Parent experience of traditional versus collaborative child assessment
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Collaborative child assessment combines traditional assessment methods with techniques aimed at increasing the therapeutic benefit of assessment for children and parents. Previous studies have found high consumer satisfaction, increased self esteem, decreased symptomatic distress, and greater hopefulness following participation in collaborative assessment. However, full collaborative assessment protocols are complex, time-consuming, and thus not practical to use in many applied settings. This study investigated the practicality and potential benefits of implementing several collaborative techniques into otherwise traditional child assessments, including co-generation of assessment questions, use of a process orientation during child testing, and use of an individualized, level-based approach when providing feedback. It was hypothesized that, compared to parents participating in traditional assessments, parents participating in collaborative assessments would report greater satisfaction, greater collaboration, learning more about their child, stronger alliance with the assessor, more positive feelings about the assessment process, and more hopefulness about their child’s challenges and future. Univariate analysis of variance statistics were used to test these hypotheses, which were not statistically supported, in part due to the limited sample size obtained. However, group differences of small to moderate effect sizes were seen for most of the outcome variables, including parent-reported learning about their child, assessor-parent relationship, assessor-child relationship, collaboration, negative feelings about the assessment, general satisfaction, and negative emotions about their child’s future. The results suggest that further research in this area is warranted. Limitations of the study and suggestions for future research are discussed.