THE ASSESSMENT OF MENTAL RETARDATION IN CAPITAL CASES Jeffrey C. Holden, Ph.D. Chief of Transition Services Murdoch Center.
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THE ASSESSMENT OF MENTAL RETARDATION IN CAPITAL CASES Jeffrey C. Holden, Ph.D. Chief of Transition Services Murdoch Center
What Is Mental Retardation? Significantly sub-average general intellectual functioning as evidenced by an I.Q. of 70 or below on an individually administered, scientifically recognized, standardized test administered by a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist
What Is Mental Retardation? Significant limitations in two or more of the following adaptive skill areas: communication, self-care, home living, social skills, community use, self- direction, health and safety, functional academics, leisure skills and work skills.
What Is Mental Retardation? Intellectual and adaptive deficits must have been manifested prior to the age of 18.
What Are The Causes Of Mental Retardation? Genetic conditions (e.g., Down Syndrome) Medical problems during pregnancy (e.g., Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) Medical problems at birth (e.g., prematurity) Medical problems after birth (e.g., measles) Poverty and cultural deprivation (e.g., under- stimulating environment)
How Is I.Q. Assessed? How Is I.Q. Assessed? Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale – 3 rd Edition Wechsler Intelligence Scale For Children - 4th Edition Stanford-Binet – 5 th Edition Leiter International Performance Scale -Revised Test of Nonverbal Intelligence – 3 rd Edition
How Can I.Q. Scores For One Person Vary So Greatly? Measurement error Practice effects Outdated test norms Different tests/versions used Actual changes in intellectual functioning
How Is Adaptive Functioning Assessed? Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales AAMR Behavior Scales – 2 nd Edition Scales of Independent Behavior –Revised Adaptive Behavior Assessment System Informal Assessment of Adaptive Behavior
How Is Manifestation of Mental Retardation During The Developmental Period Assessed? Review of school records Interviews with family and friends Interview with person being assessed Review of medical records
Who Should Assess For Mental Retardation? Psychiatrist Psychologist Neuropsychologist
Does Malingering Affect Assessment of Mental Retardation? Does Malingering Affect Assessment of Mental Retardation? Mental Illness and brain injury vs. mental retardation No research to support malingering in mental retardation
How Do Cultural/Language Issues Impact Assessment? Certain I.Q. tests may be invalid for non-english speaking persons. Cultural bias on I.Q. tests is minimal for english speaking ethnic groups. Assessment of adaptive skills may require access to natural environment. Evaluator and/or interpreter must be able to communicate effectively with person.
What Other Conditions Can Affect The Assessment Of Mental Retardation? Psychiatric Impairment Physical disability Sensory Impairment