ERIC Number: ED432428
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999
Reference Count: N/A
Psychological and Vocational Assessment of Native Americans.
Thomason, Timothy C.
This paper introduces important issues in the psychological and vocational assessment of Native Americans in schools, mental health clinics, counseling centers, and rehabilitation programs. A primary concern is to conduct such assessment in a fair and unbiased manner. Various methods are used to gather information: interviewing the client, family members, and acquaintances; reviewing client records; observing the client in real-life situations; and using norm-referenced or criterion-referenced tests. Specialist evaluations include medical, psychological, social, educational, and vocational assessment. Aspects of vocational assessment are work evaluation, work adjustment strategies, and job tryouts. Psychological assessment may be based on an etic perspective, which emphasizes universals among human beings, or an emic (culture-specific) perspective. Strategies and difficulties in using these perspectives with Native Americans are discussed. The assessment of acculturation to the general U.S. society is an important first step before using standardized tests or procedures. General issues in assessment of Native Americans include language differences and reading level, nonverbal communication, client beliefs and mistrust, evaluator-client similarity, client acculturation, translation of tests, and potential bias in standardized tests. Cultural issues in clinical diagnosis and personality assessment are discussed, and various instruments are described: projective instruments, inkblot and figure drawing techniques, and standard personality inventories. Also discussed are assessments of alcohol usage; intelligence and cognitive functioning; and interests, abilities, and aptitudes. Contains 58 references. (SV)
Descriptors: Acculturation, Alaska Natives, American Indians, Cultural Awareness, Cultural Differences, Culture Fair Tests, Data Collection, Intercultural Communication, Psychological Evaluation, Psychological Testing, Test Bias, Vocational Evaluation
Northern Arizona Univ., Inst. for Human Development, P.O. Box 5630, Flagstaff, AZ 86011; Tel: 520-523-4791.
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (ED/OSERS), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Northern Arizona Univ., Flagstaff. American Indian Rehabilitation Research and Training Center.