Administering Competency Screening Tests on a Minor

Administering Competency Screening Tests


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Administering Competency Screening Tests on a Minor


Balancing between Competency Screening Test (CST) expectations and demands of a given situations is normally an uphill task for CST administrators. A CST tool administers tests on juvenile or mentally challenged individuals. The process is tedious since there are several situation of communication breakdown, and this endangers the processes. For this reason, the administering official should displays proper and higher degree of professionalism by using of tests or face-to-face communication with the juvenile. This analysis will appoint Dr. Roberts defense of a 17-year-old individual who has been accused of sexual assault and battery. The juvenile is a linguistically challenged immigrant from Chile. The individual can only communicate Mapudungun and Spanish; however, he can speak and communicate rudimentary English, and this is not positive to the court. The commencing research will prove that Dr. Robert should apply a professional approach to determine the case’s course. The report will further clarify it is appropriate to encourage CST as compared to direct judicial test to minors who are linguistically challenged.

How should Dr. Roberts proceed with the evaluation?

Determining the eligibility of the case is normally an uphill task if the defendant is linguistically challenged. However, this does not deter clinicians from providing a valid assessment of whether the case is in a position to defend himself through language. The male defendant in Dr. Robert case is rather complicated. Accordingly, the young male defendant is not only linguistically challenged but also has a lower I.Q and is paranoid of ideas. Dr. Robert is expected by the judiciary to provide appropriate assessment. For this reason, the evaluation should ascertain judiciary expectations that the defendant is in a position to comply with the appropriate judicial process.

Since Dr. Robert is authorized by the court to conduct an evaluation, it will only be necessary to have the paperwork intact. Dr. Robert should clarify whether the evaluation is appropriately sought and assess possibility of psycho-legal questions is also at hand. Preliminary information seeks to clarify issues that elicit CST concern. This reflects the subject’s background information. The young man can communicate using rudimentary English. Dr. Robert should be able to understand this English when assessing the young man.

Secondly, Dr. Robert should specify the appropriate time, which should be applied during the evaluation process. Time specification reduces redundancy or false information development. For the legal assessment, Dr. Robert should alert the defense counsel to determine how the attorney plans to present the minor. In addition, Dr. Robert should assess whether the attorney understands the defendant situation and whether it is possible to provide reasons for the CST concerns. Thirdly, Dr. Robert should present the situation the minor parents and caregivers (Jackson, Rogers and Sewell, 2005, pp. 201).

Data overview and evaluation is an essential process that should be pursued and demonstrated with proper connection. Empirical demonstration seeks to examine the youth’s behavioral, social, cognitive, and emotional situation. That is, whether the juvenile conducted the act at his right mental status. Dr. Robert should necessitate direct question based on observation, mental status question, interviewing, psychological testing and symptom interviewing. Dr. Robert should adopt the principle of reliability that is, credibility and dependability.

What, if any, testing should be conducted?

As stated, Data overview and evaluation will seek examine test, which will outline possible results. Tests will be necessary to reflect the juvenile situation. Dr. Robert may think it prudent to use a Competency Screening Test (CST) tool. The test will initialize standardized and scoring tools that are presented on a scale of 0-2 with two meant to reflect a higher degree of sentence completion showing a higher degree of legal comprehension and 0 presenting a low level. Test administration time should be over 25 minutes.

Dr. Robert will have to examine the test results presented during the interview. If the defendant scores below 20, this will request for a comprehensive evaluation. Twenty is according to reliable standards established for the tests. Errors are part of the test results, and they happen to indicate false positives; for example, labeling the minor as incompetent whereas he is competent. Dr. Robert should therefore specify room error even though this provision is controlled. False positive rate should sufficiently demonstrate lower instrumental competence, and these will encourage Dr. Robert to initiate a more decisive evaluation. Testing tool will further seek to clarify a false result that is a percentage, which ranges from 14.3% to 28.6% and is maintained and controlled at that point.

Should he use an individual who speaks Spanish to assist with the evaluation?

Using an individual who speaks French is an ideal approach, however for clinical competence, and this not prove a reliable loom. Rosner (2006, pp. 218) argues that translators are very essential at the judicial court level since the magistrate or the clerk may fail to understand the defendant language. However, in a clinical test, dealing with the juvenile directly is essential since this enables communication. Additionally, Dr. Robert test seek to clarify whether the Juvenile is capable of presenting himself in court of law. There are several problems associated with involving a translator at the clinical level. Most of these problems cannot be extinguished by mere counseling, and it is up to practitioners like Dr. Robert to go the last mile.

It is hard to get a competent translator and according to the extract, and the county does not have finances to hire for a translator neither does Dr. Robert. Secondly, translators utilizing a language fluently are hard to get, and the defendant rudimentary English might be much better. A non-professional translator will naturally pose as competent, and this seeks to sabotage the development of the process.

Thirdly, a mental health professional is likely to exit effectual qualities conveyed in a statement, and this are transported directly as opposed to being experienced directly. Quality and accuracy is the key in the clinical health experiences. Further to this, respond patterns might change valiantly. Emotional issues for instance, visual response, remorse and expression may not be experienced yet this communicates much better than the verbal communication based on the nature of the case. Additionally, a translator might be from the Juvenile Spanish background. This is dangerous since the translator might use his fairer better I.Q to alter various sections of the information with intent to help the juvenile.

Moreover, having a translator on board might deter the quality of the case. Assuming the only available translator is feminine; the Juvenile might feel withdrawn from sharing vital information with the translator. Alternatively, the translator might be withdrawn by the case and might present deceitful information with intent to conduct personal judgment. This is true when self-disclosure of an examiner seeks to present evaluations, and that occur in emotionally intense situation. Rosner (2006, pp. 218) argues that issues related to shame and face-savings play a critical role of everyday situation. Dr. Roberts might inquire factors, which create shaming situation, and the examiner fails to get important information regarding the situation. Hence, the quality of information is a serious stake when it comes to translator.

Firstly, it is a prerequisite that the test construct should be observable by the Dr. Roberts and the juvenile in constructing a conceptual framework. This is a measure of agreement between and concept and where it is derived from. For the content of the interview, it is necessary to create a criterion validity, which has different subscales, and all should be convergent. The goal is to determine the degree of detail that should be dealt with at each specific test. Additionally, Dr. Roberts should apply predictive validity evidence to examine the criterion of the performance assessment instrument. Certification screens identify the extent at which individuals are excluded on the pass test results.

Consequential validity is a central interpretation of test scores, and this appraises the social impact of the examination to the juvenile. A close example of these questions is how the juvenile could have acted in normal life situation. Social impact expresses the degree of persistence and the competencies measured in the assessment over a significant lapse of time during the interview. As part of the ethical principles, Dr. Robert should ensure that the amount time he spends on a juvenile should be proportionate on the nature of I.Q.

What are the ethical issues faced by Dr. Roberts?

Dr. Roberts might fail serious ethical issues hurting standards and governing the relationship between him and the juvenile, him and the judiciary and him and the society. Other issues include secret remedies and exclusive methods of location and appearance and presentation. While most of these requirements are primarily met, it is good to note that the there are other professionals standards that Dr. Roberts should maintain, and this are responsive directly based on the nature of the case.

CST faces critical ethical challenges as it enters the twenty-first century. Struggles seek to meet mission of a changing CST system from one, which is not investigative based to that which understanding based. One serious ethical issue is freedom versus control. The juvenile feels that he want to make some choices yet this constrains Dr. Robert, who is supposed to handle the juvenile as convict. Secondly, another issue involved empirical knowledge versus personal belief. The juvenile might begin feeling nervous and needs a responsive restoration of his normal life, which hinders the development of the case. Thirdly, Dr. Robert also faces significant effects of differences between telling the truth. Dr. Robert might attempt to hold some information from the authority since this might sabotage the development of the case at that particular time. Finally, distribution of resources remains a significant problem towards the development of the case. Some of Dr. Robert C.S.T tools might be absence and this endangers the overall professional development of the situation

How should he resolve these ethical dilemmas?

According to the above ethical possible ethical issues, it is notable that much should be done with intent to protect Dr. Robert professionalism. The chief problems of freedom and empirical knowledge should be handled professionalism by making the juvenile understand the fundamentality of the process. Secondly, issues related to deceit should not be Dr. Robert concern. At all stages, Dr Robert should control the juvenile and assume full responsibility of the how the interview enfolds (Hunter, 2007, pp. 241).

In addition, Dr. Robert should ensure that ethical principles required incompetency are not eroded either physical or mental maturation. Changing attitudes, physical maturation and constraints should not be allowed to hijack the process of evaluation. Validation fosters proper ethical principles; a close example is the face-to-face evaluation. Dr. Robert should face a test juvenile at all time on the eyes but with a charming and professional manner. Additionally, Dr. Robert should organize interviews based on protocol of flow and issues should be not overriding each other. Interviews should be based on APA principles and should focus on getting information in a much friendlier professional way and not hurting the juvenile. Finally, documentation of each process is necessarily as far as ethical issues is concerned.


Hunter, D. (2007). Proportional ethical review and the identification of ethical issues. Journal of

Medical Ethics, 33(4), 241-245.

Jackson, R. L., Rogers, R., & Sewell, K. W. (2005). Forensic Applications of the Miller Forensic

Assessment of Symptoms Test (MFAST): Screening for Feigned Disorders in Competency to Stand Trial Evaluations.. Law and Human Behavior, 29(2), 199-210.

Rosner, F. (2006). Medical Research in Children: Ethical Issues. Cancer Investigation, 24(2),


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