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Article   |    
Issues Surrounding Psychological Testing of Minority Patients
Carolyn L. Williams
Psychiatric Services 1987; doi:
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Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Box 197 Mayo, 420 Delaware Street, Southeast, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455

American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Psychological testing of minority patients is a frequently debated issue, not only in the scientific literature, but in the mass media, the courts, and legislative bodies. A historical overview of the controversy illustrates past abuses in such testing, but a closer look at methodological issues concerning cognitive-intellectual tests and objective personality assessment illustrates that the tests can be appropriately used with minority patients. Suggestions for ap- propriate use, backed by case illustrations, include gaining an understanding of a patient's cultural background; using interpreters and culture-appropriate reinforcers; supplementing formal testing with informal procedures; making sure patients un- derstand required tasks; and taking into account ethnicity and social class during interpretation of results.

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