test and assessment.


APA (2014). DSM. Web.

Cohen, R.J., Swerdlik, M.E., & Sturman, E.D. (2013). Psychological testing and assessment: An Introduction to test and measurement (8th ed.).New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Companies.

Grohol, J. (2013). Web.

Martin, D. (2014). Web.

POL (2014). . Web.

Strub R.L. & Black F.N. (1985). The mental status examination in neurology (2nd ed). Philadelphia, PA: FA Davis.

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