Adjusting to college can be difficult for even the most prepared students. But for students who may be struggling with an undiagnosed learning difficulty, the transition can be overwhelming. They may have poor coping skills, increased levels of stress, executive functioning or working memory deficits, low self-esteem, and even significant academic, interpersonal, and psychological difficulties.
The worst part is that many of them don’t know why. According to a National Council on Disability report, as many as 44% of individuals with ADHD were first identified at the postsecondary level.
The Kane Learning Difficulties Assessment (KLDA) is a tool that screens college students for learning difficulties and ADHD in order to give them the answers they need. By screening for learning difficulties and ADHD as well as other issues that affect learning, such as anxiety, memory, and functional problems like organization and procrastination, the KLDA helps to identify those individuals who should seek further assessment so they can get the help they need to succeed in college.
Steven T. Kane, PhD, author of the KLDA took a few minutes to answer some common questions about the product, its development, and the feedback he has received on its impact.
What inspired you to develop the KLDA initially?
Before becoming a professor and researcher, I was employed in a university disability resource center as a psychologist who specialized in learning disabilities and ADHD. I was also previously employed at three of the most diverse community colleges in California. In each of these settings, I saw literally hundreds of students who should have been screened for learning and attentional challenges but never were. I was also shocked, quite frankly, by the number of individuals I saw who clearly suffered from some form of learning or attentional difficulties as adults yet were never screened or tested in the K–12 system.
As most of us are aware, being tested for a learning disability and/or ADHD is very expensive and simply out of reach for the majority of our most at-risk college students. I also found it troubling that almost none of these same students were ever screened for anxiety disorders or memory challenges. Thus, my goal was to develop a screening assessment that was very affordable and easy to take, preferably via the internet.
How does the KLDA differ from competitive measures?
There are actually not a lot of similar measures, which is, again, one of the main reasons why we developed the KLDA. There are two or three other measures that assess study skills, motivation, etc., but not the key academic skills and executive functioning skills the KLDA assesses.
What are some important things clinicians should know about the KLDA?
First, the KLDA was normed on a very large and diverse population from across the U.S. and Canada. Second, the KLDA was completed by more than 5,000 people via the internet for free as we performed factor analyses, perfected item development, etc. Third, the KLDA is very affordable, essentially self-interpreting, and can be administered quickly administered via PARiConnect. Most respondents finish the assessment in about 10 minutes as the items are written at about the fourth through sixth grade reading level. The KLDA can also guide the assessment process and inform which lengthier diagnostic assessments should be administered. Finally, the KLDA is a great discussion prompt to encourage clients to talk about their difficulties across different environments.
What feedback have you received from users on the KLDA and the insight it provides to students?
Thus far, both practitioners and test takers have found the assessment very useful, easy to take, and comment that it leads to very interesting discussions that the respondent has often never had with anyone before.
Anything else you think is important for people to know about the KLDA?
The KLDA is a very flexible product. The assessment can be used by individual clinicians to screen a client before they even meet for the first time. It’s been used by community colleges and universities as part of their orientation process to screen at-risk students before they fail, and study skills and student success instructors have found it extremely useful to administer to a classroom as part of a group assignment. Thanks to PAR’s PARiConnect assessment platform, the assessment can be easily administered to large groups of individuals and at a very low cost.
Learn more about the KLDA
The KLDA is a self-report form that measures academic strengths and weaknesses in key areas, including reading, listening, time management, writing, math, concentration and memory, organization and self-control, oral presentation, and anxiety and pressure. It is useful for all levels of postsecondary education, including vocational schools, technical colleges, community colleges, 4-year colleges and universities, and graduate schools.
Visit the KLDA page to learn more!
Recently, PAR added several new features to the PAI Plus reports on PARiConnect. As a result, we have received a few questions about how to use the Negative Impression Management (NIM) and Positive Impression Management (PIM) predicted profile overlays as well as the NIM- and PIM-specific profiles. We went directly to author Leslie C. Morey, PhD, to get his answers on how you can use these features to enhance your understanding.
LM: NIM and PIM predicted profile overlays are regression-based predictions of the profile based on information from the validity scales. These profiles represent one strategy for understanding the influence of the response styles represented by the validity scales, NIM and PIM. In this approach, PAI scale scores are predicted solely by either NIM or PIM, using a regression model based on the correlations observed in the standardization samples. Thus, these profiles are not based on data from the profile of the individual being assessed, with the exception of their NIM or PIM scores. The resulting profile constitutes what would be expected given the observed score on NIM or PIM. The contrast between observed (i.e., the respondent’s actual PAI profile) and predicted profiles indicates the extent to which scale scores are expected to have been influenced by response set distortion. If the observed and expected scores are comparable (e.g., within one standard error of measurement), then the scores can be largely attributed to the effects of whatever led to the observed response set, such as potential exaggeration or cognitive distortions.
LM: The NIM- and PIM-specific profiles represent another strategy for understanding the influence of any observed response styles on the PAI profile. However, instead of predicting every score on the rest of the profiles, it compares the observed profile to a group of profiles from the standardization samples that displayed a similarly elevated score on PIM or NIM. This strategy then calculates standard scores for the individual’s observed scores based on the means and standard deviations of similarly distorted profiles. Thus, elevations indicate psychopathology above and beyond response sets. Unlike the predicted scores, which tend to yield greater variability in predictions for negative impression management than for positive impression management, the specific score strategy is equally useful in understanding the influences of both types of response sets.
Two groups are used for comparison purposes on the NIM- and PIM-specific scores, as defined by two ranges on these scales. The first group, the lower range, is based on cutoff scores determined to have maximal efficiency in distinguishing impression management from genuine groups. For NIM, this range is 84T to 91T; for PIM, it is 57T to 67T. The second group, the higher range, is equivalent to scores that equal or exceed two standard deviations above the mean in a clinical population: 92T for NIM and 68T for PIM. No specific scores are generated if NIM is less than 84T and PIM is less than 57T.
Read more about how the NIM scale can be used to assess malingering.
It’s time for the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Annual Convention. This year’s event will take place February 18 to 21 in Baltimore and PAR will be there. If you’re going to NASP, please stop by the PAR booth (#413) to visit us. You can see samples of our products, pick up some giveaways, and enter a raffle to win a BRIEF2 or FAR kit!
While you’re at NASP, make sure to attend some of the many presentations being hosted by PAR authors. For a complete listing of sessions, dates, and times, see our author presentation schedule.
Yet another reason to visit the PAR booth—we will be offering special discounts on all purchases made at our booth during NASP. You’ll save 15% on your order plus we’ll include free ground shipping!
This week’s blog was written by Carrie Champ Morera, PsyD. Dr. Champ Morera is a project director at PAR. She is also a nationally certified school psychologist and licensed psychologist with more than 20 years of experience in the field. She enjoys traveling and exploring beaches.
Traumatic experiences are widespread. More than 38% of children have experienced a traumatic event. Though many children are able to demonstrate resiliency and continue to thrive in school after experiencing an adverse event, others are not as fortunate without intervention. The impact of trauma too often interferes with children’s behavior and learning in school. On average, children spend about 1,000 out of 6,000 waking hours in school each year; therefore, it is critical for school professionals to become knowledgeable about trauma and learn how to help children improve their emotional, behavioral, and academic functioning so that they can be successful.
PAR author Steven G. Feifer, DEd, has written a new book, The Neuropsychology of Stress & Trauma: How to Develop a Trauma Informed School, meant to educate and help professionals, parents, and other caregivers. The book includes a foreword by Robert B. Brooks, PhD, faculty at Harvard Medical School, provides information on the physiological, psychological, environmental, and educational impacts of childhood trauma. The book also provides an abundance of additional resources for trauma information including evidence-based interventions for addressing trauma in the schools and at home. Key learning points, figures, and tables are provided in each chapter, making the information easy to digest and providing the reader with major takeaways.
Furthermore, the book examines how trauma and stress impact the brain. Dr. Feifer explores how the impact of trauma can disrupt behavior and learning, particularly in the school setting, an area that only has been explored recently. Strategies and interventions on how to develop a trauma-informed classroom are provided. Finally, Dr. Feifer provides guidance in the area of assessment by providing a framework for trauma-informed assessment, with a review of important areas to assess and suggested tools.
Dr. Feifer will present on trauma at the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) annual convention in February. In his workshop, The Neuropsychology of Trauma: Trauma-Sensitive Assessment, Dr. Feifer will discuss steps in developing trauma-informed schools, cover trauma assessment techniques, and explore classroom and school-wide interventions to foster emotional growth. If you attend the convention, feel free to stop by the PAR booth to learn more about how PAR can meet your assessment needs.
Dr. Feifer is also the author of the Feifer Assessment of Math (FAM), the Feifer Assessment of Reading (FAR), and the Feifer Assessment of Writing (FAW).
The next generation of John Holland’s Self-Directed Search is here! Based on data collected for the SDS Form R, 5th Edition (2013), the gold standard in career personality assessment has been rebranded, repackaged, and refreshed!
A bold new look and a cleaner, more user-friendly interface means clients can easily learn more about their personality and find a career that fits.
Self-administered, self-scored, and self-interpreted, the SDS is based on the theory that both people and working environments can be classified according to six basic types: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. Known as RIASEC theory, it is based on the idea that if your personality type matches your work environment type, you are more likely to find job fulfillment and career satisfaction.
So if you are looking for a job, want a career change, or are searching for a program of study, knowing more about what types of potential careers fit your personality will greatly improve your search.