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Behavioral Assessment

Conceptual Foundations and Key Characteristics

The distinguishing characteristics of behavioral assessment are made more clear when they are contrasted against psychodynamic and personality assessment systems (e.g., those that use projective and personality assessment instruments such as the Rorschach and MMPI). These assessment systems assume that behavioral problems arise mostly from stable, internal, psychological processes such as unconscious conflicts, impaired object relations, and dysfunctional personality characteristics. Because internal and stable psychological processes are considered to be the main determinant of behavior problems, personality and projective assessment methods emphasize the measurement of internal experiences and personality characteristics. In addition, external environmental factors that can influence problem behavior (e.g., social relationships, how others respond to a problem behavior) are minimally evaluated.

In contrast, behavioral assessment emphasizes ...

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