Children as Participants in Psychoeducational Assessment

  • Donald N. Bersoff
Part of the Critical Issues in Social Justice book series (CISJ)

Abstract

It has been estimated that more than 250 million standardized tests of academic ability, perceptual and motor skills, emotional and social characteristics, and vocational interests and talent are administered by school systems each year (Brim, Glass, Neulinger, Firestone, & Lerner, 1969; Holman & Docter, 1972). Tests are used in conjunction with almost every major educational practice, e.g., screening, placement, program planning, program evaluation, and assessment of individual progress. Because they have such a significant impact on children’s futures and have been criticized as discriminatory tools, denying full realization of the rights of minorities and the handicapped, and as devices fostering impermissible intrusion by the government into the private lives of its citizens tests have come under increasing legal scrutiny (Bersoff, 1979; 1982). Nevertheless, due to the perception and presumption that children are develop- mentally restricted in their ability to comprehend and respond meaningfully, they are generally precluded from deciding for themselves whether they should become a participant in assessment endeavors. Instead, they are enrolled as test takers by proxies, usually parents, who consent for them.

Keywords

Assure Toll Stake Protec Glean 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Baruch, G., & Barnett, R.: Competence-related behavior of preschool girls. Genetic Psycholog)) Monographs, 1981, 103, 79–103.Google Scholar
  2. Bersoff, D.: Silk purses into sow’s ears: The decline of psychological testing and a suggestion for its redemption. American Psychologist, 1973, 28, 892–899.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bersoff, D.: The ethical practice of school psychology: Rebuttal and suggested model. Professional Psychology, 1973b, 4, 305–312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bersoff, D.: Representation for children in custody proceedings: All that glitters is not Gault. Journal of Family Law, 1977, 15, 27–49.Google Scholar
  5. Bersoff, D.: Regarding psychologists testily: Legal regulation of psychological assessment in the public schools. Maryland Law Review, 1979, 39, 27 — 120.Google Scholar
  6. Bersoff, D.: Children as research subjects: Problems of competency and consent. In J. Henning (Ed.), Rights of children: Legal and psychological perspectives, Springfield, 111.: Charles C Thomas, 1981.Google Scholar
  7. Bersoff, D.: Larry P. and PÄSE: Judicial reports cards on the validity of individual intelligence tests. In T. Kratochwill (Ed.), Advances in school psychology, (Vol. 2). Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1982.Google Scholar
  8. Bricker, S.: Children’s rights: A movement in search of meaning. University of Richmond Law Review, 1979, 13, 661–693.Google Scholar
  9. Brim, O., Glass, D., Neulinger, J., Firestone, I., & Lerner, S.: American beliefs and attitudes about intelligence. New York: Russell Sage, 1969.Google Scholar
  10. Cohen, R., & Harnick, M.: The susceptibility of child witnesses to suggestion. Law and Human Behavior, 1980, 4, 201–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Department of Education. Individualized Education Programs. Federal Register, 1981, 46, 5460–5474.Google Scholar
  12. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Implementation of Part B of the Education of the Handicapped Act. Federal Register, 1977, 42, 424474–42517.Google Scholar
  13. Developments in the Law. The Constitution and the family. Harvard Law Review, 1980, 93, 1156–1383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ellis, J.: Volunteering children: Parental commitment of minors to mental institutions. California Law Review, 1974, 62, 840–916.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fischer, G.: Collaborative psychological assessment. In C. Fischer & S. Brodsky (Eds.), The Prometheus principle: Informed participation by clients in human services. New Brunswick, N.J. Transaction, 1978.Google Scholar
  16. Foster, H., & Freed, D.: A bill of rights for children. Family Law Quarterly, 1972, 6, 343–375.Google Scholar
  17. Friedman, P.: Legal regulation of applied behavior analysis in mental institutions and prisons. Arizona Law Review, 1975, 17, 39–104.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Garner, J., & Plant, E.: On the measurement of egocentrism: A replication and extension of Aebli’s findings. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 1972, 42, 79–83.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Goldstein, J.: On the right of the “institutionalized mentally infirm” to consent or refuse to participate as subjects in biomedical and behavioral research. In National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects (Ed.), Research involving those institutionalized as mentally infirm, Appendix 2–1. Bethesda, Md.: National Commission, 1978. (DHEW Pub. No. ( OS ) 78–0006 ).Google Scholar
  20. Gordon, D., Nowicki, S., & Wichern, F.: Observed maternal and child behaviors in a dependency producing task as a function of children’s locus of control orientation. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 1981. 27, 43–51.Google Scholar
  21. Grisso, T.: Juveniles’ capacities to waive Miranda rights: An empirical analysis. California Law Review, 1980, 68, 1134–1166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Grisso, T., & Vierling, L.: Minors’ consent to treatment: A developmental perspective. Professional Psychology, 1978, 9, 412–427.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hirshberg, B.: Who speaks for the child and what are his rights. Law and Human Behavior, 1980, 4, 217–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Houssiadas, L., & Brown, L.: Egocentricism in language and space perception. An examination of the concept. Genetic Psychology Monographs, 1980, 101, 183–214.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Holman, M., & Docter, R. Educational and psychological testing. New York: Rüssel Sage, 1972.Google Scholar
  26. Holt, J.: Escape from childhood. New York: Dutton, 1974.Google Scholar
  27. Institute of Judicial Administration & American Bar Association, Juvenile justice standards project: Standards relating to rights of minors. Cambridge, Mass.: Ballinger, 1977.Google Scholar
  28. Ishida, M.: Mother-child management of interactions at choice points. Psychiatry, 1980, 43, 11–11.Google Scholar
  29. Katz, S., Howe, R., McGrath, M.: Child neglect laws in America. Family Law Quarterly, 1975, 9, 1–372.Google Scholar
  30. Keasey, D., & Sales, B.: An empirical investigation of young children’s awareness and usage of intentionality in criminal situations. Law and Human Behavior, 1977, 1, 45–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kleinfeld, A.: Balance of power among infants, their parents, and the state (I, II, III). Family Law Quarterly, 1970, 1971, 4, 5, 320–349, 410–443, 64–107.Google Scholar
  32. Lewis, C.: A comparison of minors’ and adults’ pregnancy decisions. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 1980, 50, 446–453.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Macklin, R., & Sherwin, S.: Experimenting on human subjects: Philosophical perspectives. Case Western Reserve Law Review, 1975, 25, 434–471.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Mnookin, R. Child, family, and state. Boston: Little, Brown, 1978.Google Scholar
  35. Moskowitz, J. Parental rights and state education. Washington Law Review, 1975, 50, 623 — 651.Google Scholar
  36. Note. Counseling the counselors: Legal implications of counseling minors without parental consent. Maryland Law Review, 1971, 31, 332–354.Google Scholar
  37. Note. Constitutional law—right of privacy—school program designed to identify and provide corrective therapy for potential drug abusers held unconstitutional. Fordham Urban Law Journal, 1974, 599–610.Google Scholar
  38. Note. Parental consent requirements and privacy rights of minors: The contraceptive controversy. Harvard Law Review, 1975, 95, 1001–1020.Google Scholar
  39. Note. The psychologist as expert witnesses: Science in the courtroom? Maryland Law Review, 1979, 38, 539–621.Google Scholar
  40. Pitkin, H.: The concept of representation. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967.Google Scholar
  41. Recent Cases.: Constitutional Law—right of privacy—personality test used by school to identify potential drug abusers without informed consent of parents violates students’ and parents’ right of privacy. Vanderbilt Law Review, 1974, 27, 372–384.Google Scholar
  42. Recent Developments. Education—school-instituted program to identify potential drug abusers— right to privacy. Journal of Family Law, 1973–74, 13, 636–638.Google Scholar
  43. Richards, D.: The individual, the family, and the Constitution: A jurisprudential perspective. New York University Law Review, 1980, 55, 1–66.Google Scholar
  44. Saks, M.: (Chair). Recent research on children’s competence to consent. Symposium presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association, Los Angeles, August 1981.Google Scholar
  45. Skolnick, A.: The limits of childhood: Conceptions of child development and social context. Law and Contemporary Problems, 1975, 39, 38–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Tapp, J.: Psychology and the law: An overture. In M. Rozenzweig & L. Porter (Ed.), Annual Review of Psychology (Vol. 27.) Palo Alto, Calif.: Annual Reviews, 1976.Google Scholar
  47. Wald, M.: Children’s rights: A framework for analysis. University of California-Davis Law Review, 1979, 12, 255–282.Google Scholar
  48. Wald, P.: Making sense out of the rights of youth. Human Rights, 1974, 4, 13–29.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald N. Bersoff
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.USA
  2. 2.Joint Program in Law and PsychologyUniversity of Maryland School of LawBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA

Personalised recommendations