Discrimination Issues

Psychological Assessment - Discrimination Issues

Discrimination, whether it is based on race, sexual preference, gender, religion, ethnic background, age, disability, national origin, or another factor, can have a profound and damaging psychological impact on a person. Psychologists can evaluate that emotional impact.

Psychological evaluations to assess the effects of discrimination must consider many of the same issues addressed in evaluating sexual harassment. After all, sexual harassment is a specific form of discrimination, only it can also include additional behavioral trauma, as well as the emotional damage. There needs to be a distinction made between perception of discrimination and the legal definition of discrimination, which is a legal issue, not a psychological one. However, beyond that issue, psychologists can assess whether an individual presents with psychological distress or a disorder, and whether this condition appears to be preexisting the alleged discrimination, or as a result of the incident. Psychologists can also identify the functional emotional impairments that have resulted from the discrimination, including any disability, if evident.  When discrimination occurs within the workplace, it can create a hostile work environment that not only results in distress, but can limit a person's capacity to care for themselves and their family, because it affects their capacity to earn a living.

Psychologists can offer an opinion regarding whether a person's expectations about how s/he was treated were reasonable, based on the circumstances of the incidents. The ultimate determination, regarding whether discrimination took place or not, is made by the court, but a psychological assessment can describe the extent of emotional harm and the potential for recovery, if discrimination is established.

Dr. Franklin provides psychological evaluiations
to assess the emotional impact of discrimination. 
For more information, call (908) 526-8111.