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For many years, PAR employees have volunteered their time to serve as part of a local Meals on Wheels of Tampa route. Each week, a rotating group of PAR employees deliver fresh, nutritious meals to homebound individuals. For many of the individuals visited, delivery drivers provide more than just food—they provide human connection and a way to live independently. 

Meals on Wheels of Tampa was founded by Gloria Fuentes in 1975. A Tampa resident, Fuentes was caring for two homebound relatives who lived on opposite sides of the city. She recognized the need to assist not only her family but also others who were in similar circumstances. Originally, the organization delivered meals to 14 people—today, they serve more than 800 individuals who depend on caring volunteers to deliver nourishing meals to their door. Meals on Wheels of Tampa also offers programs that deliver pet food, hurricane supplies, and more. They now offer diabetic and renal menus for their homebound meal program recipients with dietary restrictions. 

If you live in the Tampa area, Meals on Wheels is looking for more volunteers to help eliminate hunger, isolation, and loss of independence for the homebound in our community. Learn more about how you can get involved here. Outside of Tampa? Meals On Wheels of Tampa is a proud member of Meals on Wheels of America—find a way to give back in your community

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President Joe Biden recently addressed a topic that PAR has focused on for many years—children’s mental health.  

“Let’s take on mental health,” he said during his State of the Union Address March 1. “Especially among our children, whose lives and education have been turned upside down.” 

Though we have long recognized this need, it has escalated drastically in recent years as a result of the pandemic, which has seen levels of childhood trauma, anxiety, depression, and more increase and academic performance decrease.  

A recent report published by the Centers for Disease Control shows that pediatric emergency department visits by children and adolescents for mental health concerns have increased since 2020, with issues such as eating disorders, depression, anxiety, trauma, and stress-related disorders on the rise.   

One of our overarching goals as a company is to help professionals like you reach these children and get them the help they need. This is part of the reason why we offer regular continuing education webinars designed to keep you up-to-date on new instruments and research as well as a 24/7 free, on-demand Training Portal, where you can access interactive courses, author videos, and other resources, including several presentations that address childhood trauma, such as Trauma and COVID-19: What School Professionals Can Do to Help: Utilizing the FACT to Guide Interventions; Pandemics, Trauma, and Emotional Disturbance; and more.  

We also have a wide range of products to meet the needs of America’s children. From measuring stress and trauma in school-based settings, identifying possible victims of trauma, screening for depressive symptoms and suicidality and much more, we have the instruments you need to help children get help—and get back on a path to healing, health, and happiness. Learn more about our resources for students.  

Not sure where to start? Visit our mental health resources page to find what you need.

 

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Clinicians and researchers—are you using a PAR product in your research? If you a professional who would be interested in partnering with us to advance the scope of solutions PAR provides, 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, developing and identifying 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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In observance of the holiday season, the PAR offices will close at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, December 22. We will reopen at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, December 28.

PAR offices will close in celebration of the new year at 4 p.m. on Thursday, December 30, and reopen at 8 a.m. on Monday, January 3.

As the year comes to a close, we at PAR look back and are incredibly thankful for the trust you put in us to provide you with the tools you need to help those you serve. We look forward to continuing to serve you in 2022.

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The results of PAR’s seventh annual Pay it Forward program are in!  

Each year, we ask our customers to choose a charity from a short list of deserving organizations. This culminates in PAR donating $5,000 on behalf of our customers to the charity that receives the most votes.  

This year’s selected charity is: Family Promise!

Family Promise is the leading national nonprofit organization addressing the issue of family homelessness. Their mission is to help homeless and low-income families achieve sustainable independence through a community-based response.  

To our customers who participated, thank you for helping us Pay it Forward. 

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All year long, but especially during this time of year, we at PAR are thankful for our loyal customers. We are grateful for the trust you put in us to provide you with the tools you need to help those you serve. 

In observance of Thanksgiving, the PAR offices will be closed from 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, November 24 until 8 a.m. on Monday, November 29.  

May your Thanksgiving be filled with happiness, joy, warmth, and togetherness.  

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Today is Veterans Day in the U.S., and we want to take a moment to pay tribute, honor, and thank those who have served in our military. 

PAR would like to sincerely thank every individual who made the choice to serve our country and defend our freedom. You chose to leave familiar surroundings, family, and friends in service to your country. Your sacrifice has made a true difference in the life of every American and is a debt we can never truly repay. We value and appreciate your selflessness. It is the foundation that our country is built on. 

We’d also like to give a special thanks to the members of our PAR staff who have served in our military: 

  • Adam Barrett-Clarke 

  • Teri Lyon 

  • Mike Nolan 

  • Jarris Suggs 

Thank you for your service and thank you to all veterans on this special day! 

 

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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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