MAFP Comps Exam -Forensic Psych


Argosy University Comprehensive Examination

MA Forensic Psychology




Psychological Theory and Practice/ Triage and Assessment


The importance and rationale of conducting a pre-trial evaluation are to establish or

rather determine the competence level of a defendants and consequently establishing whether

or not the defendant can act with legal effectiveness. Different factors such as social and

cultural are all factors that should be taken into consideration when conducting a pre-trial

evaluation. The defendant, in this case, is a 27-year-old Asian male and currently residing in

Chicago, Illinois. The defendant, whose name is Mr. Jones, has been charged with possession

of a controlled substance and specifically MFG/DEL 1<15 GR COCAINE/ANLG which

constitutes to a class 1 felony offense. Based on the evaluation of the background, the

defendant seems to be of sound and also showcases the ability to make the rational decision

and also have the ability to clearly distinguish right from wrong.

The defendant appears to have sufficient literacy skills despite having being

diagnosed with dyslexia and hence has the ability to comprehend the place, time, place, and

even situation. Furthermore, from an observation perspective; although the defendant appears

to be a well-developed young person he has a history of mental illness that includes

psychiatric hospitalization either when he was 12 or 13 years old. However, despite

hospitalization at one point, the defendant is unable to remember if he was diagnosed with a

mental disorder at the same time denies any medical prescription at that time. One notable

recurring issue that the defendant admits to being experiencing is frequent mood swings with

periods where he reports feeling irritable and at times hype. The defendant is reasonably

educated and has no previous criminal record. The purpose of this pre-trial evaluation is to




determine any hidden medical, psychological or medical issues that may have influenced the

behavior of the behavior.

This analysis will revolve in resolving the question of whether the defendant is

incompetent or not or whether his ability to understanding what is happening around it is

influenced by a mental condition. Consultation and working with a professional team will

allow me to analyze the past relevant information including mental history, criminal and past

medical history that would then result in a primary diagnosis. Recommendations for

additional assessments for the defendants when necessary would be added to this particular






Some specific assessment conducted to enhance my understanding of the client’s


One of the tests that would be utilized in this case is the Wechsler Assessment. This is

an IQ test that will help to determine or rather measure the level of intelligence of the

defendant. At the same time, the Wechsler Assessment will also measure the cognitive ability

of the defendant (Spies & Plake, 2003). One notable behavior in the defendant is that he is

has admitted to using marijuana heavily since he was 17 years old. As a result, this

assessment will also look into analyzing the impact that this behavior of substance abuse may

have had on the defendant in the long term. The assessment that would be utilized in this case

is the Chemical Dependency Assessment Profile. This assessment will help to assess drug use

and alcohol use and any other chemical dependency issues or problems that the defendant

may be having.

Additional assessments would include MMPI-2 which would be significant in

revealing the significant personality patterns and emotional disorders of the defendant. At the

same time, the MMPI-2-RF assessment would also be utilized as it is equally useful and

important because of its ability to provide more detailed information regarding the

personality characteristics, interpersonal functioning, clinical symptoms and behavior

tendencies (Spies & Plake, 2003).

Understanding either emotional or mental problems that the defendant may have to

require the focus on specific variables which should be measured. The diagnostic impression

is operationally created based on the symptoms experienced by the defendant. The symptoms

replicated by the defendant, in this case, involve the feeling of hyper and irritated that closely




relate or rather resemble the manic and depressive episodes. However, from observations, the

hyper and irritated episodes are not long lasting and extreme as the defendant denies ever

feeling depression, perceptual disturbance or anxiety.

The symptoms described by the patient closely relate to bipolar disorder but

considering the non-severity level that the defendant displays, it also appears similar to

cyclothymic disorder. Cyclothymia is a mild mood disorder that displays short periods of

elevated mood also known as hypomania and also mild depression (Perugia, Hantouchec &

Vannucchia, 2017). The mood swings alternate between these two episodes but the low and

high mood swings never reach severity that takes place in full mania or major depressive

episodes (Perugia, Hantouchec & Vannucchia, 2017)

. At the same time, the mood swings may be influenced by long term use of

marijuana. However, at this point, there is still no primary diagnosis for the defendant until

initial determination. Additionally, it is best to determine a primary diagnosis further along in

the assessment process when more information has been determined and analyzed. In

conclusion, at this moment, there is no primary diagnosis and further assessment is required.




Assess for Suicidality, Homicidally, Psychosis and Current Substance Abuse

It is essential to determine the presence of any homicidal, psychosis, suicidal and

current substance abuse in the defendant as soon as possible during the assessment process.

This is because these are factors that can influence the behavior of the defendant and possibly

the frame of mind that he was in when he was arrested or committing the crime for which he

is being charged (Beck, Kovacs & Weissman,1979). At the same time, this assessment step is

crucial to ensure that the defendant is not a danger to not only himself but at the same time to

people around him. This process is also crucial in assessing how the defendant reacts to the

current stressors he is facing.

The defendant does not have a criminal record and this is the first time that he has

experienced any involvement with law enforcement of this magnitude. This is without a

doubt a stressing factor or stressor that could in one way or another impact on one or more of

the behaviors listed in this subtopic (Beck, Kovacs & Weissman,1979). The rationale of

assessing suicidal behavior consists of analyzing and identification of the relationships that

exists between three specific factors. The three categories of behaviors under analysis in

suicidal behavior identification are; the presence of deadly desires in individual plans for

suicide and thirdly, a passive suicidal desire (Beck, Kovacs & Weissman,1979).

It is essential to evaluate the suicidal ideation of an individual for the purpose of

reducing any if present risk of self-harm. Additionally, implementation of protector factors

can be crucial in redirecting the thinking process of an individual hence changing their mind

frame against suicidal behavior (Beck, Kovacs & Weissman,1979). Moreover, it is important

to note that if there are immediate violence tendencies detectable in an unsuspecting person,

then the Tarasoff steps should be applied immediately for the purpose of offering an early




warning. This is especially true or relatable for the case of psychosis because of the

possibility of a confused mental state that a defendant may be experiencing that can cause a

dissociation from reality and hence cause violent behavior (Greg Merrill, 2013).

On the other hand, assessing homicidal ideations is an elaborate part of the pre-trial

assessment process that involves determining whether or not the defendant is contemplating

to cause harm to other individuals. This is crucial as it can help to detect possible homicidal

plans hence saving alive or lives (Runeson, Odeberg, Pettersson, Edbom, Adamsson &

Waern, 2017). This reinforces the importance of risk assessment in the pre-trial assessment

process. Risk assessment in homicidal ideations plays the crucial role in early detection and

identification of possible homicidal ideations. Mental health providers play a crucial role and

at the same time act as the first line of defense in knowing or identification of specific

information that may act as a warning sign (Runeson, Odeberg, Pettersson, Edbom,

Adamsson & Waern, 2017).

This would then result in addressing of these warning signs which is an instrumental

step in deterring violent behavior. Mental health providers are bound by law to ensure that

individuals who are at risk of being harmed or killed through the violent act of a defendant

are protected (Runeson, Odeberg, Pettersson, Edbom, Adamsson & Waern, 2017). The

specific law that bounds mental health providers is the Tarasoff law. The severity of

homicidal tendencies or rather the desire an individual has to kills can be identified through a

complement risk assessment. This assessment is based on a scale that helps an evaluator

determine if a defendant is a low, moderate or high risk for homicidal tendencies (Tarasoff v.

Regents 1976).




On the other hand, psychosis is a symptom that directly correlates to the presence of a

mental illness in a defendant. Therefore, any signs of psychosis are indications to the

presence of impairment of reality which can then result in strange feelings and emotions such

as suicidal ideations. Different factors can result to lack of detection of an existing

psychological disorder within certain cultures due to different factors including religious and

cultural beliefs. Therefore, it is essential to understand the different types of psychosis when

conducting an evaluation to ensure that a diagnosis is not missed.

Assessing for psychosis is a crucial step for a mental health provider to get an in-

depth understanding of the frame of mind of a defendant. This process can then be influential

in addressing the dominant mental issues present or even point out to the lack of any mental

illness (Harris & Michael, 2000). The final necessary assessment in this process is assessing

the current substance abuse record of the defendant. This is important especially given that

the defendant is being charged with a drug-related crime and specifically the possession of a

controlled substance (Harris & Michael, 2000). If the defendant has a history is currently

utilizing the drug for which he was arrested for possessing or other controlled substances, it is

possible that his actions may be influenced by substance. Continuously and long term

substance abuse has been known to interfere with the thinking process and even influence the

behaviors of users. Since the defendant has a history of substance abuse, it is important for

him to undergo substance abuse evaluation and treatment combined with cognitive behavior





Psychological Theory and Practice/ Diagnostic Impression

B: Diagnostic impression according to the DSM-5.

Providing a diagnostic impression with the guidance of the DSM-5 handbook requires

a systematic and stepwise process that would help in delivering an accurate diagnostic

opinion based on information provided (First, 2013). Although the defendant has had a

history of drug use and specifically the use of marijuana since he was 17 years old, I can rule

out drug use as the cause of the defendant’s symptoms. This is because the information

provided by the patient indicates that he has been experiencing the symptoms and episodes

before he began marijuana use and they continue to recur even when he stops using the

marijuana. At the same time, there are no medical conditions that can be linked to the

symptoms displayed by the defendant. This is because the medical history of the defendant

does not showcase any medical disease or condition that would justify the symptoms

exhibited by the defendant (First, 2013).

The primary diagnosis for the defendant will be identified on the basis of a differential

diagnostic process. Specifically, the process will focus on assessing for the existing of either

bipolar disorder or cyclothymic disorder which are two mental disorders that share similar

symptoms and can easily be mistaken or misdiagnosed (Perugia, Hantouchec & Vannucchia,

2017). The application of the differential diagnostic process will enable the assessor in this

case to determine the disorder that closely relates to symptoms exhibited by the defendant

hence ability to make an educated guess but not necessarily a primary diagnosis.

Analysis of DSM-5’s differential diagnostic criteria for bipolar disorder categorizes

the defendant in the category of Cyclothymic Disorder mainly because the hypomanic

symptoms experienced do not meet the provided criteria for a manic episode experience in




bipolar disorder. At the same time, the depressive symptoms also do not meet the criteria of a

major depressive episode (provisional) (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). I was able

to determine that the primary diagnosis for bipolar disorder does not meet the criteria based

on the information provided by the defendant. This is because the defendant indicated that he

has never felt major depression during the irritated episodes he experienced and has never

depression of extreme hopelessness all which are key symptoms in bipolar disorder. That is,

the present symptoms of the defendant do not meet the complete standard set for bipolar or

any other mood disorders apart from cyclothymic disorder (American Psychiatric

Association, 2013). Therefore, the provisional diagnosis for the defendant is cyclothymic

disorder and the specified severity level is moderate (American Psychiatric Association,


Multi-Axis Diagnostic Impression: Based on Principal Diagnosis for the defendant

Axis I: Clinical Disorders Cyclothymic Disorder

Axis II: Personality Disorder None

Axis III: General Medical Conditions None

Axis IV: Psychosocial/Environmental Problems Financial instability

Axis V: Global Assessment of Functioning 80 Transient symptoms

experienced by the defendant are reactions fuelled by psychological stressors

The provisional diagnosis for the defendant indicates the possibility that he may be

suffering from a cyclothymic disorder. The importance of conducting a differential diagnosis

was to ensure that the similarity in the symptoms of the two mental disorders is distinguished.

However, further analysis and assessment are important to ensure provide more clarity and




ascertain the existence of the clinical disorder in the highlighted in this process. Conclusively,

provisional information correlates the symptoms of the differential to the differential

diagnosis of a cyclothymic disorder.





Legal Theory and Application/ Theoretical Formulation

A: Explain the background, current presentation, and behavior of the defendant using theories

Theoretical perspective for criminal behavior involves analysis of current presentation

with the use of models of criminal behavior. The biological model explains that behavior is

influenced genes and that individuals have little or no control over how they act (Farrington,

& Ttofi, 2012). Utilizing this model to examine the defendant’s behavior, the theoretical

analysis would be that the defendant exhibits a gene that was passed down to him and that he

had no influence over his behavior. The second model is the learning theory of behavior that

stipulates that criminal behavior is learned (Farrington & Ttofi, 2012).

Based on the learning theory, it can be deduced that the defendant theoretically

learned or was taught how to commit the crime he committed. This brings into perspective

the influence that culture and environment may have on an individual and how it may

influence behavior that they exhibit. For instance, if the defendant has friends who possess

controlled substances and even try to sell this substance, it is possible that he may have been

taught or learned to exhibit. The third theory that explains behavior is the social theory which

states that individuals learn their behaviors through imitation, observation or reinforcement

(Farrington & Ttofi, 2012). Applying this theoretical perspective, it can be deduced that the

defendant learned his criminal behavior through the process of watching and learning from

either friends or close relatives.

The therapeutic treatment approaches that would be recommended for this defendant

includes psychotherapy. Psychotherapy, in this case, should combine both cognitive and well-

being therapy for more efficiency. Cognitive behavior therapy, in this case, would focus on




the identification of any negative behaviors of belief and unhealthy beliefs. Additionally, this

process would work on replacing the identified negative behaviors or beliefs with healthy and

positive ones. Moreover, well-being therapy would help in managing stress and at the same

time the development of coping techniques for the defendant. Combination of both these

methods would result in significant improvement of psychological symptoms exhibited by

the defendant.




Legal Theory and Application/ Victimology

B: How the type of crime in the can impact a victim and others in a similar situation

An individual arrested with the possession of controlled substance such as cocaine

with the intent to sell the substance, the victims, in this case, include individuals who would

have used the substance and as a result, suffered the side effects. Immediate victims, in this

case, include the family members of the defendant who would be impacted by feelings of

blame, shame, and even guilt. For instance, the children of the defendant may experience the

shame of being associated with defendant and hence harbor some ill-feelings towards


At the same time, the children would be separated from their father because of the

crime committed. Growing up without one parent may impact on the development and even

result in emotional issues. Other family members such as siblings of the defendant may be

impacted by the feeling of guilt and blame. That is, the siblings may feel like they could have

maybe done something to prevent the crime from occurring if they had intervened.

Apart from the possession of controlled substance, the defendant was also involved in

a physical altercation with other individuals that subsequently resulted to the police at the

scene. In this case, the victims or victim would include individuals who were on the receiving

end of the physical alteration. A fight can impact an individual in different ways including

causing physical harm to the victim causing them to have to seek medical attention. In a

similar situation, such a victim would also be impacted be emotionally in the sense that they

would be feeling afraid and scared. In severe cases, such victims may suffer from trauma

resulting from the fighting and causing flashbacks that would further deteriorate the mental

condition of the victim.




It is unclear whether or not this is the first time that the defendant has been in

possession of the controlled substance found on him during his arrest. The only clear thing is

that this is the first time that the defendant has been arrested for this crime. Therefore,

victims, in this case, include drug users influenced by either the behavior of the defendant or

any other individual in possession of a drug or who would have been successful in selling the

drugs. The impact to the community may include an increase in crime level and also

decreased the level of security in the vicinity where these types of crimes take place. Families

would have to deal with taking care of their loved one who is suffering from addiction and

some even paying the ultimate price of death. The impact of a crime such as cocaine

possession is far-reaching and has an extensive range of victims.




Legal Theory and Application/ legal Implication

C: Description of the psycho-legal standards and/or definitions for Competency to

stand trial, Duty to warn, Risk of dangerousness, and Insanity

The psycho-legal definition of the term Competency to Stand Trial is that any

individual standing before a court of law is presumed to be competent. Competence, in this

case, encompasses the ability to understand for instance charges leveled against the

individual. The question of incompetency is normally raised in instances where a defendant is

unable to participate in a trial because of severe mental disorders that impact on their frame

of mind. At the same time, this definition encompasses the ability of defendants to fully

understand the legal repercussions or penalties of the crime charged against if convicted.

Duty to Warn is a provision for mental health providers that compels them to disclose

confidential information about a client in an event of a case where they feel that the person

may be of danger to a third party. Psychologists are bound by the law to explain to their client

about the limitation upon which their confidentiality agreement may be breached. That is, it is

considered the priority of a psychologist or any other mental health professional to protect a

potential victim by warning him or her about potential harm that would result from the

release of a defendant.

Insanity in the psycho-legal standards is a concept that allows a defendant to be

considered legally insane consequently making the individual unanswerable for the crime

charged within the court of law. In an insanity defense, a defendant must prove without

reasonable doubt that he or she has no understanding or grasp of the wrongdoing charged

with because of an underlying or exiting cognitive limitations. Therefore, an insane defendant

is considered to lack the ability to prevent or stop him or herself from committing a crime




because of volitional impairments. A court of law has the final authority of determining the

incompetence or competence level of a defendant. However, courts often involve or rather

utilize the services of psychiatric hospitals for treatments and even assessments for the time

where competency could be restored.

Identify and describe one or more landmark case(s) for each standard

1. Competency to stand trial case

Drope v. Missouri, 420 US 162 – Supreme Court 1975

In this case, the trial court had neglected to requests competency trial for the

defendant and was also were not informed of the possible indisposed condition of the accused

because of a suicide attempt (Drope v. Missouri, 1975). The Missouri court in this particular

instance ruled that the trial of the defendant should be discontinued until the further

assessment was conducted on accused to ascertain that he was competent to stand trial. The

exact wording provided by the Missouri court, in this case, was that “the defendant did not

demonstrate any inadequacy in the legal procedures protecting his rights” (Drope v. Missouri,

1975). This ruling was made regardless of the weight of evidence provided in regards to the

competency of the defendant. On the issue of reversal, the ruling indicated that “when the

issues of competency are raised, regardless of who raises it, the motion should be

granted” (Drope v. Missouri, 1975).

Duty to Warn Case

Tarasoff v. Regents of University of California, 551 P.2d 334

Tatiana Tarasoff was murdered as a result of the failure of University of Reagents and

four psychiatrists at the Cowell Memory Hospital to provide her with a warning that she was




in potential danger as a result of homicidal ideation by one of their clients (Tarasoff v.

Regents, 1976). This ruling was focused on protecting third parties from potential harm by

the defendant and compelled mental health professionals to prioritize the safety of these

individuals. According to the ruling “A defendant owes a duty of care to all persons who are

foreseeably endangered by his conduct, concerning all risks that make the conduct

unreasonably dangerous” (Tarasoff v. Regents 1976). The defendants, in this case,

represented mental health facilities and professionals.

Insanity Case

Foucha v. Louisiana, 504 U.S. 71 (U.S. 1992).

In the Foucha v. Lousiana case, the defendant who had been acquitted of burglary

charges around an insanity defense attempted to appeal to the courts about his eligibility for

release from mental institution he had been placed. The defendant was however unaware that

eligibility decision for the release of an individual who had or has been institutionalized in a

mental hospital rested with the courts which had to ascertain that the release happened only

when the person was determined not to be a danger to others (Paulsen, 1992)

Describe the elements or issues that a mental health professional usually focuses

on when assessing a person’s adjudicative competency, a risk of dangerousness and


One of the key elements that mental health professionals focus on when assessing

competency, insanity, and risk of dangerousness of the reasoning on an individual. That is,

the way that individual reasons in terms of decisions making techniques and processing of

logic and help in determining the frame of mind of a person hence make an appropriate




assessment. The second element that is under consideration is the understanding level of the

defendant or the client. In this case, understanding can include the ability to correctly

interpret information and also the analysis of whether or not a client is in touch with the


Research and Evaluation/ Forensic Evaluation

A: Tests to address the psycho-legal issues of Competence to stand trial, Risk of dangerousness, and Insanity).

The main that I would utilize in this case is the MacArthur Competence Assessment

Tool-Criminal Adjudication (Mac CAT-CA). The Mac CAT-CA test is appropriate for this

assessment since it assesses the competence related abilities in a defendant including

appreciation, understanding, and reasoning (Mossman, Noffsinger, Ash, Frierson, Gerbasi,

Hackett & Wall, 2007). The second test that would be suitable in this case is the MacArthur

Violence Risk Assessment which a test that would assess the probability that defendant may

engage in violent behavior (Wood, Anderson & Glassmire, 2017). The third test that is

suitable for this method is the Rogers Criminal Responsibility Assessment Scales (R-CRAS).

This test is relevant in evaluating the psychological factors that are prominent for evaluation

of insanity (Greg Merrill, 2013). Both of these tests are standardized psychometric

instruments that would be influential in assessing the three key areas addressed in psycho-

legal issues.

The anticipated conclusions based on information provided in the vignette.

The defendant from the information provided in the vignette appears to have a good

understanding and perception of what is happening around him. However, there appears to be

the possibility that the defendant may be suffering from a clinical disorder which may mean




that he may not be in control of his actions and possibly be a danger to himself. As a result,

one of the possible anticipated conclusions would be for the defense team to enter an insanity

plea which would then result in the institutionalization of the defendant in a mental facility.




Research and Evaluation/ Treatment Recommendations and Empirical Support

Develop a research question and a testable research hypothesis regarding offenders or the

type of crime that is discussed in the vignette

Research question: What factors influence criminal behavior?

Testable Research Hypothesis: Impulsive behavior primarily influences criminal behavior

Explanation of the variables in your question

Independent variables are those that can be changed and are not influenced by other factors.

In the research question, impulse behavior is an independent variable.

The dependent variable, on the other hand, cannot be changes and their existence or

occurrence if influenced by other factors. In this case, the dependent variable is criminal


Research Question:

How do changes in impulsive behavior influence criminal behavior in an individual?

Type of research study that could answer your question

Research Design: The research design that would be relevant in this research question is a

qualitative research method and a specific case study. This is because in understanding the

factors that influence criminal behavior, establishing a bounded system would help to gather

more accurate information that would answer the question explicitly. In this case, a case

study would be effective in understanding what may have resulted or lead to the crime

committed by the defendant.

Importance of research to the field of forensic psychology




The importance of this research is that it would provide more information on how

influential impulsive behavior is to criminal behavior. Criminal behavior forms the basis of

forensic psychology and in this field of scientific study, understanding the reason for the

occurrence of certain elements largely influence actions taken during forensic assessment

process (Vitriol, J. 2008). This can also influence recommendations made in regards to

possible solutions to dealing with certain criminal behavior. The aim of forensic investigators

is to influence criminal behavioral but this is becoming increasingly difficult due to the

dynamic nature at which criminal behavior occurs. This research will provide more clarity on

issues that influence criminal behavior and hence help to establish a pattern that would

facilitate in understanding criminal behavior pattern.




Leadership, Consultation, and Ethics/ Ethical Issues

A: Ethical and legal dilemmas this vignette

One of the ethical dilemmas resented in this case involve or rater surrounds the

determination of the competency of a defendant. By law, the courts have the authority and

capacity to determine the competency of a defendant. However, in reality, things take a much

different turn as clinicians often make a determination of competency based on the outcome

of the assessment (Howe, 2009). An ethical dilemma may present itself in an instance where

the decision on competency is influential in treatment options or legal process selected. Legal

dilemmas, on the other hand, may originate from the decision made by the judge and how it

impacts the mental well-being of the defendant (Khan & Shaikh,2008). Different issues such

as cultural differences should be taken into consideration during this assessment, however, an

ethical dilemma may present itself in ow this factors may favor the defendant or even fail to

apply effects to the assessment process (Howe, 2009).

Immediate steps and rationale

One of the immediate steps that I would undertake is to re-visit and familiarize myself

with the ethical decision-making model. This would help me to establish a procedure or

guideline that would help in following every standard and also making sound judgment

throughout the process. At the same time, I would familiarize myself with the ethical codes

and ensure that they are applicable to every step undertaken in this assessment process. Most

importantly, familiarizing myself with relevant state laws will also be instrumental in

ensuring that all the guidelines stipulated in the law are observed during the assessment.

When to seek consultation in an ethical dilemma




Although consultation may take place at any given time during the assessment

process, there are key areas where ethical dilemmas may call for a further consultation. One

of these instances, as outlined in ethical principles of psychologists, is when a problem or

dilemma becomes elaborate to the extent that it interferes with the related duties of a

psychologist (American Psychological Association, 2002). This measure is outlined in

section 2.06 where professional consultation and assistance is permitted especially when it

either involves keeping or terminating the relationship with the client or defendant. At the

same time, general B encourages psychologists to consult with their peers to ensure that their

clients attain the best services (American Psychological Association, 2018).




Interpersonal Effectiveness/ Diversity/Multicultural Competencies

A: What diversity factors, cultural considerations, or other demographic variables

pertaining to this client would you take into account in rendering a diagnostic impression

choosing assessment measures, forming case conceptualizations, and designing and treatment

plan? Be sure to discuss cultural/diversity factors that could apply even if they are not

explicitly mentioned in the vignette.

Some of the diverse factors that I would consider when rendering a diagnostic

impression would be the gender of the defendant, the race, religious beliefs and inclinations,

gender, physical abilities, and the socio-economic status. These factors are all influential in

the behavior of an individual hence key elements in understating current manifestation and

criminal behavior of the defendant. This factors would also come in handy when selecting the

assessment test selected unless the test chosen is standardized.

Despite coming from a minority racial group, the defendant appears to have a good

understanding of the English language and is fully assimilated into the American culture.

Religious beliefs can be barriers or obstacles to obtaining or reaching out to mental health

providers. This comes from different beliefs that may in most cases different from scientific

information. Gender is also a key factor to consider mainly because of the limitation that it

may have on different people. For instance, men have traditionally been urged to always keep

or maintaining a brave face at all time which then makes it difficult for them to show their

vulnerable side. This can make it difficult for such individual to seek help with mental

disorders because of fear of being viewed as being weak. Other factors such as

socioeconomic status may also limit the ability to limit or promote the ability to access

mental health facilities.








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