College of Psychology: Faculty Books and Book Chapters

Physical and Developmental Disabilities: An Overview


Physical and Developmental Disabilities: An Overview



The past decade has witnessed a considerable upsurge of clinical and research interest in the problems of developmentally and physically the fields of psychology, disabled persons. Indeed, professionals from special education, rehabilitation, psychiatry, and social work have all directed attention to the development and implementation of evaluation and remedial programs. The heightened activity in this area is in part a result of early assessment research with these populations, which provided preliminary evidence of difficulties in social and emotional adjustment in many disabled individuals. In response to these findings, many intervention efforts have been implemented to deal with these issues and improve the life situation of the disabled. Also, there were indications that developmentally and physically disabled children often were deprived of adequate educations. As a result, legal and legislative initiatives have been enacted in recent years to make public education available to all students irrespective of disability. Central to all therapeutic and psycho educational endeavors with the disabled is psychological evaluation. Only through careful and com­prehensive psychological evaluation can areas of deficit as well as strengths be identified. Once treatment targets and goals have been ascertained, psychological evaluation is needed to determine the efficacy of intervention strategies. However, the field of psychological evalua­tion, in general, and with disabled persons, in particular, has become highly specialized. This is largely a function of the changing roles of psychological evaluators.


Book Chapter

Book Title

Psychological evaluation of the developmentally and physically disabled



Publication Date



Plenum Press


New York

First Page


Last Page



V.B. Van Hasselt and M. Hersen, Editors

Physical and Developmental Disabilities: An Overview
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