Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 235-242

First online:

Considerations for the Use of Sentence Completion Tests

  • Kenneth E. Rogers
  • , John Bishop
  • , Robert C. LaneAffiliated withCenter for Psychological Studies, Nova Southeastern University

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Often, sentence completion tests are administered to clients without a clear sense of the clinical questions to be investigated, and, therefore, the appropriate sentence completion instrument to be used. The multitude of forms that have evolved in the last fifty years have made it difficult for clinicians to make informed decisions about which form to use and for what purpose. This article presents ten general guidelines or considerations for the effective use of this popular but sometimes misused psychological assessment method. Practitioners are urged to consider such issues as oral versus written presentation of items, item content in terms of positive or negative stimulus pull, the structure of sentence stems, the original purpose of a given test in regard to intended population and theoretical orientation of the author, and the empirical validity of tests.

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