One of PAR’s core values is to give back to the community. Throughout the year, our staff members volunteer their time to benefit many charitable organizations in the Tampa Bay area. Here’s a look at some of the activities and events PAR staff have participated in recently.
PAR staff partnered with Feeding Tampa Bay to support their Mega-Pantry program in both April and July. The Mega-Pantry distributes fresh fruits and vegetables, bread, dry goods, and more in a drive-through-style event to those in our community who are experiencing food insecurity. This program is held several times per week in various locations around Tampa. PAR staff members spend an afternoon sorting food, directing traffic, and loading hundreds of cars with enough food to feed each family for a week.
PAR staff continued our yearly tradition of participating in United Way’s Week of Caring. PAR volunteers donated their entire day to helping a local family’s housing dreams come true as they helped Habitat for Humanity to build a home in one of its new neighborhoods in the Tampa area.
Throughout the spring, volunteers from PAR gathered donations to benefit mandatory reporter training through Mary Lee’s House. Mary Lee’s House is Hillsborough County’s first and only Child Advocacy and Protection Center. Mandatory reporter training is an important way that Mary Lee's House helps advocate to prevent child abuse. The donations provided during the training are meant to be small tokens of appreciation for the critical role mandatory reporters play in keeping our community's children safe.
PAR staff participated in the Camp Circle of Love send-off event for Lifepath Hospice in mid-April. Each of the children and teens being sent to camp have lost a loved one. The 70 campers returned on Sunday after a weekend filled with laughter, games, and new friendships.
In June, PAR employees and their families raised money for the American Heart Association (AHA) during our annual Bowling for Hearts event. The AHA focuses on helping people lead healthier lives and addressing the risks of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. The AHA is the nation’s leader in providing lifesaving CPR education and funds research in a variety of areas focused on cardiovascular health. PAR was proud to raise funds again this year for the AHA.
We are so grateful to be able to give back to our community with our time, energy, and resources. To learn more about what we are doing to make a difference in the Tampa Bay area, visit our Community PARtners page.
When staff members at PAR are developing a new test, several rounds of data are collected in order to be sure that the test is measuring what it has intended to measure and that it represents the appropriate populations accurately. Data collection occurs all across the U.S. to help us gather that information. Multiple stages of data collection are crucial to test development. Learn more about the different stages of data collection and what is entailed in each step.
The pilot stage of data collection is when preliminary data is gathered on a proposed measure with a small sample. The goal of pilot data collection is often to make decisions about item selection, and to determine any aspects of the test that may need alteration prior to standardization. Data collectors provide valuable feedback to PAR staff during this stage regarding the administration of the test and ways it can be improved.
Standardization involves gathering data using the proposed measure with a larger, representative sample to create norms used by clinicians to score and interpret results upon the test’s publication. PAR uses Census-based norming to ensure our samples are proportionally representative of the demographics of the United States. Each examinee is evaluated for age/grade, sex, race/ethnic group, and participant’s or parent’s educational attainment in addition to their responses to the assessment. PAR’s data collection staff monitor the data closely to ensure each geographic region of the United States 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.
Specific clinical groups may be recruited to serve as clinical comparison samples in data collection.. These clinical cases may require additional documentation from the data collector. The clinical populations recruited vary depending on the construct the test intends to measure.
Interested in becoming a data collector for an upcoming project? Have access to a specific clinical group that needs more research? Learn more about how you can PARtner with PAR.
Want to learn more about data collection and standardization? PAR staff members recently addressed this topic on The Testing Psychologist podcast. Tune in here.
Ever wonder how PAR gets the information needed to standardize our tests? We rely on data collectors all across the U.S. to help us gather that information. Data collectors are crucial to test development because they help us find the clinical, standardization, and reliability samples needed to create our assessment products. If you have an interest in contributing to the field in a meaningful way, you might be just the person to help us create our next instrument!
Who can be a data collector?
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.
What is involved in data collection?
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. For most projects, there is no minimum number of reservations required. However, we do set a maximum number of cases that can be accepted from any one examiner/site so that we can ensure geographic diversity in our samples.
Data collectors submit required demographic information for the participants they intend to test. It is necessary 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 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 the data and materials to PAR.
Do data collectors receive compensation?
Yes, they do! We are incredibly grateful for our data collectors and try to demonstrate this via prompt payment. PAR offers data collectors an option for either cash payments or credit toward PAR products and have provisions for compensating examinees.
How do I get involved?
It’s easy! Simply visit our Partner with PAR page and follow the directions listed under, “How do I become a data collector for PAR?”
The changing landscape of workplaces has drawn heightened attention to the needs and expectations of employees nationwide regarding the issues of work–life balance and mental health support.
The recent survey by the American Psychological Association (APA) sheds light on the prevalence of toxic workplaces and their detrimental impact on mental health. Of the data coming out of this survey, most startling was the revelation that 19% of workers reported their workplace as somewhat or very toxic. Even more alarming, those in such environments are three times more likely to suffer mental health harm at work than those individuals who are in nontoxic settings.
This blog discusses the importance of these findings, what employers can do in light of this data, and the role mental health providers can play in supporting individuals facing toxic work situations.
Understanding the impact of a toxic work environment
The APA survey brought to light the destructive toll a workplace can have on an individual’s mental well-being.
According to the survey, more than one in five workers revealed they've suffered mental health harm at work. Even worse, reported cases of harassment have jumped from 14% in 2022 to 22% in 2023. More than two-thirds of employees report experiencing workplace stress in the last month, with 57% reporting negative impacts that are associated with burnout.
Other notable findings from the survey include:
No matter the field, it is clear that employers need customized strategies to combat toxicity in various work environments.
Proactive steps for employers
To foster a supportive and mentally healthy work environment, employers can take several proactive measures to combat toxicity and promote mental health:
The role of mental health providers
For mental health providers, it's essential to address the challenges faced by individuals who are working in toxic environments. Some notable numbers from the survey: individuals who reported a toxic workplace were more than twice as likely to report that their overall mental health was fair or poor than those who did not report a toxic workplace (58% versus 21%). Of those who reported working in a toxic environment, 76% also conveyed that their work environment has a negative impact on their mental health.
Here are some strategies you can use with individuals who are experiencing workplace stress that impacts their mental health:
The results of the APA survey underscore how widespread the problem of workplace stress has become and emphasize what a toll a toxic workplace takes on mental health. Although workplaces tend to be one of the greatest areas of stress, they can also drive change by emphasizing the importance of self-care and wellbeing. Those involved in the mental health field can provide support to individuals who are experiencing workplace stress but also need to be cognizant of their own workplaces, as well. It's time to shape healthier work environments that empower everyone to thrive.
Need help hiring and developing your team? Let InVista help!
American Psychological Association. (May 2023). 2023 Work in America Survey.
U.S. Surgeon General’s Framework for Workplace Mental Health & Well-Being. (2022).
The Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales, Second Edition (RIAS-2), assesses intelligence and its major components. In addition to providing a full-scale IQ battery for less time and less cost than similar measures, the RIAS-2 is ideal for use as a stand-alone intellectual assessment or as part of a larger battery to diagnose specific disorders, such as intellectual disabilities or learning disabilities. The RIAS-2 can also be used to determine educational placement for gifted students.
RIAS-2 Score Report now available!
The RIAS-2 Score Report is now available as a standalone report via PARiConnect. The score report provides raw scores and T scores for the subtest and index scores, as well as confidence intervals, percentile ranks, and subtest and index profiles. View an example of the new RIAS-2 Score Report.
Client Feedback now included with the Interpretive Report!
In addition to what is included in the RIAS-2 Score Report, the RIAS-2 Interpretive Report offers composite norm-referenced interpretations, subtest interpretations, a discrepancy score summary table, discrepancy interpretations, feedback and recommendations based on composite scores and discrepancy information, as well as recommendations for additional testing. The Client Feedback Report is now automatically included when you run the Interpretive Report. View an example of the RIAS-2 Interpretive Report.
Already had interpretive reports in your PARiConnect account? Your inventory has been updated to include the addition of the feedback report.
Choose the report that suits your needs
With this update to the RIAS-2 product offerings, you can more easily choose the report that best suits your clinical needs and your budget.
Why the RIAS-2?
The RIAS-2 helps you complete more evaluations in less time. School and clinical psychologists seeking to measure intelligence can also rely on the RIAS-2 for:
Learn more about the RIAS-2
PARiConnect, our online assessment platform, can help you expand your reach when doing research!
Expand your geographic reach
By using PARiConnect, our digital assessment platform, you can email HIPAA compliant links directly to research participants. This enables you to complete research assessments online, expanding your geographic reach to areas you may not be able to use otherwise. This also allows you easier access to observer and collateral research data without requiring additional individuals to make the trip to your data collection site.
Reduce unused assessment costs
If you email an assessment link to a participant who decides not to complete it, PARiConnect allows you to easily revoke the link and reuse that assessment with another participant. You won’t have to pay for an unused assessment like you might with a paper form, saving you money typically lost on unused assessments.
Improve data integrity
When participants enter their own data, it reduces the time needed for data entry and reduces the possibility of data entry errors. PARiConnect offers settings to prevent skipping questions, so you can reduce the risk of missing data. Furthermore, you can review completion time to be sure your participants put forth appropriate effort. This can reduce the amount of time and energy needed to enter and check data, freeing up your financial and physical resources for other tasks.
Integrate efficiently with your work
The PARiConnect system allows you to download item-level assessment data to a CSV excel spreadsheet that is formatted to integrate with statistics software such as SPSS for ease of data processing and analyzation.
Let PARiConnect help you increase your geographic reach, expand your subject numbers, reduce attrition, lower assessment and travel costs, and decrease the burden of data collection.
Learn more about PARiConnect today!
Need assistance selecting assessments for your research? Learn more about all the ways PAR can help! Check out this video on using PAR assessments in research settings.
Learn more about PAR’s training and research discounts!
Did you know PAR offers training and research discounts to qualified customers? As we look toward the upcoming school year, we want to remind professors and educators about some of the programs we offer when you use PAR-published products in your courses and research studies.
Educational Training Discount
This 40% discount is offered for professors and educators engaged in training in college and university courses that are using PAR products. These courses should be for graduate students who are learning to use assessment products. Instructors must apply for the discount each year using this form.
University Partnership Program (UPP)
As an extension of our Educational Training Discount program, we offer additional benefits to our professors who join our UPP program. UPP members can look to PAR for dedicated assistance to help you decide which tests fit best into your syllabus. In addition to concierge service, UPP members are offered benefits such as free test kits when adopting a new PAR product in your training course and free uses of PARiConnect for students. Instructors interested in joining the PAR UPP program can complete the Educational Training Discount Form and email it to email@example.com to inquire about additional benefits.
Clinical Training Discount
This 20% discount is reserved for organizations involved in internships, clinical practicum, and post-doctoral programs, usually involving training outside of the university setting. The trainer must submit a form as well as a formal letter on letterhead providing information about their program and the number of students enrolled yearly.
Graduate Student Research Discount
This 40% discount is designed for graduate students using PAR products in their master’s thesis or dissertation research. Students would need to send in their completed form with their supervisor’s signature. The student or the university can pay for the materials, but the form must accompany the order.
Research Support Discount
This program is available to professors and researchers who use PAR products in their research studies. This 40% discount is available on PAR proprietary products and applies to both digital and print products. Contact Customer Support to inquire about the application guidelines. Questions about what program works best for you? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help you find the right program for your needs!
Questions about which program works best for you? Send an email to email@example.com.
After a traumatic event, it is common for individuals to experience stress reactions. However, when symptoms exist for longer than a few months, a person may be experiencing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to recent research, about 6 out of every 100 people (or 6% of the U.S. population) will have PTSD at some point in their lives.
June 27 has been named PTSD Awareness Day to help more people understand the scope and impact of this disorder and to provide those affected with paths to healing.
What is PTSD?
PTSD is a mental health condition that individuals may develop after experiencing or witnessing traumatic events. Although often associated with combat veterans, PTSD can impact any person of any age after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event.
Individuals with PTSD may experience nightmares or unwanted memories of the trauma, avoidance of situations that bring back memories of the trauma, heightened reactions, anxiety, or depressed mood that impact their ability to perform in their social life, work life, or other important activities.
PTSD is associated with a range of physical and psychological symptoms. In addition to the core symptoms of intrusive memories, avoidance, negative thoughts and mood, and increased arousal, individuals with PTSD may also experience difficulties with sleep, concentration, and interpersonal relationships.
Effective treatments are available for PTSD, with evidence-based therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) shown to be beneficial in reducing symptoms and improving overall functioning.
Prevalence of PTSD
PTSD can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or background. It commonly occurs in individuals who have experienced or witnessed events such as military combat, sexual assault, natural disasters, accidents, or serious injuries. PTSD is slightly more common among veterans than civilians. Furthermore, women are more likely to develop PTSD than men—in part due to the types of traumatic events women are more likely to experience.
Although PTSD first appeared in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1980, PTSD Awareness Day was not established until 2010. June 27 was selected in recognition of the birthday of Staff Sergeant Joe Biel, a National Guard service member who experienced PTSD after two tours in Iraq. Biel died by suicide in 2007. In 2014, the U.S. government decided the entire month of June should be recognized as PTSD Awareness Month.=
It is important to share resources and research about PTSD and its treatment. Here are a few places to turn to learn more:
Everyone can all help spread the word to raise PTSD awareness. Individuals, families, behavioral and mental health providers, and communities all play a vital role in addressing the needs of trauma survivors and individuals who are living with PTSD.
PAR offers several instruments and tools to help you help people with PTSD, including the TSI-2, TSCC, TSCYC, DAPS, and PSS.
This week’s blog was contributed by Erika Thompson, PAR’s managing production editor. It is the third part in a series on writing. Catch up on parts one and two.
As a mental health practitioner, you are required to write throughout your career. One way you can streamline your writing is by using a style guide. At PAR, the house style we use for all our publications is based on American Psychological Association (APA) Style. Via the PAR Blog, we’re providing some useful information about facets of APA Style that will help you tackle research, write better reports, and communicate more effectively with colleagues.
This week, we’re covering some questions our editors frequently get asked about APA Style.
I can never remember the rule about numbers! When should they be numerals and when are we supposed to use words?
The general rule is to use numerals for numbers 10 and above and words for numbers zero through nine. However, there are exceptions. Ages, dates, and time should be expressed in numerals, even if they’re below 10: 3-year period, ages 18–25 years, 3:45 a.m. The same goes for numbers representing mathematical or statistical information: 5%, 0.45 of the sample, the 9th percentile. Any number that starts a sentence should be expressed in words, even if it’s 10 or above: “Seventy-six students took the test.”
A hyphen and a dash are the same thing, right?
Nope! The hyphen and the two dashes (en-dash and em-dash) look different from one another and have different uses.
A hyphen is used to divide or link words and letters to form another word. Writers are sometimes confused about whether to use a hyphen to link prefixes and suffixes to root words—for example, “nonsignificant” versus “non-significant.” In general, APA style dictates that most prefixes and suffixes do not require hyphens, so “nonsignificant” is standard. Hyphens are also used to indicate negative values (with a space before it but not after it; e.g., -4).
En-dashes are longer than hyphens. They’re used in text and tables to separate ranges of values, including those for age ranges and page numbers (including in reference lists; e.g., “See pages 3–4.”). En-dashes are also used instead of hyphens between words of equal weight in a compound adjective (e.g., “test–retest”).
Em-dashes are the longest dashes. They’re used to set off an element added to extend or to digress from the main clause (e.g., “I spoke to him at length—at least 45 minutes—about this topic.”). They do not have to be used in pairs (e.g., “It was a chilly day—downright freezing, really.”).
Here’s a handy hint: You can type an en-dash on a PC by holding down the Alt button and then hitting the numbers 0, 1, 5, and 0 in sequence, and you can type an em-dash by holding down the Alt button and then hitting the numbers 0, 1, 5, and 1 in sequence. (Wondering about the minus sign? It’s actually a special character in Word—it’s not the same as an en-dash, a hyphen, or any other symbol.)
What’s the best way to report “partial ages”?
I’ve seen it done a few different ways. In the testing field, it’s standard to present partial ages. Though some publications use commas, at PAR we find them to be confusing. So, we use colons instead—for example, “11:6” means 11 years, 6 months. When presenting a range of partial ages, it’s best to use “to” between them, to avoid any confusion (e.g., “11:6 to 11:11”).
Can someone explain what a dangling modifier is? I know I learned this in high school…
Modifiers seem complicated, but they’re actually simple. Modifiers are adjectives or adverbs (in the form of words, phrases, or clauses) that describe or limit nouns and verbs in the sentence. They must be placed directly before or after the word they are modifying—if not, the result is a misplaced modifier. For example, in “Riley only told Jade and Colin about the surprise,” the placement of “only” indicates that the only activity Riley did was tell Jade and Colin about the surprise, but the intention is to express that Jade and Colin were the only people Riley told. The sentence should be recast as: “Riley told only Jade and Colin about the surprise.”
If the word the modifier is intended to modify doesn’t appear in the sentence at all, the result is a dangling modifier. For example, in “Using a saw, the wood can be cut easily,” the modifier “using a saw” is connected to the subject, “the wood.” However, readers know that wood doesn’t use a saw—people do. The sentence should be recast to include a logical subject: “Using a saw, I can cut the wood easily.”
What’s the most common error you come across?
Some of the most common errors we see in writing can be categorized as parallelism errors. “Parallelism—the matching of sentence parts for logical balance, especially by using grammatically coordinate structures—helps satisfy every reader’s innate craving for order and rhythm” (Garner, 2022, p. 801). This comes up frequently in lists—both bulleted and in sentences.
In a bulleted list, begin each entry with the same part of speech and, as much as possible, retain a similar sentence/phrasing structure. For example, use a verb to begin each entry:
Steps to improve morale
In sentences with lists, each entry should be the same part of speech (e.g., “The test is reliable, comprehensive, and easy to administer” [all adjectives]). One very common mistake is the improper insertion of a sole second verb in a listing sentence: “The test is reliable, comprehensive, and takes only 30 minutes to administer.” The verb must apply to all entries, or each entry should have its own verb. There are many ways to fix this…
Do you have a style or grammar question you’d like us to answer? Email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested in partnering with PAR for research or publishing? Visit our Partner with PAR page to learn more.
American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). https://doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000
Garner, B. A. (2022). Garner’s modern English usage (5th ed.). Oxford. https://www.oxfordreference.com/display/10.1093/acref/9780197599020.001.0001/acref-9780197599020
This week’s blog was contributed by Erika Thompson, PAR’s managing production editor. It is the second in a series on writing. Catch up on the first part here.
This week, we’re covering how to cite sources properly. According to APA (2020): “Scientific knowledge represents the accomplishments of many researchers over time. A critical part of writing in APA Style is helping readers place your contribution in context by citing the researchers who influenced you” (p. 253). In other words, citing helps readers better understand what led to your conclusions. It also prevents you from accidentally plagiarizing someone else’s work. It’s important to cite both ideas, which may be paraphrased from someone else’s work, and direct quotes.
Two elements are needed to cite properly: a short mention of the author and date of publication, or in-text citation, which appears within the text at the appropriate and relevant place; and a reference list entry, which expands on the citation by including the title, the source, and sometimes a link to locate the work.
In-text citations can be narrative or parenthetical. In a narrative citation, the author and date are mentioned as part of the running text: “In 2010, Costa and McCrae published new normative data on the NEO.” In a parenthetical citation, the author and date are mentioned in parentheses: “New normative data on the NEO are also available (Costa & McCrae, 2010).”
Reference list entries vary in format based on the type of publication, but generally the author is mentioned first, with the date of publication, title, and source following. Use a 0.5-in. hanging indent to format each entry—that is, indent the second and any subsequent lines.
In some instances, it may be hard to figure out which reference entry format to use. The most recent edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association provided much-needed guidance on how to cite a test and how to cite a variety of different websites:
Feifer, S. G., & Clark, H. K. (2016). Feifer Assessment of Mathematics (FAM): Professional manual. PAR.
(Note that the “supporting literature” [i.e., the manual; APA, 2020, p. 340] is cited versus the test itself, the title of the test is capitalized and italicized, and the publisher location is not mentioned.)
Online magazine or newspaper article
Bourke, J., & Titus, A. (2019, March 29). Why inclusive leaders are good for organizations, and how to become one. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2019/03/why-inclusive-leadersare-good-for-organizations-and-how-to-become-one
Gupta, G. (2016, September 4). Empowering leadership. People Matters. https://www.peoplematters.in/blog/leadership/empowering-leadership-14014
(Note that established newspaper and magazine titles are italicized, whereas for websites that don’t have a publication associated with it, the title of the article is italicized.)
A recent APA blog post explained how to cite ChatGPT. Because the results of the chat cannot be retrieved by others, communications are considered to be the output of the ChatGPT algorithm, and OpenAI is considered to be the “author” of the algorithm. Thus, each communication should be explained very clearly in text and cited as such:
OpenAI. (2023). ChatGPT (Mar 14 version) [Large language model]. https://chat.openai.com/chat The in-text citation is (OpenAI, 2023).
The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association covers many, many more types of sources, including journal articles, books, audiovisual media, and social posts.
Curious about how we keep track of references to our products? Check out our white paper on Zotero, which includes links to product-specific, continually updated, easy-to-access bibliographies.
McAdoo, T. (2023, April 7). How to cite ChatGPT. APA Style. https://apastyle.apa.org/blog/how-to-cite-chatgpt