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21-11-2016 | Original Paper | Uitgave 4/2017

Journal of Child and Family Studies 4/2017

Barriers to Adherence to Child Assessment Recommendations

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 4/2017
Lilia E. Mucka, Jon Hinrichs, Fredrick Upton, Lesley Hetterscheidt, Jeffrey Kuentzel, Marla Bartoi, Douglas Barnett


We conducted a one-year follow-up study of child psychoeducational assessment cases to examine whether and how the assessments were helpful to families. The current report focuses on parents’ views of their child’s assessment as well as the parents’ adherence with the written recommendations provided to them following their child’s assessment. Fifty-one of 72 eligible parents whose child received an assessment in an urban, Midwest university clinic participated. Based on semistructured interviews with the parents about the assessment recommendations, we grouped the recommendations and any barriers to adherence the parents mentioned into categories, and we also rated the clarity and complexity of the recommendations. Findings showed that, on average, parents identified the assessment process as useful and attempted or fully adhered to 71.5 % of recommendations. Parents reported the lowest adherence when referrals were recommended for their child to be seen by other professionals such as a pediatrician or psychiatrist; and they cited significantly more stigma barriers for recommendations to seek counseling/therapy or psychotropic medication than for recommendations pertaining to changes at home or school. Higher parental compliance was predicted by a combination of parents reporting fewer barriers and receiving more home based recommendations. The results support the utility of psychological assessments from parents’ perspectives and suggest ways in which psychologists may increase the likelihood that parents will adhere to their recommendations.

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