Friday, 16 Jul 2004

MEDIA RELEASE For immediate release: Friday 17 July 2004 Meeting the challenge of assessing behavioural problems Assessment of behavioural, social and emotional problems faces several challenges, according to Professor Thomas Achenbach, from the University of Vermont, USA. Professor Achenbach is a keynote speaker at the International Test Users’ Conference 2004 hosted by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) in Melbourne. He is the author of the Child Behaviour Checklist. One of the challenges in assessing behavioural, social and emotional problems is the different responses from various sources of data. In some situations, such as the assessment of children and older adults, other family members, carers and clinicians are also asked to report on that person’s behaviour. Responses from different people can vary: a child’s mother, father and teacher may all make different observations about a child’s behaviour, and this may also vary from information gathered from the child. The key is to combine this data to form a cohesive and accurate picture of the child’s behaviour. Cultural differences are also an issue in many countries, where the need arises to provide educational, mental health and social services for refugees and immigrants. “Differences in language, culture, socioeconomic status, education, values, and expectations challenge traditional assessment practices, ” Professor Achenbach said. In meeting these challenges, the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA) systematically compares problems reported by the person being assessed and people who know the person to reveal similarities and differences and measure the extent to which their responses agree. The ASEBA instruments have been translated into 69 languages to overcome some of the cultural challenges practitioners face. The conference will take place on July 19 and 20 at Melbourne’s Hilton on the Park hotel. For further information please phone (03) 9835 7403 or visit the ACER website at www.acer.edu.au ****************ENDS*************