Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology


Clinical Psychology



First Advisor

David Faust


The psychological assessment of racial and ethnic minority groups is often substantially limited by the lack of adequate normative data for these groups. This study examined the impact that race has on forensic psychologists’ (N=145) diagnostic decision making as well as judgments of the quality of normative data. It was hypothesized that the forensic psychologists would accept lower quality normative data for African American youth compared to White youth. However, although the quality of the test norms influenced the dependent measures in the expected direction, no significant interaction was noted between norm quality and youth’s race. Participants judged the likelihood of disorder and quality of norms similarly for White and African American youth, and also expressed similar levels of confidence in their diagnostic judgments regardless of youth’s race. These findings are encouraging in that they suggest clinicians did not apply differential standards when appraising test norms for African American youth compared to White youth. Clinical implications and future research directions are discussed.



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