15-Sep-2020

The Reiss School Motivation Profile® in Risk Assessments of Students

Dr. Jody Simpson is a school psychologist consultant for 25 school districts serving approximately 20,000 students in Oklahoma. After becoming certified as an RMP Master, she began using the Reiss School Motivation Profile® to conduct risk assessments with potentially violent adolescents. This approach gained the attention of the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration, which asked Dr. Simpson to conduct trainings for school psychologists and other school personnel involved in risk assessments of students. 

The first training event, held in August 2018, was attended by 44 school psychologists, school counselors, and special education administrators.  A second training event with 50 registered participants was held the following month. 

During the two-day training Dr. Simpson focused on the RSMP scales that are considered to be instigators for violent behavior:
 
         Vengeance – a high score indicates a student who is angry, easily offended, and confrontational.
         Acceptance – a high score indicates a student who is unusually sensitive to rejection.
         Status – a high score indicates a student who is looking for attention.
         Tranquility – a low score indicates a student who is fearless.
 
Further, she reviewed the RSMP scales that are considered to be inhibitors of aggression:
 
         Honor – a high score indicates a student who is concerned with morality.
         Idealism – a high score indicates a student who is concerned with fairness.
 
According to Dr. Simpson, the Reiss School Motivation Profile® is a critical component in risk assessments for two reasons:  First, it assesses the motivational factors that serve to instigate or inhibit aggression, thus allowing for a determination of the likelihood that a student represents a danger to himself and/or others. Secondly, unlike other tools, the RSMP provides data important for developing an effective intervention plan based on the student’s unique motivational profile.  Other tests purport to answer the first question - “Is the student a risk for violent behavior?” -  but only the RSMP is designed to help answer the follow-up question, “What interventions are needed to help the student?”
 
While Dr. Simpson views the RSMP as a vital component in a risk assessment, it is important to note that she considers other data when drawing a conclusion about the student’s overall level of risk. That is, she also gathers data from other tests, the student’s school history, information provided by the parents, and statements made by the student during an interview. 
 
Click here to read two case studies.
 
Dr. Simpson’s training was well received. As one participant stated, “The training has changed how we will proceed with risk assessments in my district, and the RMP has completely changed the way I think about behavior.”  

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