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Case Study: Mark Perry

Case Study: Mark Perry is a doctoral student in clinical psychology. He is currently doing his practicum at a community mental health agency. Periodically, the social workers at the agency ask him to "interpret" psychological tests they have given to clients. They know Mark has had courses in assessment and trust his judgment. The social workers also say this enables him to "practice" his interpretation skills.

Using the case study provide a description of the ethical and legal consideration. Explain the implications of each issue and how one might address this issue. Please note the ethical standards and federal/state laws involved.

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In interpreting test data of a client, the psychologist must consider the use of the data by following some general principles and ethical guidelines. For instance, the American Psychological Association (APA) Ethics Code consist of ethical and legal requirements that include the following: (1) psychologists are encouraged to avoid personal problems that could lead to exploitation and harm to individuals or organizations with whom they work [Principle A]; (2) psychologists should meet their responsibility in avoiding conflicts of interest that would jeopardize trust, or lead to exploitation or harm. In addition to these principles, APA ethical standards are designed to guide professional conduct, and ensure that psychologists and other personnel adhere to a code of professionalism. First, as it relates to the case study, the APA Ethics Code mandates that the student who is to interpret tests must have informed consent from the client that the student will be reviewing the client's test data. The following standards paraphrased below apply to this case study:

Standard 9.03 - informed consent -suggests that "Psychologists using the services of an interpreter obtain informed consent from the client/patient to use the interpreter, ensure that confidentiality of reports and diagnostic or evaluative statements, including forensic testimony and discussion of any limitations in the data obtained. ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses a specific case study and the legal and ethical considerations in handling data.