Missing the Mark: Student Clinicians Write Psychological Reports for their Supervisors Instead of their Clients

  • Author / Creator
    Eriksen, Jessica
  • Decades of research revealed that effective psychological reports are those written at a lower reading level, are formatted by functional domain, and communicate the results in an integrated client-centered manner. However, psychological reports continue to be difficult to read for non- psychologists. Considerable research suggests service users (i.e., clients, parents, and teachers) find reports to be difficult to understand, overly technical, and not very useful. One factor that has been identified as contributing to these report-writing issues is the training practices of professional psychology programs. Despite a proliferation of research on test administration and scoring errors, there has been far less inquiry into graduate students' report writing developing competencies. This was the first study to examine graduate students’ psychological report writing skills in a professional psychology program in Western Canada. A quantitative content analysis was used to analyze 63 psychological reports written by graduate students to reveal commonalities and differences in report writing style and content. Relationships between specific report writing characteristics such as presentation style, integration, and readability were also explored in the context of best practices. Overall, the results suggest students have difficulty writing accessible and integrated reports. Type of formatting may contribute to greater integration and therefore, should be considered when teaching students how to present information in the report. The findings of this study are discussed in terms of implications for psychologists, instructors, and students in training.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2023
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Education
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.