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!
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.
Dr. Gerard Gioia was honored by the Children’s Miracle Network with the Children’s Miracle Achievement Award last week at the charity’s annual celebration in Orlando, Florida. Dr. Gioia was named as one of three caregivers of the year for his work and research on concussions.

Dr. Gioia is a pediatric neuropsychologist and chief of the division of pediatric neuropsychology at Children’s National Medical Center, the local Children’s Miracle Network hospital for the metropolitan Washington, DC area. Dr. Gioia’s work with the Safe Concussion Outcome, Recovery, and Education (SCORE) program centers on improving the way concussions in youth are treated as well as helping teachers, parents, coaches, and doctors to determine when it is safe for children to return to both school and play. Concussions make up between 80 and 90 percent of all brain injuries in the United States and account for more than 1,000,000 emergency room visits each year.

PAR congratulates Dr. Gioia on this achievement!

Dr. Gioia is coauthor of the Tasks of Executive Control™ (TEC™), the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function® (BRIEF®), the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function®–Preschool Version (BRIEF®-P), the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function®–Adult Version (BRIEF®-A), the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function®–Self-Report Version (BRIEF®-SR), and related software products.

Why did you choose to enter the field of psychology?
Initially, what I found most compelling about the field of psychology was psychopathology—its development and treatment. During my latter years in college, however, I became increasingly interested in society’s formal responses to persons with mental disorders. This, combined with a longstanding interest in the law, led me to enter Florida State University’s doctoral program in clinical psychology, since a number of faculty in the psychology department were interested in interactions between the legal and mental health systems.

What made you decide to develop the Inventory of Legal Knowledge?
I decided to develop the ILK because of my longstanding clinical and research interests in two areas—assessment of criminal competencies and assessment of response style. I also had the opportunity to work with a great colleague, Jeff Musick, who I had the pleasure of supervising when he completed his clinical psychology internship at the University of South Florida. Jeff had developed what could be considered an early ILK prototype. After some discussion, we concluded it would be a good project on which to collaborate. The rest, as they say, is history.

What would you like to tell people about your product that they may not know?
Two things. First, both Jeff and I regularly evaluate defendants whose competence to proceed with the legal process is raised as an issue. I like to think that, as a result, we are sensitive to the many realities facing forensic psychologists, and that we designed and developed a tool that is user-friendly as a result. I would also like to share that we first agreed that the name of the instrument would be the Competence Assessment Tool, or COMPASS, for short. We thought that the idea of a compass providing direction was particularly clever and would make for a great graphic on the test manual cover, to boot.  Unfortunately, an assessment instrument with a similar name was already in existence. Our second choice was the Inventory of Legal Knowledge, the ILK.

How do you spend your free time?
When not at work or with my family, I am most likely to be found on a motorcycle or in a game of No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em.

For the 15th consecutive year, PAR got the holidays started early with a little help from the Children’s Home. Every year, PAR sponsors a holiday card contest and invites residents from the Children’s Home to enter holiday-themed drawings. The winning piece of art is voted on by PAR staff and is printed on our holiday cards. To announce the winners and celebrate the season, PAR hosted a pizza party for all residents last week. Forty-five residents from the Children’s Home attended, 26 of whom had entered drawings into the contest. Cash prizes are also given to the first ($100), second ($50), and third place ($25) winners, with all participants earning a $5 prize for entering. Here’s a sneak peak at the official PAR holiday card for 2010.

What Do You Know About Psychology Organizations?


The original total membership list of the American Psychological Association (APA) at its founding in 1892.

The number of APA members today.

The number of members of the National Association of School Psychologists, according to NASP’s 2009 membership statistics.

The number of specializations offered by the American Board of Professional Psychologists.

The number of applicants who successfully matched through the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) in 2010. 846 applicants were not matched to an internship position.

The number of chapters of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology for undergraduate and graduate students. Psi Chi chapters are found in the USA, Canada, and Ireland. There are more than 500,000 lifetime members.

Send us a video showing how the SDS has benefited you or others to make the right career decision and you could win a $100 American Express gift card! Simply upload your video to YouTube and use Self-Directed Search or SDS in the title. Send the link to your video to specialoffers@parinc.com. Entries are due by
November 1, 2010 and must be posted on YouTube.
PAR staff are on the way to Vancouver, British Columbia for the National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN) 30th Annual Conference. If you are attending NAN, please stop by our booth to meet some of our staff and take a look at some of the new products we recently released, including the Tasks of Executive Control™ (TEC™), the Memory for Intentions Test™ (MIST™), the Structured Interview of Reported Symptoms, 2nd Edition (SIRS-2), the Mini-Mental® State Examination, 2nd Edition ( MMSE®-2™), the NEO™ Inventories 3, and more. NAN attendees receive 15% and free shipping and handling on all purchases made at the conference.

Why did you choose to enter the field of psychology?
My father was a mechanical engineer and very early in my childhood I realized I had no manual aptitude or skills whatsoever. So that career option was closed by lack of talent. My mother always encouraged me to pursue helping professions. When I began taking psychology classes in college at Indiana University, I had a natural affinity for the subject matter.

What made you decide initially to develop the ECAF™-2?
As a practitioner, I realized that the discipline needs more standardization and objectivity and many practicing vocational experts shared my beliefs. In fact, there is a formal group in California that is attempting to develop practice standards. As I gained experience over the years, I learned that there is no other measure equivalent to the ECAF-2.

What would you like to tell people about your product that they may not know?
It has been under development for over a decade and it has been well-validated through a number of published reliability and validity studies. Also, it incorporates generally accepted methods in sync with mainstream theories.

What would you like to tell people about yourself that they may not know?
My first novel, Justice Indicted, will be published in February 2011. The book is a social commentary based on my experiences as an expert witness for over 25 years.

How do you spend your free time?
I spend my free time traveling with my wife. I have three children ages 16-22. I’ll be accompanying my oldest child on a trip to London later this month; he is enrolling in a master’s program at the London School of Economics.

Why did you choose to enter the field of psychology?
This was the best way I could think of to participate in the evolution of our world. I was fascinated by the complex task of identifying patterns to thoughts, feelings, and behavior that could help us predict a person's behavior. I could not find any field more complex, and all other fields seemed boring compared to this intellectual frontier.

What made you decide initially to develop the State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory-2™ Child and Adolescent (STAXI-2™ C/A)?
The amazing paucity of anger measures currently existing, especially for children and adolescents. I knew the state-trait theory already had been overwhelmingly accepted by the field of psychological assessment. As a developmental psychologist in training, I approached Charlie Spielberger and suggested we develop a measure for children. He and I knew there was such a need since parents, teachers, and mental health professionals were all very concerned about the high prevalence of anger, but researchers seemed to have been giving most of their attention to anxiety, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, etc., classical conditions. Meanwhile, the public health problem of anger “snuck up” on our world. We see this with the school shootings that have occurred that now have everyone's attention.

What would you like to tell people about your product that they may not know?
This is a measure that can truly help get at the nuances of anger. As a practicing developmental psychologist who works everyday in the trenches with parents, pediatricians, teachers, etc., I have a keen sense of whether a measure is worth our time and energy as a practitioner who is very busy. The STAXI-2 C/A passes this test admirably. Why? Most people do not want to know if there is anger or not, rather, they want to know if the child is possibly harboring anger, how much they are struggling to control their anger, and to what degree might they be controlling anger much more than any adult appreciates. They also want to know if the anger is more just a temporary state or more like a trait, and thus, more concerning.

These are the most compelling question for our field, and for the adults working with children. And it is these questions that the STAXI-2 C/A provides answers to. Second, this is a necessary measure any time one is conducting a risk assessment, as again, this measure endeavors to assess covert anger that we have learned is “silent but deadly.” This anger measure provides a robust profile of a person's personality as it relates to anger. In this way, this measure is very practical.

What would you like to tell people about yourself that they may not know?
My experience with anger goes far beyond research and clinical settings, as I have a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old, and am blessed with everyday appreciating the nuances of anger in my wonderful children. I learn from them every day. We, as parents, know there is nothing that can replace real-world experience with emotions like anger. I am also a competitive cyclist who most recently rode the Tour de Tucson, a 67 mile road race. My wife and I, with our two wonderful children, live in Tucson, Arizona, deep in the desert, my favorite place on earth.

How do you spend your free time?
Riding as fast as I can down the road, rain or shine. When not in the bike saddle, I am reading to my kids or we are outside enjoying the desert climate. I am currently learning about Transformers and He-Man from my son, and from my daughter, I am learning all about the importance of having tea parties for her dolls.