22 Assessment of Psychopathology

Behavioral Approaches

Assessment Psychology


  1. William H. O'Brien PhD1,
  2. Kathleen M. Young MPH PhD2

Published Online: 26 SEP 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118133880.hop210022

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

How to Cite

O'Brien, W. H. and Young, K. M. 2012. Assessment of Psychopathology. Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition. 10:III:22.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Bowling Green State University, Department of Psychology, Bowling Green, Ohio, USA

  2. 2

    University of Mississippi Medical Center, Department of Family Medicine, Jackson, Mississippi, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 26 SEP 2012


Behavior therapists must often design treatments for individual patients who present with a wide array of psychophysiological disorders and health problems. Behavioral assessment is a learning-based and empirically-grounded approach to assessment that is designed to systematically gather, integrate, and summarize information about the form and function of a patient's difficulties. Functional analytic case modeling is a strategy that can be used to organize assessment intervention for the purposes of designing interventions. The objectives of this chapter are to: (a) present a review of the conceptual foundations and essential procedures in behavioral assessment; (b) outline steps involved in conducting a behavioral assessment; (c) explain decisional and statistical procedures that can be used to evaluate assessment information; and (d) demonstrate how assessment information can be used to guide treatment design.


  • behavioral assessment;
  • causal modeling;
  • functional analysis