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Steven T. Kane, PhD, is the author of the Kane Learning Difficulties Assessment™ (KLDA™). The KLDA screens college students for learning difficulties and ADHD. This week, the PAR blog sits down with the author to learn more about the development of the KLDA and the feedback he has received from clinicians on the impact it has made. 

What initially inspired you to develop the KLDA? 

Before becoming a professor and researcher, I was employed in a university disability resource center as a psychologist who specialized in learning disabilities and ADHD. I was also previously employed at three of the most diverse community colleges in California. In each of these settings, I saw literally hundreds of students who should have been screened for learning and attentional challenges but never were. I was also quite frankly shocked by the number of individuals I saw who clearly suffered from some form of learning or attentional difficulties as adults yet were never screened or tested in the K–12 system. Testing for a learning disability and/or ADHD is very expensive and simply out of reach for the majority of our most at-risk college students, especially those of color and those from low socioeconomic backgrounds. I also found it troubling that almost none of these students were ever screened for anxiety disorders or memory challenges. Thus, my goal was to develop a screening assessment that was very affordable and easy to take, preferably via the internet. 

How does the KLDA differ from other competitive measures? 

There are not a lot of similar measures, which is, again, one of the main reasons why we developed the KLDA. There are two or three other measures that assess study skills, motivation, etc., but not the key academic skills and executive functioning skills the KLDA assesses. 

What are some important things clinicians should know about the KLDA? 

First, the KLDA is normed on a very large and diverse population from across the U.S. and Canada. Second, the KLDA was completed by more than 5,000 people over the internet for free as we performed factor analyses, perfected item development, and more. Third, the KLDA is very affordable, essentially self-interpreting, and can be administered quickly via the Internet. Most respondents finish the assessment in about 10 minutes as the items are written at about a fourth- through sixth-grade reading level. The KLDA can also guide the assessment process and inform which lengthier diagnostic assessments should be administered. Finally, the KLDA is a great discussion prompt to encourage clients to talk about their difficulties across different environments. 

What feedback have you received from users of the KLDA? 

Practitioners and test-takers have found the assessment very useful and easy to administer (especially via the web in a pandemic!). It leads to very interesting discussions that the respondent has often never had with anyone before. 

Anything else you think is important for people to know about your product? 

The KLDA is a very flexible product. The assessment can be used by individual clinicians to screen a client before they even meet for the first time. It’s been used by community colleges and universities as part of their orientation process to screen at-risk students before they fail. Study skills and student success instructors have found the KLDA extremely useful to administer to a classroom as part of a group assignment. Thanks to PARiConnect, the KLDA can be easily administered to large groups of individuals online at a very low cost. 

Related Article:  ADHD & ACADEMIC CONCERNS DURING A PANDEMIC  

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The Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory™ (ECBI™) Score Report on PARiConnect has now been updated to include a longitudinal profile and an updated look and feel. The ECBI, designed for completion by parents, assesses a child’s conduct and behavior at home to determine the variety and frequency of behaviors commonly exhibited by all children, distinguishing behavior problems from conduct-disordered behavior in children and adolescents. 

The new ECBI Score Report makes it easier for clinicians to monitor behavior over time by offering a profile that charts scores from each administration for ease of comparison. These updates will make the report more useful for parent–child interaction therapy when monitoring progress over time. 

Learn more about the ECBI. 

 

 

 

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Each year, the first full week in October is Mental Illness Awareness Week. Established by Congress in 1991, this week raises awareness, fights discrimination, and educates the public on mental illnesses.  

The theme for this year is “Together for Mental Health,” with a focus on advocating for better care for individuals facing serious mental illness and improving mental health care and crisis response. 

There are events throughout the week of October 3–9, 2021: 

Tuesday, October 5: National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Recovery and Understanding 

Thursday, October 7: National Depression Screening Day 

Saturday, October 9: NAMIWalks United Day of Hope 

Sunday, October 10: World Mental Health Day 

 

There are a number of ways to get involved: 

  • Learn: The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) will be sharing personal stories of people living with mental illness each day on their blog

  • Share: It’s important to bust the stigma around mental illness. NAMI provides downloadable graphics you can use on your social media to raise public awareness. 

  • Walk: You can take part in NAMIWalks from virtually anywhere. Check out the list of in-person and virtual events. 

  • Screen: Mental Health America offers online screening for many mental health concerns. If you think you or someone you know may be at risk, these can provide a quick way to determine if more in-depth assessment is needed. 

One in 5 adults will experience mental illness each year. It is important that we all do our part to promote awareness and understanding this week and throughout the year! 

 

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An Interpretive Report for the Dementia Rating Scale–2™ (DRS-2™) is now available on PARiConnect. The DRS-2 measures mental status in adults with cognitive impairment and assesses an individual’s overall level of cognitive functioning.

The DRS-2 Interpretive Report provides:

  • Age-corrected subscale scores, an age- and education-corrected DRS-2 Total Score, and percentile subscale scores.
  • Interpretive text that describes the client’s overall performance and subtest performance.
  • A graphic profile of the client’s performance.

Save money and valuable clinical time by letting PARiConnect handle scoring and interpretation of your DRS-2 administrations without the investment of purchasing the entire software program.

Don’t have a PARiConnect account? It’s easy to sign up—plus you get three free administrations and three free reports! Learn more.

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PAR is proud of our ongoing support of United Way. For more than 20 years, PAR staff have taken part in an annual fundraising campaign. We hosted our 2021 fundraising drive last week, where we spent time learning more about the impact United Way has on our community as well as taking part in team challenges and interdepartmental games.

PAR is so proud that we had 100% staff participation and exceeded our fundraising goal—raising $106,204 to benefit those in need in our community.

In the Tampa area, United Way aims to break the cycle of generational poverty through initiatives targeted at education, literacy, financial education, disaster services, neighborhood programs, and strategic community partnerships.

Want to learn more about how you can help United Way in your community? Visit unitedway.org.

One of PAR’s core values is to give back to our community. Learn more about some of the ways we do that throughout the year.

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No one offers more neuropsychological assessment tools than PAR. We offer more than 100 products for neuropsychologists to assess across the life spanall in one place. Whether you are looking for a comprehensive battery or a specialized test, there’s no need to look further. If you are assessing executive function or memory, ADHD or dementia, aphasia or abstract reasoning—we have the right tool for your needs. We’ve even broken out our list to make it easier to sort by age group or online assessment:

Assess children and adolescents. Whether for attention, executive functioning, or memory, ADHD or learning disabilities, when it comes to neuropsychological testing, let PAR be your trusted resource. 

Assess adults. Our comprehensive list of products ranges from cognitive impairment to memory functioning and more, meaning we have the assessments you need to help those you serve. Let us provide the tools to help you provide your clients with the answers they need. 

Assess older adults. We carry more neuropsychological tests than anyone else—so when you are assessing for concerns from aphasia to dementia and beyond, we have a solution that will help those you serve. 

Assess via PARiConnect. We are constantly expanding our online and remote offerings to give you even more options. Learn more about PARiConnect and how it can help you adapt to flexible administration and scoring options. 

Explore our library to build the neuropsychological test battery that suits your specific testing needs.

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This week, Sierra Iwanicki, PhD, clinical psychologist and project director at PAR, explains the background to a question PAR often receives—when and why does a test need to be updated or revised? 

PAR frequently receives questions about the need to update or revise the instruments we publish. We often look for guidance from published literature and professional organizations such as the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and the American Psychological Association (APA) to help guide our decisions. Although there are no absolute rules regarding when to update or revise, these professional guidelines and ethical codes provide examples of situations that would prompt the need for test revision. Here is some of the guidance we follow when determining when and if a revision is necessary: 

The Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing states that “revisions or amendments are necessary when new research data, significant changes in the domain, or new conditions of test use and interpretation suggest that the test is no longer optimal or fully appropriate for some of its intended uses” (pp. 83). The Standards also notes that the decision to revise or update psychological tests may be considered when there is a change in the conceptualization of the construct. 

Guideline 2.4 of the International Test Commission’s Guidelines for Practitioner Use of Test Revisions, Obsolete Tests, and Test Disposal requires test publishers to justify the need for a revised test, stating that:  

Test revisions may be driven by knowledge that the assessed behaviors are subject to substantial change over time, by significant demographic changes, from research that leads to improvements in theories and concepts that should impact test use, from changes in diagnostic criteria, or in response to test consumers demands for improved versions. (p. 9) 

Standard 9.08, Obsolete Tests and Outdated Test Results, of the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct, states that “psychologists do not base such decisions or recommendations on tests and measures that are obsolete and not useful for the current purpose.” However, no guidance is provided on how to determine when a test is obsolete.  

When determining if revision is necessary, it is important to consider the type of test. For example, the Flynn Effect shows that IQ scores don’t remain consistent over time, meaning intellectual assessment tools need to be updated more frequently than personality assessments, where the content remains more constant over time. Butcher notes that “not everything in life becomes functionally ineffective at the same rate” (p. 263), and tests do not become obsolete simply because of the passage of time.  

Ultimately, test publishers are entrusted to monitor changes over time that may prompt the need to revise an assessment.  

 

Are you using a PAR product for research? Learn more about how you can get involved with PAR’s data program

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Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. Yet, 93% of adults in the U.S. think suicide can be prevented. The week surrounding September 10—World Suicide Prevention Day—is hailed as National Suicide Prevention Week. Here are some ways you can get involved with suicide prevention: 

Learn the 5 steps and share them with others. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) breaks down 5 ways anyone can help someone who may be suicidal. Although clinicians are trained in suicide prevention, most individuals don’t know where to begin. Share these steps so more people have awareness. NSPL even offers graphics that you can use to share on your social channels. 

Add a square to this virtual memory quilt. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) offers a digital memory quilt. Whether you add a square for a lost loved one or simply view the stories and photos, this online remembrance is a powerful reminder of the impact of suicide. 

Participate in an Out of the Darkness walk. AFSP holds community walks across the country—more than 400 are currently planned for this fall.   

Ask for support! The National Alliance on Mental Illness provides extensive resources via phone or chat. Though not a crisis line, they offer a nationwide peer-support service that offers referrals and support. This page also offers a list of resources that can be used in an emergency. 

Take part in an online training session. The American Association of Suicidology offers a listing of clinical trainings and online events intended for professionals. 

Show support online. You can find prewritten social posts, graphics, and videos that you can use on your own social media accounts, as well as digital banners and Zoom backgrounds here.  

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New release! An interactive overview course on the Neuropsychological Assessment Battery® (NAB®) as well as a series of 6 video courses, one devoted to administration and scoring of each NAB Module, have been added to the PAR Training Portal. Whether you want a deeper understanding of a specific NAB test or are looking for general background information, these additions to the Training Portal are ideal for both casual and expert-level users of the instrument, providing you greater insight into one of our most popular products. 

The PAR Training Portal is a free, on-demand resource available 24/7. To view the NAB courses or to view a list of the more than 65 training resources available, simply log in with your parinc.com username and password and select “Neuropsychology” under the “Browse for Training” menu at the bottom left-hand side of the screen.  

Haven’t visited in a while? There’s more! 

Log in today to see what’s new! Use your parinc.com username and password. 

 

 

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Why?

Many of us are familiar with the ethics of psychological testing, including carefully choosing tests based on how they were standardized. Have you ever found yourself curious, flipping through a manual, wondering if the population you work with was adequately represented in the creation of a test? One way you can ensure this, contribute to the field, and be compensated for your time is by participating in data collection with PAR! Data collectors are essential to research and development of psychological tests and are often the first to know what products and assessments will be hitting the market.

Who can collect data?

Most of our data collectors are clinical psychologists, school psychologists, psychometrists, speech and language pathologists, and other clinicians. PAR follows the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Guidelines for Psychological Assessment and Evaluation, a system of qualification levels that guides decision-making about who can purchase, administer, and interpret tests (APA, 2020). Anyone administering assessments must be well trained in standardized administration protocols, ethics, and demonstrate competency in practice. For data collection, requirements differ by test. Most projects require a PAR qualification level of B or C.

Qualification Level: B

  • A degree from an accredited 4-year college or university in psychology, counseling, speech-language pathology, or a closely related field plus satisfactory completion of coursework in test interpretation, psychometrics and measurement theory, educational statistics, or a closely related area; or license or certification from an agency that requires appropriate training and experience in the ethical and competent use of psychological tests.

Qualification Level: C

  • All qualifications for level B plus an advanced professional degree that provides appropriate training in the administration and interpretation of psychological tests, or license or certification from an agency that requires appropriate training and experience in the ethical and competent use of psychological tests.

What will I be asked to do?

Data collectors are responsible for finding participants and are compensated on a per-case basis that varies by project. PAR does not pay participants directly, although we can provide gift cards for your participants at your request, deducted from the total amount per case. There is no minimum number of reservations required. We are thankful for any data you can provide for us!

Data collectors submit required demographic information for the participants they intend to test. It is imperative for data collectors to provide accurate demographic information. PAR uses Census-based norming, and we must ensure all demographic groups are appropriately represented. The data collection team at PAR will make a reservation for each participant based on demographics provided. Once a reservation has been made, materials will be provided to data collectors to begin testing.

  • Each data collection project is slightly different, ranging from completing rating scales online to administering performance-based tests in person. The general process involves obtaining informed consent from the participant, administering the test, and submitting data and materials to PAR.
  • We are grateful for our data collectors and try to demonstrate this via prompt payment for your efforts.

What are the types of data collection?

Pilot

  • Preliminary data collection on proposed measure with a small sample to determine any concerns that need to be addressed.

Standardization

  • Gathering data using the proposed measure with entire sample to create norms; determining what is typical for the population studied.
  • PAR uses Census-based norming to ensure the sample is proportionally representative of the demographics of the United States. We ask for age/grade, sex, race/ethnic group, and participant’s or parent’s educational attainment. We monitor the data closely to ensure each region is represented.
  • The standardization stage of a project provides additional data collection opportunities to gather reliability data through interrater and test–retest cases, as well as validity data using concurrent measures.

Clinical Groups

  • Specific clinical groups may be needed for certain projects. These clinical cases may require additional documentation from the data collector and typically are compensated at a higher rate. Please let PAR know the clinical groups you have access to by completing those questions on the Examiner Information Form.

When do I sign up?

Now! Data collection projects are currently in process.

Where do I sign up?

Simply complete the Examiner Information Form and Nondisclosure Agreement and send the forms to Kathryn Stubleski at  kstubleski@parinc.com.

We look forward to working with you!