Meet the Author – Dr. Sarah Raskin

Why did you choose to enter the field of psychology?
I was first interested in biology and especially in the brain. In my first behavioral neuroscience class, I felt that this field took on many of the questions that had always been interesting to me. Then I was given the chance to spend a summer as an undergraduate working on a study of people with aphasia. I realized then that I was really interested in neuropsychology.

What made you decide initially to develop the Memory for Intentions Test™ (MIST™)?
In working with people who have brain injury and asking them to set goals for rehabilitation, the problem of prospective memory, or memory for intentions, kept coming up. I wanted to understand what it was about completing an intention that was difficult for people with brain injury. At the time, there was no standardized measure available.

What would you like to tell people about your product that they may not know?
I think it is very useful as a clinical measure and has the ability to discriminate between different types of prospective memory failures in different populations; the alternate form makes it useful to measure efficacy of rehabilitation. But it is also a useful research measure and has been published in a number of studies with people with different disorders.

What would you like to tell people about yourself that they may not know?
I love the theater and one of my jobs during graduate school in New York City was sewing costumes. My kids got interested in theater, and my son even convinced me to be in a community theater production with him. My daughter still does plays, but my son is now focused on playing guitar.

How do you spend your free time?
I spend as much time as I can with my two children, ages 10 and 14, and my husband. We had the wonderful experience of spending six weeks together as a family in Rome this summer while I taught a course titled “The Arts and the Brain.” I spend time volunteering in my kids’ schools or in other community activities. I love to read novels, the more tragic the better.

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Meet the Author – Arthur L. Robin, PhD

 

Why did you choose to enter the field of psychology?
As a high school student, I was curious about what made people act the way they do. As a college student, I became interested in the scientific study of human behavior through applied behavior analysis. I entered psychology in order to do research and further our knowledge about the science of human behavior. During graduate school at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, I found that I enjoyed helping people as much, if not more, than doing research, so I trained to be a clinical psychologist. My first job after receiving my doctorate was as an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Maryland in Baltimore County. I did a lot of research and teaching, but hardly any clinical practice. Something was missing. When I moved to Michigan and joined the staff at Children’s Hospital of Michigan and Wayne State University, I had the opportunity to see a wide variety of children with medical illnesses and behavioral/emotional problems. This has proven to be very gratifying, and I have now been at Children’s Hospital for 30 years. I also get to do some research, such as my work with the Parent Adolescent Relationship Questionnaire™ (PARQ™), and a great deal of teaching.

What made you decide initially to develop the PARQ?
I had developed a number of brief measures of family relationships, but they did not provide a comprehensive picture of the parent-adolescent relationship. The clinicians would need to use several measures to get the full picture, and even then, the scores would not be on a common metric. In the early 1980s, I learned about the Marital Satisfaction Inventory, which Dr. Doug Snyder developed as a comprehensive measure of marital interactions. Dr. Snyder was at Wayne State University, so my co-authors and I got to talk with him. I decided to follow his example and develop a multidimensional measure of the parent-teen relationship. In addition, my co-authors, Dr. Tom Koepke and Dr. Ann Moye, needed dissertation topics. We decided to work together and develop the PARQ, which also provided them with dissertation topics.

What would you like to tell people about your product that they may not know?
We have administered the PARQ in adolescents with spina bifida and with their parents. Some of this data is presented in the PARQ Professional Manual. We found that the adolescents with spina bifida and their parents reported better relationships than even our normative group. This partially replicates other investigator’s research on parent-adolescent relationships for families where the teen has spina bifida. We plan to use it a lot with adolescents who have a variety of chronic illnesses.

What would you like to tell people about yourself that they may not know?
I direct a psychology internship at Children’s Hospital of Michigan.

How do you spend your free time?
O gauge model railroading and photography are my two hobbies. I like to combine them by taking pictures of my trains and layout, as well as other people’s train layouts. My first non-psychology publication in 35 years was a photograph of my holiday train layout published in the December 2009 issue of Classic Toy Trains magazine!

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Meet the Author: Peter K. Isquith, PhD

Why did you choose to enter the field of psychology?
As the brother of a deaf individual with developmental disabilities, I was intimately familiar with the needs of such individuals, their families, and their educators, and well aware of the paucity of services. I studied speech and hearing sciences/psychology at the University of Michigan and found myself fitting well in psychology. While working as an interpreter, interpreting everything from astrophysics to rock climbing and sailing to the courtroom, I interpreted for a psychological assessment, and quickly realized how much the interpreting process interfered with the assessment. After spending the next few years traveling with a theater of the deaf where I worked with children around the country, I decided that a doctorate in psychology would enable me to have the greatest flexibility in pursuing my goals of serving the needs of deaf children and individuals with disabilities. The program in Child Clinical Psychology and Law at the University at Buffalo was very well-suited to my goals.

What made you decide initially to develop the Tasks of Executive Control™ (TEC™)?
My colleagues and I had long been interested in executive functions from a developmental perspective. Given the challenges inherent in assessing these self-regulatory processes, we previously focused on ecological validity, resulting in the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function® (BRIEF®) family of instruments. We were also aware of the “molar,” or composite, nature of our extant performance tests of executive function, and sought a means of capturing the most fundamental aspects of executive function, namely working memory and inhibitory control, in a developmentally sensitive, easily administered, and repeatable way that took advantage of recent development in neuroscience. Some six or seven years later, the Tasks of Executive Control was launched.

What would you like to tell people about the TEC that they may not know?
The TEC is unique. It brings established neuroscience methods to clinical assessment to facilitate evaluation of how students cognitively manage increasing demands on working memory and inhibitory control over a more naturalistic, extended time period. We took advantage of current statistical methods for evaluating change over time, both within and between TEC administrations, and provided an abundance of measures that psychologists can examine. While the learning curve is likely steep given the newness of the measure and concepts, we believe it is worth the climb.

What would you like to tell people about yourself that they may not know?
I am a full-time clinician with specialty in pediatric neuropsychology, working in an independent practice and in schools. The ideas for assessment approaches come from my own clinical work and that of my colleagues. In this way, I am an “accidental” test author. Developing measures with my colleagues in practice and with PAR, Inc. has been very rewarding work.

How do you spend your free time?
Most of my free time is spent with my family, typically coaching my daughters through homework and attending their soccer, basketball, and softball games or coaching skiing. The only exception is Monday nights when I relive my youth and play bass in a rock band.

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