Social Work: Instruments and Assessments

Introduction
Tests and Test Reviews
Full-text of Tests
Books
Articles
Websites
Materials from Other Libraries
Help

Introduction

Assessment and clinical evaluation is essential to social work practice.   It is needed to develop an accurate understanding of clients and their needs, to identify problems, and to serve as a basis for evaluating the effectiveness of helping interventions.   Assessment consists of data collection, followed by an appraisal of that data as a basis for developing a plan of action.  

In order to assist with assessment of various social situations, standardized assessment tools, or instruments, have been developed.   These instruments, which are often in the form of tests, scales or questionnaires, are widely used in many fields of the social sciences.  

The University of Lethbridge Library has a number of print and online resources that deal almost exclusively with assessment tools.   While a few of the resources provide the actual instrument, most offer a description of the scale along with reviews and references to its usage. 

This guide outlines several methods for obtaining information on assessment instruments from resources available at the University of Lethbridge Library.  

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Tests and Test Reviews

The following resources provide access to test names, descriptions, and sources by topic, variable and/or population.   Some resources also provide critical reviews of assessment tools, but DO NOT provide the actual tests or instruments.

 
ONLINE RESOURCES

Mental Measurements Yearbook

This online database provides descriptions of over 2,000 contemporary testing instruments along with critical reviews and often a bibliography of resources used in preparation of the review.  It does not provide the actual tests or instruments.   MMY is also available in print in the Library's Reference Collection.

Health and Psychosocial Instruments (HAPI)    

Available through the University of Calgary Library.  You must sign in using your U of C username and password.

Provides access to journal article and book information on measurement instruments dating back to 1985 (i.e., questionnaires, interview schedules, checklists, index measures, coding schemes/ manuals, rating scales, projective techniques, vignettes/scenarios, tests) in the health fields, psychosocial sciences, organizational behavior, and library and information science.

Tests in Print

Provides information on every published (and commercially available) test in psychology and achievement. Each entry consists of the test title, intended population, publication date, acronym (if applicable), author, publisher, foreign adaptations, and references. There are no critical reviews or psychometric information on the tests.


BOOKS

General Resources

The following books provide descriptions and reviews of instruments. Some resources also supply a select set of actual assessment tools.

Tests: A Comprehensive Reference for Assessments in Psychology, Education, and Business    (REFNC  BF 176 T43 2003) 

Provides descriptions of over 700 tests sorted by subject area.

Comprehensive Handbook of Psychological Assessment   4 volumes  (REFNC BF 176 C654 2004)  

Vol. 1: Intellectual and neuro-psychological assessment; Vol. 2: Personality assessment; Vol. 3: Behavioral assessment; Vol. 4: Industrial and Organizational assessment.

Handbook of Psychological Assessment   (MAINC BF 176 G76 2003) Available ONLINE and in print

Replicates the sequence practitioners follow when performing a psychological evaluation, and provides brief information on the purpose, format, reliability and number of test items for several assessment tools.   A journal citation is included for each scale.

Commissioned Reviews of 250 Psychological Tests  2 volumes  (REFNC BF 176 C65 2000) 

Vol. 1: Health psychology, cognitive psychology, and personality and individual differences.   Vol. 2:Social psychology, developmental psychology, work and educational psychology, and psychological well-being.

Advances in Personality Assessment 1982-1995  (MAINC BF 699.4 A38)     

Analyzes various approaches to personality assessment.

 

Subject Specific Resources

Following is a partial listing of resources in the University of Lethbridge Library that discuss the process of assessment in specific subject areas, as well as provide information on specific instruments and assessment tools:  

Assessing Children's Well-Being: A Handbook of Measures   Available ONLINE

Assessment of Eating Disorders     (MAINC  RC 552 E18 A83 2005)

Family Assessment: A Guide to Methods and Measures    (MAINC RC 488.5 G881 1989)

Handbook of Family Measurement Techniques    (MAINC HQ 728 H23 1990)

Handbook of Measurements for Marriage and Family Therapy   (MAINC RC 488.5 F73 1987)

Handbook of Multicultural Assessment: Clinical, Psychological, and Education Applications    (MAINC BF 176 H36 2001)

Measures of Family Functioning for Research and Practice    (MAINC HQ 515 S29 1995)

Review of Screening and Assessment Instruments: Substance Use, Gambling, & Family Functioning   (MAINC HV 4998 R48 2002)

Review of Screening and Assessment Instruments for Women: Substance Use & Co-occurring Disorders   (MAINC RC 564.5 W65 R48 2003)

Sex and Gender Issues: A Handbook of Tests and Measures    (MAINC BF693 B39 1990)

Testing Adolescents: A Reference Guide for Comprehensive Psychological Assessments    (MAINC BF 724.25 T47 1987)

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Full-text of Tests

The following items provide the complete test, scale, score, measurement etc. of selected assessment instruments:


Measures for Clinical Practice and Research: A Sourcebook       (REFNC BF 176 F47 2007)      

This two volume set reproduces each test in its entirety and offers advice on how to select and score them.   Volume one covers measures for use with couples, families and children; Volume two focuses on measures for use with adults.

Positive Psychological Assessment: A Handbook of Models and Measures      (MAINC BF 176 P67 2003)      

Reviews and critiques psychological instruments that assess human strengths, resources, and well-being through measures of optimism, hope, locus of control, self-esteem, positive coping, among other constructs.   Where possible, non-proprietary scales and measures appear in the appendixes at the end of chapters.

Measures of Personality and Social Psychological Attitudes   (MAINC BF 698.4 M38 1990)      

Includes scales that can be used to measure self-esteem, well-being, social anxiety, depression, trust, values, locus of control, and authoritarianism.

Handbook of Tests and Measurement in Education and the Social Sciences   (REFNC LB 3051 L4543 2000)      

Presents 120 scales, questionnaires, surveys, indices, and inventories along with references and information about the development, reliability, and validity of each.  The instruments are arranged by topic (e.g., anxiety/frustration, change/innovation, culture, decision-making/problem-solving, gender identification, leadership).

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Books

Use the Library Catalogue to find books that contain references to assessment tools.  There are several effective search methods for finding resources that talk about the process of assessment, or that provide information on assessment tools:

1.  Select SUBJECT HEADING and in the search box, enter a Library of Congress Subject Heading such as:

Ability testing

Attitude (Psychology)--Testing

Behavioral assessment

Educational tests and measurements

Intelligence tests

Personality assessment

Personality tests

Psychodiagnostics

Psychological tests

Psychological tests for children

Psychometrics

2.  To find books on assessment as it applies to a particular topic or group of people, use the ADVANCED KEYWORD search option.   In the first search input box, enter a term related to your topic (e.g. stress, depression, peer relations, ability, family, adolescents) and in the second search box enter a term related to assessment - this term could either be one from the subject headings list above or from the keyword list below.     (e.g.  elderly--evaluation; minorities--psychological testing)

Sample keywords for assessment include:

3.  To find books that provide focused information on a specific test or assessment tool, type in the name of the test or test author into the KEYWORD search box.  e.g. Bender Gestalt Test

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Articles

Journal articles that describe and discuss psychological tests and measurements can be located through indexes and databases.  Such materials may be useful in identifying tests and measurements not listed elsewhere, to examine the implementation of a particular test over time, or to locate critical reviews.   You will likely need to search several indexes to ensure that you have done a comprehensive search of the literature.

A listing of relevant indexes may be found under the Social Work Databases link. In addition, the following databases provide access to relevant journal articles outside the Social Work literature:

 

CINAHL (Cummunlative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature)

 Use to find articles in journals or book chapters that use or describe specific tests or measures in the area of health and nursing.

SEARCH TIP:  Search within the INSTRUMENTATION field for specific test names.  You can browse a list of test names via the INSTRUMENTATION index.

ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center)

Source of information on education research and practice. 

SEARCH TIP: Use the THESAURUS to find relevant subject headings such as "Test Validity", "Test Reliability", "Measures (Individual)", "Diagnostic Tests" etc.,  or LIMIT your search to Publication Type: Tests/Questionnaires.

Health and Psychosocial Instruments (HAPI)    

Available through the University of Calgary Library.  You must sign in using your U of C username and password.

Provides access to journal article and book information on measurement instruments dating back to 1985 (i.e., questionnaires, interview schedules, checklists, index measures, coding schemes/ manuals, rating scales, projective techniques, vignettes/scenarios, tests) in the health fields, psychosocial sciences, organizational behavior, and library and information science.

SEARCH TIP: Refine your search results to sources containing the test or measure by selecting the PRIMARY SOURCE limiter.

Mental Measurements Yearbook

Provides descriptions of over 2,000 contemporary testing instruments along with critical reviews and often a bibliography of resources used in preparation of the review.  The criteria for inclusion in the MMY are that the test be new or revised since the previous yearbook and that the publisher provide documentation supporting the technical qualities of the test.  MMY is also available in print in the Library's Reference Collection

PscyINFO

Provides abstracts and citations to the scholarly literature in the psychological, social, behavioral, and health sciences.

SEARCH TIPS:  Use the Tests & Measures LIMIT function to restrict retrieval to documents that are specifically about a particular test or measurement instrument. This is a good way to eliminate studies that used a specific test or measurement as methodology, but which are actually about another topic. 

Use the ADDITIONAL LIMITS function to choose from classification codes such as "Development Scales and Schedules", "Personality Scales & Inventories", Ëducational Measurement" etc.

Use the THESAURUS feature to search for various types of tests, for example: aptitude measures; attitude measures; personality measures; performance tests; personality tests; test construction; inventories etc.


SEARCH TIP for all databases: If there is no direct link to the full text of the article from within the database you are searching, use the New site added button to see if the full text is available from one of our other database providers or, in print in the University of Lethbridge Library.

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Websites

Use the Internet wisely. The quality and trustworthiness of information available on the Web varies greatly, but guidelines are available to help you evaluate Web-based sources when you are unsure of their authority.

Some websites that may be useful for this area include:

Psychological Tests for Students Use     [York University]

The tests on this site are copyrighted, but the test authors have given their permission to have these tests downloaded and used by student researchers or they are in the public domain.  Information about the validity and reliability of these tests is not included at this site.

Finding information about Psychological Tests    [American Psychological Association]

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Materials from Other Libraries

Use our Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service if we do not own the item you are looking for.   Submit your request through the ILL function and follow the instructions on the screen.

***If you are a Master of Social Work student studying at a distance, some additional interlibrary loan rules apply.

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Help

Online Guides are available for help with everything from basic library research strategies to writing your research paper.   The full listing is on our "How to" Guides page.   Some examples:

Library Research Strategy

Evaluating Journal Articles

Evaluating Web Resources

Citation Style Guides

 

HELP is available during the hours that the Information & Research Assistance Desk on level 10 of the library is staffed, either at the desk itself, by Instant Messenger, email at AskUs, by telephone at 403-329-2263 or toll-free at 1-877-382-7113.

Please feel free to contact Judy Vogt (Subject Librarian for Social Work) if you require further assistance finding Social Work Instruments and Assessments.

Based in part on the Instruments & Assessment Tutorial

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 Maintained by
 Content Revised: October 2, 2014
 Content Created: February 8, 2010


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