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Hess, Robyn S.

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This study represents one of the first known studies to explore suboptimal effort in children and adolescents as part of psychoeducational evaluations conducted within a school setting. Only recently has attention been given to pediatric performance validity testing. With the assistance of five credentialed school psychologists across two midwestern states, 52 students were administered the Test of Memory Malingering (TOMM) as part of their psychoeducational evaluation. The findings of the current study suggested that 19.2% of these students failed Trial 2 on the TOMM, a suggested indicator of suboptimal performance. Furthermore, school psychologists’ ratings of observed effort did not correlate with failure on Trial 2 of the TOMM and there were no discernible patterns across disability area. Full scale ability scores provided a good predictor of performance on the TOMM. Overall, the findings from this study suggest the importance of including an objective performance validity measure for school psychologists in order to improve their ability to identify students who might be demonstrating suboptimal performance. Additional implications for practice and research are provided.


89 pages

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