Repository logo

An exploratory investigation of the common ethical dilemmas experienced by psychologists assessing Black African school children.

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This is an explorative study into the challenges and ethical dilemmas that practitioners face when assessing the intellectual functioning of black learners. Participants were registered psychologists and intern psychologists involved in assessing black African learners. Data were collected by means of an interview schedule that had been designed for this purpose, based on the literature in the field. All participants were interviewed individually. The psychological practitioners interviewed in this study reported linguistic barriers, limited cultural knowledge, and lack of scientific validation as posing the major challenges for them in assessing black African learners. Among the ethical dilemmas that were reported were confidentiality and informed consent which were sometimes compromised by their dual responsibilities to the client and the schooling system or another third party. Forming discussion forums, development of new and appropriately normed assessment tools and incorporating relevant skills in training programs were recommended as some of the strategies to overcome these challenges and ethical dilemmas.


Thesis (M.Soc.Sci.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2010.


Mental health personnel--Professional ethics., Psychologists--Professional ethics--South Africa., Psychology--Moral and ethical aspects., Students, Black.