Allyson Grainger Harrison

Allyson Grainger Harrison
Queen's University | QueensU · Department of Psychology

Ph.D

About

81
Publications
51,604
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1,102
Citations
Citations since 2017
27 Research Items
620 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120
Introduction
Current research interests include: 1. improving diagnosis of LD and ADHD 2. Investigating complaints of students who feel they have ADHD 3. Investigating usefulness of embedded validity measures 4. developing criteria for when memory aids might be a reasonable academic accommodation 5. Employment outcomes of students with diagnosed LD 6. Educational outcomes of students with LD who participated in an online transition to post-secondary program. 7. Educational outcomes of students with mental health issues who participated in an online transition to post-secondary program
Additional affiliations
January 2014 - present
Independent Researcher
Independent Researcher
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • Associate professor, Queen's University Department of Psychology & Clinical Director of Regional Assessment & Resource Centre
January 1998 - present
Queen's University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
Education
September 1988 - April 1993
Queen's University
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (81)
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Clinicians frequently rely upon the results of self-report rating scales when making the diagnosis of ADHD; however, little research exists regarding the ability of self-report measures to accurately differentiate ADHD from other disorders. Method: This present study investigated the ability of the Conners' Adult ADHD Rating Scale (CA...
Article
Objective: Performance Validity Tests (PVTs) have been used to identify non-credible performance in clinical, medicolegal, forensic, and, more recently, academic settings. The inclusion of PVTs when administering psychoeducational assessments is essential given that specific accommodation such as flexible deadlines and increased writing time can pr...
Article
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Students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be entitled to academic accommodations in postsecondary education. Disability Services Offices (DSOs) in Canada say that objective evidence of functional impairment is required prior to providing academic accommodations. This study set out to determine if postsecondary disability ser...
Article
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Results from psychoeducational and neuropsychological assessments are relied upon frequently to determine disability status or confirm access to disability-related services and supports both in postsecondary education and on high-stakes exams. Sadly, research shows that many clinicians make these diagnoses using flexible diagnostic criteria and a l...
Article
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Although extended time for tests and examinations is the most commonly requested and provided accommodation in post-secondary institutions, best practice guidelines from existing research are rarely translated into practice. Thus, a review of the literature was undertaken to examine support for granting additional assessment time to persons in spec...
Article
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Research has increasingly demonstrated that clinicians are making disability diagnoses in young adults using flexible and expansive diagnostic criteria, or in some cases ignoring research-informed criteria all together. Commonly exhibited behaviors long considered normal as well as average achievement are now being characterized as disabilities. Th...
Article
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Using archival data from 2463 psychoeducational assessments of postsecondary students we investigated whether failure on either symptom or performance validity tests (SVTs or PVTs) was associated with score differences on various cognitive, achievement, or executive functioning performance measures or on symptom report measures related to mental he...
Article
It is our pleasure to introduce this special issue of the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology on the assessment of adult ADHD. We present a mix of empirical and review articles covering different aspects of the topic, all of them trying to offer useful guidance to practicing neuropsychologists, while also stimulating further resear...
Article
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Much of what we know about malingering of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been learned from the performance of analog malingerers, typically first-year psychology students given credit for study participation. It is not clear, however, whether their performance is similar to that found in actual clinical settings. Indeed, past r...
Article
Given the functional impairments associated with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD), a valid diagnosis is important. However, particularly when carried out in adulthood, the diagnostic process can be challenging and is complicated by conclusive evidence that a proportion of individuals referred for evaluation of AD/HD exaggerate or fe...
Article
Full-text available
Memory aids are now frequently provided to elementary and secondary school students to increase their success in achieving provincial curriculum standards. While such an accommodation may meet the immediate goal of improved academic performance it may not be warranted based on an actual long-term memory retrieval impairment and may therefore be ine...
Article
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Educational accommodations, which alter the manner in which instruction or assessments are administered, are often an appropriate part of a student’s academic program. However, accommodations are frequently overused and have significant limitations. De-implementing inappropriate accommodations is a complex task, but one made easier through a clear...
Article
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Objective: This study evaluated the functional effects of severe mental health symptoms on speed of academic performance to assist clinicians and educators in determining whether extra time accommodations are evidence-based for students with such diagnoses. Method: Using archival data from 1476 post-secondary students, we examined the performance...
Article
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Information processing speed is commonly measured in intelligence and neuropsychological testing, and the scores from speed measures are considered in diagnostic and management recommendations for students with academic learning problems. However, this score usage often depends on assumptions about strong relationships between cognitive speed and t...
Article
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Measuring performance validity in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) assessments is essential, with multiple studies identifying how easily young adults can feign symptoms on self-report measures. Few methods, however, exist to identify such feigning when it occurs. While some clinicians include computerized tests of attention (e.g., T...
Article
Accurate identification of symptom exaggeration is essential when determining whether data obtained in pediatric evaluations are valid or interpretable. Performance validity measures identify performance patterns that are implausible if the test taker is investing full effort; however, it is unclear whether or not persons with pre-existing cognitiv...
Article
Full-text available
It is now widely understood that ADHD can be feigned easily and convincingly. Despite this, almost no methods exist to assist clinicians in identifying when such behavior occurs. Recently, new validity indicators specific to feigned ADHD were reported for the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI). Derived from a logistic regression, these algorith...
Article
Considerable support exists for both the phonological core deficit and the naming speed deficit models of dyslexia. The double deficit model proposed that many students with dyslexia might also be impaired in both underlying processes. Employing either performance thresholds (i.e., scores below the 16th or 25th percentile) or k‐means clustering as...
Article
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An increasing number of individuals are requesting disability accommodations on high-stakes licensing examinations, and neuropsychological evaluation reports are a frequent component of disability documentation. This study reviewed 103 requests for accommodations based on a learning disability (LD), submitted to the National Board of Osteopathic Me...
Article
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There has been a marked increase in accommodation requests from students with disabilities at both the postsecondary education level and on high-stakes examinations. As such, accurate identification and quantification of normative impairment is essential for equitable provision of accommodations. Considerable diversity currently exists in methods u...
Article
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Disability-related test accommodations are requested frequently, especially at the postsecondary level and on licensing examinations. Access to such accommodations typically relies on proof of impairment in some area of academic functioning. The Nelson Denny Reading Test (NDRT; Brown, Fishco & Hanna, 1993a,b) is often employed by clinicians in orde...
Article
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Historically, students with disabilities in Canada provided comprehensive and objective documentation of their diagnosis and related functional impairments to access appropriate accommodations at the post-secondary level. Recently, some Canadian provinces have adopted an approach whereby students with mental health disabilities need not reveal thei...
Article
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In the original article the name of author Allyson G. Harrison was misspelled. The original article has been updated and her name is correct here.
Preprint
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Accurate identification of symptom exaggeration is essential when determining whether or not data obtained in pediatric evaluations are valid or interpretable. Apart from using freestanding performance validity tests (PVTs), many researchers encourage use of embedded measures of test-related motivation, including the newly developed Automatized Seq...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Neurocognitive deficits are pervasive and enduring features of severe mental illness that appear before the onset of clinical symptoms and contribute to functional disability. However, it remains unclear how individuals who display warning signs for psychotic or mood disorders compare on their neurocognitive profiles since previous studies have...
Article
Full-text available
Specific learning disabilities (SLD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are lifelong neurolog-ically based disorders diagnosed using objective and specific criteria. Evaluation of current practices indicates that many clinicians employ flexible thresholds for making these diagnoses , at least when evaluating young adults. Given tha...
Article
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Objective: Concerns have been identified regarding the ease with which students and young adults can feign or exaggerate symptoms of ADHD, and no formal measures exist to identify such behavior when it occurs. This article describes the development and initial validation of a new symptom validity measure designed to detect feigned or exaggerated A...
Article
Introduction: In response to governing body restrictions, residency programs have adopted rotating night float systems to reduce the number of continuous working hours. We aim to objectively measure the impact of a night float (NF) as compared to traditional call (OC) on resident quality of life, fatigue, and cognitive and motor function. Methods:...
Chapter
Children and adolescents with bona fide disabilities are entitled to a variety of academic and other supports to assist them as they progress through the educational system. Sometimes, however, children, even young children, may not invest their full effort during psychoeducational evaluations, producing invalid scores that interfere with accurate...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare the interpretive effects of applying American versus Canadian normative systems for younger children using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-IV). Method: A large sample (N=300) of children in grade 7 were administered the WISC-IV as part of a learning disability evaluation. All p...
Article
Full-text available
Building on the recent work of Harrison, Armstrong, Harrison, Iverson and Lange (2014) which suggested that Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Fourth Edition (WAIS-IV) IV scores might systematically overestimate the severity of intellectual impairments if Canadian norms are employed, the present study examined differences between Canadian and Americ...
Article
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Miller, Weiss, Beal, Saklofske, Zhu and Holdnack (2015) have challenged the findings of our two previous studies, based largely on the assumption that our findings are biased due to the clinical sample used. However, they fail to address the primary tenet of our studies, namely that clinicians will obtain different scores on the WAIS-IV depending o...
Article
Full-text available
Psychologists practicing in Canada must decide which set of normative data to use for the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Fourth Edition (WAIS-IV). The purpose of this study was to compare the interpretive effects of applying American versus Canadian normative systems in a sample of 432 Canadian postsecondary-level students who were administered...
Article
Full-text available
The present study assessed performance on symptom validity tests (SVTs) and various cognitive-processing measures to evaluate the impact of having attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) on SVT performance using a clinical sample of 73 children aged 7 to 18 years old who had a previous diagnosis of ADHD. Cognitive impairment associated with...
Article
Full-text available
Increasing numbers of students with learning disability and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnoses are applying for accommodations in postsecondary education and employment settings. However, students’ documentation of these conditions is often substandard. One possible reason for this is that clinicians have failed to apply prop...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Accurate identification of symptom magnification is essential when determining whether or not obtained test data are valid or interpretable. Apart from using freestanding symptom validity tests, many researchers encourage use of embedded measures of test-related motivation, including ones derived from the Digit Span subtest of the Wechsler...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the extent to which postsecondary students endorse symptoms of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and whether experienced level of stress, depression, or anxiety are associated with higher reporting of ADHD symptoms. Students attending a combined health and counseling service completed the Conners Adult ADHD Rating...
Article
Full-text available
Accurate identification of symptom magnification is essential when determining whether or not obtained test data are valid or interpretable. Apart from using freestanding symptom validity tests (SVTs), many researchers encourage use of embedded measures of test-related motivation, including ones derived from the Digit Span subtest of the Wechsler S...
Article
Full-text available
Disability Service Staff at colleges and universities in Ontario, Canada were surveyed regarding the number of students arriving at their offices with the label of mild intellectual disability (MID). Information was obtained regarding criteria used in association with this label, documentation required to support the classification, and accommodati...
Article
Students with disabilities are legally entitled to provision of appropriate accommodations, services, and supports in their postsecondary programs to ensure that their impairments do not become an impediment to their college or university success. As a result, these students must be provided with services such as learning strategy tutoring, coachin...
Article
Full-text available
Disability services personnel at 122 Canadian postsecondary institutions were surveyed regarding the demographics of the student population currently receiving services as persons with disabilities and the challenges faced by disability service staff in accommodating such students. Basic information regarding the number of students with disabilitie...
Chapter
Students with disabilities are legally entitled to provision of appropriate accommodations, services, and supports in their postsecondary programs to ensure that their impairments do not become an impediment to their college or university success. As a result, these students must be provided with services such as learning strategy tutoring, coachin...
Article
Full-text available
A Canadian context for the diagnosis of students with specific learning disabilities (LD) was investigated in the present literature review. A systematic review of the literature was undertaken to determine the current and best practices in this field. Overall, no agreed upon definition of LD was identified, although core similarities in definition...
Article
Full-text available
It is almost self-evident that test results will be unreliable and misleading if those undergoing assessments do not make a full effort on testing. Nevertheless, objective tests of effort have not typically been used with young adults to determine whether test results are valid or not. Because of the potential economic and/or recreational benefits...
Article
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This study examined the effects of participation in the Learning Opportunities Task Force (LOTF) programs on postsecondary students’ views of themselves as persons with learning disabilities (LDs). Data regarding 969 students from 6 colleges and 4 universities in Ontario who participated in these programs were evaluated to investigate rates of acad...
Article
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The purpose of this study was to evaluate Word Memory Test (WMT) performances in students with identified learning disabilities (LDs) providing good effort to examine the influence of severe reading or learning problems on WMT performance. Participants were 63 students with LDs aged 11 to 14 years old (M = 12.19 years), who completed psychoeducatio...
Article
This study examined the effects of participation in the Learning Opportunities Task Force (LOTF) programs on postsecondary students with learning disabilities (LDs). Data regarding 969 students from 6 colleges and 4 universities in Ontario were evaluated to investigate rates of academic success and increased self-awareness. Participants had a signi...
Poster
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Post-secondary students seeking first-time assessments for ADHD are unlikely to meet full criteria for ADHD; clinicians should suspect other possible causes for reported symptoms. Access to historical documentation is of assistance when making this diagnosis.
Article
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Objective: To explore the relationship between levels of reported depression, anxiety, and stress with scores on the Conners's Adult ADHD Rating Scale (CAARS). Method: Information was obtained from 84 1st-year psychology students using the CAARS, the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS), and the Life Experiences Survey (LES). Results: Ap...
Article
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The purpose of this study was to examine the possible additive neurocognitive deficits in adults with both attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and serious depressive symptoms. Participants were 54 university students who completed a psycho-educational assessment. Three groups were examined: a group with comorbid ADHD and elevated depres...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The evaluation of bilingual children is a complicated endeavor because there are various views of how bilingualism affects brain organization and functioning. Added to that is the challenge of determining language development of Hispanic children living in a monolingual Spanish-speaking home in a Spanish-speaking country, but mostly exposed to Engl...
Article
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To update primary health care providers on the guidelines and standards for documentation of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) at the postsecondary level. We synthesized information from consultations with other experts at postsecondary disability offices and from relevant research in this area (specifically, PsycLIT, PsychINFO, and M...
Article
Recent studies conducted at American post-secondary institutions report that a high proportion of college students seeking evaluations for either attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or learning disorders fail symptom validity tests (SVTs), calling into question the validity of their performance on standardized assessment measures. The current...
Article
Full-text available
No clinically proven method currently exists to determine if a test taker is feigning or exaggerating symptoms of a specific reading disability (RD) for potential secondary gain (i.e., extra time on examinations, access to bursary funds, or tax benefits). Our objective was to examine the utility of previously proposed symptom validity measures (i.e...
Article
Reviews the book, Clinical assessment of malingering and deception, 3rd edition by Richard Rogers (see record 2008-09622-000). Over the past 10 years, psychologists who have been engaged in clinical assessment or evaluation have become more sensitised to the fact that client variables such as noncredible performance can substantially interfere wi...
Article
Full-text available
Methods of identifying poor test-related motivation using the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale Digit Span subtest are based on identification of performance patterns that are implausible if the test taker is investing full effort. No studies to date, however, have examined the specificity of such measures, particularly when evaluating persons with...
Article
Full-text available
This study compared the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS) Tower Test to the Tower of London (TOL)(DX) in assessing executive functioning (EF) during a psycho-educational assessment by examining students' performances on both tests. Forty-two university students were administered both tests in a counterbalanced order. Findings indicate...
Presentation
Objective: The paper describes the case of a 27-year-old, right-handed woman, KF, who sustained a left thalamic ischemic infarct. KF's case is unusual in that she presented with ipsilateral hemiparesis. No similar cases were found in the existing literature. Young-Mok et al. (2005) describe two cases of ipsilateral hemiparesis following a corona ra...
Article
Learning Disabilities (LDs) affect a significant number of students in elementary and secondary school. In order for these students, along with parents and teachers, to understand the nature of their specific difficulties, and have equal opportunity in academic settings, a comprehensive psychological report containing properly informed recommendati...
Article
Full-text available
When conducting psychological evaluations, clinicians typically assume that individuals being evaluated are putting forth maximal effort and are not exaggerating or magnifying symptom complaints. Recent research, however, suggests that students undergoing post-secondary-level assessments to document learning difficulties may not always put forth th...
Article
Full-text available
Students with specific learning disabilities (LDs) must present documentation of their disability to receive academic supports and services at the postsecondary level. The purpose of this study is to examine the quality of disability documentation being provided by students entering postsecondary education in a Canadian setting and, in doing so, to...
Article
Full-text available
The General Ability Index (GAI) was compared with Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale–Third Edition (WAIS-III) Full Scale Intelligence Quotient (FSIQ) from the WAIS-III in data obtained from 381 adults assessed for reported learning or attention problems between 1998 and 2005. Not only did clients with more neurocognitively based disorders (i.e., lea...
Article
The General Ability Index (GAI) was compared with Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale–Third Edition (WAIS-III) Full Scale Intelligence Quotient (FSIQ) from the WAIS-III in data obtained from 381 adults assessed for reported learning or attention problems between 1998 and 2005. Not only did clients with more neurocognitively based disorders (i.e., lea...
Article
The General Ability Index (GAI) was compared with Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Third Edition (WAIS-III) Full Scale Intelligence Quotient (FSIQ) from the WAIS-III in data obtained from 381 adults assessed for reported learning or attention problems between 1998 and 2005. Not only did clients with more neurocognitively based disorders (i.e., lea...
Article
Full-text available
When conducting psychological evaluations, clinicians typically assume that the subject being evaluated is putting forth maximal effort and is not exaggerating or magnifying symptom complaints. While the field of neuropsychology has identified that factors, such as effort and motivation, can significantly interfere with correct interpretation of se...
Article
Full-text available
In spite of the fact that reaction time (RT) measures are sensitive to the effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI), few RT procedures have been developed for use in standard clinical evaluations. The computerized test of information processing (CTIP) [Tombaugh, T. N., & Rees, L. (2000). Manual for the computerized tests of information processing (C...
Article
Despite the importance of early intervention for most disorders to minimize potential deleterious lifetime effects for the individuals concerned, there is currently no universally accepted protocol for the early screening, identification, and assessment of specific learning disabilities, and no consistent age at which initial diagnosis occurs. In O...
Article
Full-text available
In Ontario, Canada, there is a demand for psychometrically robust screening tools capable of efficiently identifying students with specific learning disabilities (SLD), such as dyslexia. The present study investigated the ability of the Dyslexia Adult Screening Test (DAST) to discriminate between 117 post-secondary students with carefully diagnosed...
Article
In Ontario, Canada, there is a demand for psychometrically robust screening tools capable of efficiently identifying students with specific learning disabilities (SLD), such as dyslexia. The present study investigated the ability of the Dyslexia Adult Screening Test (DAST) to discriminate between 117 post-secondary students with carefully diagnosed...
Article
Full-text available
KEY FINDING I RELATED TO STUDENT SUCCESS Students with learning disabilities (LD) are as able to succeed in post-secondary education as their non-disabled peers, provided that: A) their academic and social experiences during the elementary and secondary school years appropriately address the individual needs of students with learning disabilities;...

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