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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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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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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!

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Are you using a PAR product in your research? If you are a clinician, researcher, or other professional who would be interested in partnering with us to advance the scope of solutions we can provide, we would love to talk to you about it!

We are looking to gather additional data on our existing assessments with the goal of further validating our instruments, identifying and developing product enhancements, or adding features that allow our customers to better meet the needs of those they serve.

Learn more about the PAR Data Program and find out how you can take part!

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The pandemic has made it difficult to do many things, and it’s also had a huge impact on printed and mailed materials. Many people find that their magazines and catalogs are delayed or are no longer available.   

PAR’s Winter 2021 print catalogs were delivered to your home or office last week. However, we know that many of you continue to work from home or have restrictions on your mail and may not have been able to access them.   

Our new e-Catalogs allow you to conveniently browse our catalog pages from your computer or tablet 24/7.  See what’s new! 

Our Clinical Assessment Solutions catalog showcases the importance of wellbeing, offers solutions on how to stay safe during therapy sessions, and provides tips to overcome “Zoom fatigue.”  

Our School Assessment Solutions catalog helps you understand how trauma affects students, offers ways to assess the impact of trauma, and provides strategies to help you develop a trauma-sensitive environment.  

 Choose the catalog you need! 

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Each year, PAR employees take part in a week-long United Way fundraising campaign. This year, we exceeded our fundraising goal, resulting in nearly $102,000 in employee contributions to help United Way Suncoast and their partner agencies! This surpassed our 2019 giving by 1.6%, an incredible achievement in such a challenging year. We are proud to say that through our involvement with United Way, we will help make a difference in the lives of so many people in the Tampa Bay area.

Learn more about how you can help United Way in your community!

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PAR would like to thank you for all you have done—especially this year—to help those you serve. We would like to take this opportunity to honor our Customers during our annual Pay It Forward campaign. Keep your eyes on your email—in the next week, you will be receiving a list of charities with a link to select your favorite. On behalf of our Customers, we will give a $5,000 donation to whichever charity receives the most votes.

“We are so inspired by the work our Customers do, and it is an honor to be able to donate on their behalf to a worthy organization of their choosing,” said PAR CEO Kristin Greco. “We are so fortunate to be able to pay it forward.”

This year, you will be able to choose between the American Red Cross, the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, the California Fire Foundation, Feeding America, and Prevent Child Abuse America.

We are grateful to assist you in the important work you do and we are thankful for your business!

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Calling all test developers, researchers, data collectors, and potential authors—we want to work with you! We recently revamped our Partner with PAR programs and are proud to announce two new opportunities, in addition to our longstanding data collection and assessment publishing programs.

  • Requests for research proposals. We invite proposals from any nonstudent investigator using PAR instruments for research, with priority given to studies validating PAR instruments, using PAR instruments for developing or validating treatments or interventions, or validating PAR instruments for use with underrepresented populations.
  • PAR Data Program. If you have collected data using one or more PAR products, we want to work with you to help develop new solutions and enhancements that will better serve society and improve the mental health of others. Our ultimate goal is to increase fairness and inclusivity in test development by increasing representation of underserved populations.
  • Data collection. We are always collecting normative, reliability, and validity data for products in development and welcome new data collectors. Bonus—data collectors earn cash payments or credit toward PAR products for the essential work they do for us!
  • Publishing. Developing new and updated assessment instruments is what keeps us going, day in and day out. Though we keep our ears close to the ground for ideas, we invite you to contact us with your proposals or ideas—and to do so as early as possible in the development process. We’d love to have the opportunity to work with you!

Visit parinc.com/PARtner for more information on all our programs and for details on how to get in touch with us.

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We have created PARcares as a resource to offer a hand up to those most in need. With shareable videos, blogs, and lists of free resources, PARcares is our way to show how much we care not only for our Customers, but for those you serve.

If you think someone would benefit from these resources, feel free to share them directly or through your social media channels. We will be updating regularly with new and helpful content to be used and shared with everyone.

We are all in this together.

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Editor's note: This article refers to a promotion that has expired.

As remote testing becomes a necessity, PAR is working to assist our Customers. We are offering free e-Manuals to Customers who have previously purchased the printed version of manuals published by PAR.

If you currently don’t have access to a PAR-published print manual due to social distancing, we will provide you with free access to an e-Manual version of that same assessment for free. It’s our way of helping our Customers adapt and adjust to providing care remotely.

We’ve also developed a short video on how to use our e-Manuals. The video walks you through downloading and installing an e-Manual, then covers specifics on the convenient features our e-Manuals offer, such as search functions, bookmarks, etc.

To request your free e-Manual, contact Customer Support at 1.800.331.8378 or via e-mail at cs@parinc.com. Please reference your account/previous order information for the manual in question.