Assessment of Externalizing Behavioral Deficits

Robert J. Volpe and Sandra M. Chafouleas

in The Oxford Handbook of School Psychology

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780195369809
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Assessment of Externalizing Behavioral Deficits

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  • Psychology
  • Educational Psychology
  • Psychological Assessment and Testing


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Given the considerable amount of research attention that has been provided to externalizing behavioral deficits, a wide array of assessment methodologies is available to reliably assess core features. The purpose of this chapter is to provide a guide for the assessment of externalizing behavior problems. The chapter begins with an overview of externalizing problems, with focus on disorders of attention and disruption. Discussion of relevant disorders is based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th Edition, text revision; DSM-IV-TR) and special education law. Next, a five-phase model is presented for school-based assessment of externalizing problems that addresses issues of classification (screening, multimethod assessment, interpretation of results) as well as design and evaluation of the treatment plan.

Keywords: behavior assessment; oppositional defiant disorder; attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; conduct disorder; disruptive behavior; externalizing problems; evaluating behavior response

Article.  18099 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Educational Psychology ; Psychological Assessment and Testing

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