Objective Assessment of Youth Psychopathology: Adjustment Scales for Children and Adolescents (ASCA)

Workshop Summary:

The Adjustment Scales for Children and Adolescents (ASCA; McDermott, Marston, & Stott, 1993) is a nationally normed, objective behavior rating instrument that is completed by the youth’s teacher. The ASCA consists of 156 behavioral descriptions of which 97 are scored and each assigned to only one of six core syndromes (Attention-Deficit Hyperactive, Solitary-Aggressive [Provocative], Solitary-Aggressive [Impulsive], Oppositional Definant, Diffident, & Avoidant) or two supplementary syndromes (Delinquent & Lethargic [Hypoactive]). The six core syndromes are universal and reliable across all youths aged 5 through 17, for both males and females, and for different racial/ethnic groups; allowing for a parsimonious description of youth psychopathology (McDermott, 1994). The two supplementary syndromes are not universal across age and gender but are sufficiently reliable and valid for specific subgroups within these groups. Two overall adjustment scales (Overactivity and Underactivity) are also obtained and relate to the externalizing/conduct problem and internalizing/ withdrawal dimensions commonly found in the youth psychopathology literature.

Participants in this half-day or full-day workshop will (a) learn the historical background, development, psychometrics, and uses of the ASCA; (b) acquire skills in administration and scoring of the ASCA; (c) develop skills in interpreting the results of the ASCA through Cut-Score, Syndromic Profile Interpretation, and Discriminant Classification; and (d) learn to integrate interpretive information with other objective assessment data. Participants will also be presented an automated scoring template which calculates Generalized Distance Scores for Syndromic Profile Interpretation and linear Discriminant Classification indexes as well as examine clinical cases where the ASCA has been utilized.

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