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Helping Veterans Make the Transition to Civilian Life

The latest edition of the Career Planning and Adult Development Journal features a chapter by PAR authors Melissa A. Messer, MHS, and Jennifer A. Greene, MSPH.

The article details the development of the newest edition to our Self-Directed Search® product line, the Veterans and Military Occupations Finder™ (VMOF™), and explains how to use this new tool when counseling veterans through their transition from the military to the civilian job force. The VMOF helps clients better understand how to transition their skills to civilian occupations through use of John Holland’s RIASEC theory of career development.

The entire Fall 2014 edition of the Career Planning and Adult Development Journal focuses on helping veterans with career development and transition.

Click here to read the article by Melissa A. Messer, MHS, and Jennifer A. Greene, MSPH.

 

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PAR’s Concussion App Wins Accolades

carePAR is proud to announce that our Concussion Assessment & Response™: Sport Version (CARE) app was named the top concussion screening app by iMedicalApps.com. iMedicalApps reviewed all the concussion apps available in the iTunes App Store and compared each app to the criteria for evaluating, diagnosing, and assessing concussions developed by the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, the American Academy of Neurology, and the Zurich Consensus Working Group.

Learn more about the criteria used to judge the app, download it from iTunes, or get it on Google Play today!

The CARE app is for use by qualified health care professionals only. If you are a parent or coach, our Concussion Recognition & Response™: Coach & Parent Version app may be suitable for you.

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Soldiers Using More Mental Health Services, Stigma Down

According to new research conducted at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Maryland, the proportion of soldiers using mental health services nearly doubled between 2003 and 2011. Furthermore, researchers found a small but significant decrease in the perceived stigma associated with seeking mental health services.

In 2003, only about 8 percent of soldiers sought mental health services. In 2011, about 15 percent of soldiers did so. Even with the increase in the number of soldiers seeking mental health help, researcher Phillip Quartana stated that two-thirds of soldiers with post-traumatic stress (PTSD) or major depression symptoms did not seek treatment between 2002 and 2011. More than 25 percent of active infantry soldiers from the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, dating back to the beginning of the conflicts in 2001, met self-reported criteria for these diagnoses. While the number of soldiers seeking help has increased and the stigma associated with seeking mental health services has decreased, these results demonstrate that more progress is needed to increase soldiers’ use of mental health care services.

Researchers used data from active-duty personnel who completed Health-Related Behavior Surveys between 2002 and 2011. This study is the first to empirically examine trends concerning utilization of services and stigma across multiple wars.

The study was published online in the American Journal of Public Health.

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CAIMI Author Adele Eskeles Gottfried to Present at APA

Adele Eskeles Gottfried, PhD, author of the Children’s Academic Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (CAIMI), will be presenting a paper at the 2014 APA Annual Conference in Washington, DC this week. Entitled, “From Parental Stimulation of Children’s Curiosity to Science Motivation and Achievement,” Gottfried’s longitudinal research shows that when parents encourage their young children’s curiosity, those children have higher academic intrinsic motivation in science subjects and higher science achievement across childhood through adolescence. Overall, the importance of academic intrinsic motivation for children’s subsequent academic competence is demonstrated. This study is part of Gottfried’s ongoing research on longitudinal aspects of parental stimulation’s role in children’s academic intrinsic motivation, and it highlights the importance of the CAIMI in being able to delineate these findings.

Gottfried’s presentation will be part of the “Role of Others in Promoting Students’ Motivation, Learning, and Well-Being” session on Sunday, August 10, at 1:00 p.m. in Convention Center Room 115. Please confirm dates and times in your convention program when you get to APA—and be sure to stop by the PAR booth (#438) as well!

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The RAIT vs. the TOGRA: Choosing the Right Intelligence Test

Earlier this year, PAR was pleased to announce the publication of two new tests of intelligence and reasoning ability by Cecil R. Reynolds, PhD—the Reynolds Adaptable Intelligence Test™ (RAIT™) and the Test of General Reasoning Ability™ (TOGRA™). But what are the differences between these two new measures?

In simple terms, the difference can be summed up as “power versus speed.”

The RAIT is a powerful, comprehensive measure that assesses crystalized intelligence, fluid intelligence, and quantitative aptitude/intelligence. Designed to help educators evaluate students’ aptitude and determine eligibility for state and federal disability programs, the RAIT can also help clinicians diagnose various forms of childhood psychopathology and evaluate intelligence as part of general and neuropsychological evaluation. The RAIT takes approximately 50 minutes to administer.

The TOGRA is a speeded measure of reasoning and problem-solving. It helps human resources personnel quickly evaluate a job candidate’s abilities; it can also be used to evaluate athletes pre- and post-injury. With two equivalent, alternate forms, re-testing and progress monitoring can be done easily, without practice effects. The TOGRA takes only 16 minutes to administer.

Of course, the RAIT and TOGRA have some things in common as well. Both are designed for either individual or group administration; both work with children and adults ages 10-75 years; and both can be used in a wide variety of settings, including corporate/human resources settings, schools, inpatient and outpatient clinics, vocational support settings, and correctional facilities. The RAIT and the TOGRA are both available through the PARiConnect online testing platform as well as in a traditional paper-and-pencil format.

For a clear, colorful, at-a-glance summary of the differences between the RAIT and the TOGRA, take a look at PAR’s RAIT/TOGRA infographic. To learn more about the individual measures, please visit www.parinc.com, where youll find everything you need to make an intelligent decision about intelligence testing!

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Unemployment Rises Among Those with Serious Mental Health Problems

According to a new report from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), adults with serious mental health problems face an 80 percent unemployment rate, a rate that continues to become more dire over time.

In 2003, 23 percent of those receiving public mental health services had jobs; by 2012, only 17.8 percent did.

The survey reports that most adults with mental illness want to work, and 60 percent can be successful if they have the right support. However, only 1.7 percent of those surveyed received supportive employment services. Study author Sita Diehl says the employment problem has less to do with the workers themselves and more to do with the lack of organizations providing supportive services for individuals with serious mental illnesses. Due to decreases in funding, services have not been as available.

On a related note, people with mental illnesses are now the largest and fastest-growing group to receive Supplemental Social Security Income and Social Security Disability Income.

Unemployment rates varied greatly by state, with 92.6 percent of those receiving public mental health services in Maine being without jobs to 56 percent of those in Wyoming reporting they are without employment.

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Being Cool… Not So Cool in the Long Run?

As every adolescent knows, trying to “be cool” is the utmost priority. Whether you want to be a rebel without a cause or a mean girl, certain things never change. However, new research out of the University of Virginia claims that the effect of being cool is short-lived. In fact, “cool” teens were more likely than their peers to face certain issues as early adults.

Following teens from age 13 to age 23, researchers collected information from the teenagers themselves, as well as their parents and teachers. Many of the behaviors that led individuals to think others were cool were socially mature behaviors. Teens who were involved in dating relationships, those who engaged in delinquent activity, and those who hung out with physically attractive people were considered popular by their peers at age 13. However, by age 22, those same individuals were rated by their peers as being less competent at managing social relationships.

Those who were cool at 13 were also more likely to have addiction issues and engage in criminal activity as they aged. According to researcher Joseph P. Allen, PhD, the behaviors that made teens appear cool in early adolescence had to become more and more extreme in order to be seen as cool as they aged, leading to more serious criminal behavior and alcohol and drug abuse. By the time cool teens reached adulthood, their more extreme behaviors were no longer seen as cool, but instead led others to think they were less competent and, thus, less cool.

The full study appears online in Child Development.

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Bullying Declines Among American Teens

A recent study from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development shows a significant decline in the rates of both physical and verbal bullying reported by American teenagers since 1998.

Study author Jessamyn Perlus and her colleagues conducted a series of four surveys of a nationally representative sample of students in grades 6 through 10 (averaging approximately 12,500 students per survey) over a 12-year period beginning in 1998. Students were asked about the frequency with which they had been either the perpetrator or the victim of bullying behaviors in school, such as teasing, insulting, or excluding classmates; spreading negative rumors; sexual harassment; and physical abuse. The study did not include bullying activities outside of school, such as cyberbullying.

The results of the study, published in the June 2014 issue of the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH), suggest that bullying declined steadily from nearly 14 percent of students reporting incidents in 1998 to just over 10 percent in 2010. Declines were especially strong among boys and among middle school students; smaller but still significant declines were seen among girls and high school students.

Perlus is encouraged by the findings, according to an interview with U.S. News and World Report.  “In recent years, there has been more attention to anti-bullying efforts, such as prevention programs, and responses to bullying have been incorporated into school policies,” Perlus says. “We hope that these prevention efforts, and the additional attention and awareness of the problem of bullying, may be the reason for the decline.”

To read the abstract or download the full text of the study (American Public Health Association membership required for full text), visit the AJPH Web site.

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Students Speak Out about Mental Illness

As those who work in the mental health arena know all too well, the stigma associated with mental illness often prevents people from seeking the help they need. Students at the University of Leeds in the U.K. chose to confront that stigma by sharing their personal struggles with mental illness in a powerful video. Directed by the university union’s welfare officer Harriet Rankin and featuring members of the Leeds “Mind Matters” mental health support group, the video has gone viral and is now being shared by major internet news outlets in the U.K. and the U.S.

The students’ message is very simple: You are not alone, and help is available. Please take a moment to view the video now!

 

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Learning Baby’s Sex Before Birth May Say More About Mom…

Parents’ choice to find out baby’s sex before birth reveals more than the gender of their offspring. According to a recent study from Ohio State University, a woman’s decision to learn her baby’s sex before birth may be an indicator of her child-rearing beliefs.

According to the researchers, mothers who are more open to new experiences, have higher levels of conscientiousness, and have more egalitarian views about the roles of men and women in society tend to wait until delivery to learn their baby’s sex. Mothers who scored higher on a test of parenting perfectionism, meaning they had unrealistically high expectations, were slightly more likely to learn their baby’s sex in utero. Furthermore, mothers who reported higher levels of curiosity and independence were less likely to learn their baby’s sex before birth.

The research focused on 182 expectant mothers in Columbus, Ohio who participated in a study to track behaviors across the transition to parenthood. The research team administered a variety of tests to pregnant women to measure personality, gender role beliefs, and expectations regarding parenting perfectionism. Approximately two out of three of the expectant mothers in the study knew their baby’s sex before birth.

Mothers who knew the sex of their child before birth tended to have lower levels of education and lower household incomes, and were less likely to be married than mothers who waited for a delivery-room surprise.

Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan, one of the members of the research team, believes this study is a starting point to address questions about the implications that this knowledge may have for future parenting.

The study will appear in an upcoming edition of Personality and Individual Differences.

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