Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Michael A. Southam-Gerow


High quality assessment services are the linchpin connecting youth with mental health problems to diagnosis-specific, evidence-based treatments. The effort to improve assessment services is in its early days and faces a number of substantial challenges. This study was an initial effort to address these challenges through the development of a standardized, multi-dimensional Assessment Instrument evaluation tool—the Strength of Measure (SoM)—based on operationally defined criteria supported by decades of psychometric research. The SoM and other criteria addressing assessment practices were piloted with data from 32 consecutive assessment reports from a community mental health center’s Assessment Clinic. Results indicate that none of the Assessment Instruments used by the Assessment Clinic met the “Adequate” level of support on each of the SoM dimension. Additional results address Reason for Referral, Primary Axis I Diagnosis, Informants, and Method of Assessment. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

December 2011

Included in

Psychology Commons