The Role Assessment Psychology Plays in Helping Children and Teens

role of assessment psychology in helping kids

Those pursuing a masters in assessment psychology are on a path to an especially rewarding career, because assessment psychology plays an unsung yet important role in helping young people. 

Whether they are children or teens approaching adulthood, young people can benefit from access to the right treatments and services to support their mental health and promote their academic and social success. Providing what is needed begins with attaining an accurate picture of the young person’s personality, behavior and ability. This is the role of assessment psychology.

Assessment psychologists use a variety of tests to diagnose conditions or problems that can hold young people back and inhibit their development. In this way, assessment psychology plays a critical role in helping young people get the help they need. 

How Assessment Psychologists Can Help

Among the ways assessment psychologists help young people:

  • Identify learning disabilities. Learning disabilities can be difficult to detect in students unless they undergo a proper evaluation. Assessment psychologists administer achievement tests that focus on reading, writing or math skills.  The Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement (WJ), the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT) and others are popular assessments that help identify learning disabilities that can stand in the way of learning and academic success.
  • Help them gain access to learning support resources. Individual development plans and individualized education plans provide accommodations and additional support for students who need them. To qualify, students need to be evaluated to determine their eligibility. An assessment psychologist plays an important role in the eligibility process as a member of the team that evaluates the student’s classwork, homework and performance on standardized tests.
  • Position them to experience greater social success. In addition to evaluating young people for disabilities and problems that can stand in the way of their academic success, assessment psychologists can test for social-emotional problems, such as anxiety, depression or pervasive developmental disorders. Any of these can negatively impact the young person’s ability to interact more effectively with peers and others—and they need the right help to manage or overcome them. 
  • Help them deal with trauma. Childhood trauma, such as grief or loss, can be either a root cause of or a contributing factor to many problems afflicting young people. As such, childhood trauma can have long-term effects on a young person’s development and emotional well-being. An assessment psychologist can identify problems such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and set the stage for a young person to get the right help.

Launch your career helping young people through Carlow University’s Master of Arts (MA) in Psychology: Assessment Psychology concentration. You will learn the techniques and tools of the field relative to primary school and university settings and explore and develop advanced research and clinical skills to prepare for pursuit of a doctoral degree.