Issues with Diagnosing Abnormal Behavior

“Diagnosing abnormal behaviors“. Post your own response to the board (citing at least one source) and respond to at least one other post be using the quote button to receive full credit. Remember to please stay tuned to read what others have to say, and respond to them when appropriate. Remember the length of your post should be at least a half page single spaced typed or a whole page double spaced.


If you are a clinical psychologist diagnosing various mental disorders, how might your diagnosis lead to harmful effects?

Why are reliability and validity important characteristics in assessment and diagnosis?

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If I was a clinical psychologist diagnosing various mental disorders, my diagnosis could lead to harmful effects in many different ways. Although there has been quite a lot of data studied and produced in regard to mental disorders, it is still possible for clinicians to arrive at a wrong conclusion, thus diagnosing an individual with a mental disorder that they do not actually have. Clinicians sometimes may use a personal bias against the individual they are diagnosing, such as their age or gender, and other times they may focus too much on an aspect of the assessment process that is not that relevant to the diagnosis of that person. Comer (2015) states, “Beyond the potential for misdiagnosis, the very act of classifying people can lead to unintended results… When people are diagnosed as mentally disturbed, they may be perceived and reacted to correspondingly… People labeled mentally ill may find it difficult to get a job, especially a position of responsibility, or to be welcomed into social relationships”.

Comer (2015) states, “The hundreds of clinical assessment techniques and tools that have been developed fall into three categories: clinical interviews, tests, and observations. To be useful, these tools must be standardized and must have clear reliability and validity”. Reliability is important in assessment and diagnosis as it refers to the consistency of assessment measures. If there is a good assessment measure in place, the assessment will always generate comparable results in the same case. It’s also important for an assessment to possess validity, which means that the assessment is accurately measuring what it is supposed to be measuring. Although something may seem reliable or consistent with the results that it produces, seemingly because it looks to make sense or reason, it does not always mean that that thing is valid. Validity is important as we would want an assessment to be completely accurate before a diagnosis. As said in the above paragraph, mislabeling or misdiagnosing someone can be extremely harmful. Before an assessment or diagnosis can be conclusive or useful, it must show that the results were produced from a standardized, reliable, and valid source. Without these three components, clinicians cannot use the results to make a diagnosis.

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