Psychiatric Assessment Of A 13-Year-Old Ninth-Grader


Daphne is a 13-year-old ninth-grader who was brought to the psychiatrist for assessment since she was struggling with her behavior and academics. Her challenges were linked to the difficulty encountered starting and completing her schoolwork and following instructions, which led to failing grades in math. Daphne has had challenges with her sleep since early childhood she has become increasingly resistant to attending school, asking to stay home with her mother. Daphne is easily upset with change and withdraws from activities when her friends engage in events that do not follow her rules. However, Daphne’s challenges are only academic-based since she responds well to the time spent at the lake house.


In Daphne’s case, the psychological test conducted was a diagnostic interview, where the mental health professional explores a patient’s presenting issues, background, and current situation to formulate a diagnosis and prognosis while developing a plan (Lagae, 2008). The test involved a discussion with Daphne, and the psychiatrist confirmed that after the first fifteen minutes, the patient became more comfortable in their conversation (Lagae, 2008). Through her answers, the psychiatrist discovered Daphne disliked school because no one cared for her.


For this assessment, the chosen evaluation recommended for Daphne is an achievement test. The first advantage of the test is that it is designed to measure the amount of general knowledge that Daphne has accrued in math (Lagae, 2008). Additionally, the test allows the psychiatrist to assess Daphne’s learning and achievement. The other advantages of the test are that it provides a benchmark to compare Daphne’s success over time, and it is an effective venue for change where Daphne’s performance can be improved through meaningful incentives (Lagae, 2008). The main disadvantage with the tests is that since it is standardized, assumptions are made that all cases are the same, which results in their inconsistencies.


Lagae, L. (2008). Learning disabilities: definitions, epidemiology, diagnosis, and intervention strategies. Pediatr Clin North Am 55(6):1259–1268. PubMed ID: 19041456