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What is the Purpose of a
Psychological Assessment?

Upset child on a couch before her psychological assessment.

Psychological evaluations are designed to assist your family in the accurate diagnosis of conditions such as depression, anxiety, and behavioral concerns. These evaluations assist in the determination of the best treatment options (if needed).


To determine if a psychological evaluation at Oklahoma Children's may be appropriate for your child, please answer the following questions:

  • Does your child have frequent difficulties following directions?

  • Does your child have difficulty with anger and regulating emotions?

  • Is your child struggling in school or experiencing a drop in academic performance?

  • Does your child report difficulty concentrating?

  • Is your child acting out in class?

  • Does your child frequently miss school or not complete homework?

  • Has your child reported overwhelming feelings of anxiety, fear, anger, sadness or hopelessness?

  • Have you noticed frequent or dramatic mood changes?


If you answered yes or I don’t know to any of the above questions, your child would likely benefit from having a psychological evaluation.

If you are still unsure, please answer the additional questions about your child:

  • Has their behavior suddenly changed? 

  • Are they experiencing issues in multiple areas of life (e.g., friendships, family relationships, academic performance, leisure activities)?

  • Does your child seem to be withdrawing from family, friends, and activities? 

  • Have you noticed any self-destructive behaviors (e.g., self-harm, substance use)?

  • Have you noticed any regressions in your child's social, emotional, or behavioral development and functioning?

If you answered yes to any of the questions, your child would likely benefit from having a psychological evaluation.

Depressed child before her psychological evaluation.
Oklahoma family during their intake for a psychological evaluation.

Psychological Evaluation Process

Step 1: Clinical Interview

To determine an accurate diagnosis for your child, the evaluation process begins with a Clinical Interview.  The clinical interview is simply a conversation with a Licensed Psychologist at Oklahoma Children's to better understand the presenting problems and relevant history of the problems for your child or adolescent.

The Clinical Interview will cover a wide range of topics related to your child and family, including:

  • Early developmental history and milestones

  • Family history

  • Current symptoms and concerns

  • Educational history

  • Medical history, including illnesses, injuries and hospitalizations

  • Friends and social relationships

  • Hobbies, interests, and extracurricular activities 

  • Strengths, talents, unique abilities and coping skills

Psychological Evaluation Process

Step 2: Testing Session

The second session is the "Testing Session" where a Licensed Psychologist and assessment staff will conduct a comprehensive psychological examination which includes:​

  • Evidence-Based Intelligence or Cognitive Testing

  • Social, Emotional, & Behavioral Assessments

  • Caregiver-Report Assessments

  • Other Empirically-Supported Symptom-Specific Assessments

When evaluating symptoms in your child or adolescent, staff at Oklahoma Children's utilize "gold standard" assessments to make objective ratings of your child’s social, emotional, and behavioral functioning to determine whether the behavior pattern suggests a specific diagnosis (or diagnoses).   

The Testing Sessions are scheduled for 4 hours (a school absence excuse will be provided, if needed). For children/adolescents undergoing an evaluation, a multiple informant approach is used. That is, questionnaires are completed by parents/caregivers (and possibly teachers) to provide additional information about your child and the presenting concerns.​

Child completing a psychological evaluation.
Oklahoma family during the feedback session of their psychological evaluation.

Psychological Evaluation Process

Step 3: Feedback Session

The last session is the "Feedback Session" which is typically scheduled one to two weeks after the Testing Session. Caregivers meet privately with their Licensed Psychologist who will provide you with a detailed report. 


During the feedback session, the psychologist will:

  • Review the results of each assessment

  • Provide a specific diagnosis (or diagnoses)

  • Give specific treatment and intervention recommendations

  • Answer any questions you have about the evaluation results

Related Articles & Resources

Please note that the recommendation of particular websites, resources, or support groups does not necessarily indicate an endorsement of all the opinions or content within them.

Schedule a Psychological Evaluation

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