This month, PAR was honored to be named as a recipient of the “Spirit of Tampa Bay” award from United Way’s Suncoast Chapter. United Way explains that the award is their way of recognizing companies that go “above and beyond” in organizing and energizing fundraising, volunteerism, and community engagement at their workplaces.

Cathy Smith, PAR’s Vice President of Community Relations, was thrilled to accept the award at a special half-time ceremony during a recent Tampa Bay Lightning game. For this honor, however, she credits PAR employees for their commitment and enthusiasm for helping others.

“From our beginning more than 35 years ago, PAR’s mission has included giving back to the community,” Cathy explains. Helping children and families in Tampa Bay is a special priority, and PAR employees have participated in a wide range of United Way Suncoast programs that support literacy, mental health, nutrition, and much more. “Staff participation was always strong,” says Cathy, “but about 15 years ago, we reached the milestone of 100% employee participation—and we’ve maintained that every year since.”

Each year, a large contingent from PAR participates in United Way’s annual Day of Caring, which brings together volunteer teams to tackle various projects that most agencies could never undertake on their own. Last fall, PAR staff helped organize supplies and donations at the Family Resource Center, a wonderful organization that helped more than 11,000 low-income and at-risk families in Hillsborough County last year.

United Way Pledge Week is one of the most fun weeks of the year at PAR. The week includes a series of games (with treats and prizes), from the hotly contested annual Scrabble competition to a ride-like-there’s-no-tomorrow tricycle race through our Distribution Center! The culmination of the week is a luncheon featuring speakers from local organizations who have benefited from PAR’s support through United Way—a wonderful way to end pledge week on a high note.

To learn more about PAR’s ongoing commitment to United Way and to other community service projects, visit our Community PARtners Web page.
PAR is pleased to announce the release of two new tests of intelligence and reasoning ability by Cecil R. Reynolds, PhD — the Reynolds Adaptable Intelligence Test™ (RAIT™) and the Test of General Reasoning Ability™ (TOGRA™).

The RAIT is a rapid, reliable, and valid intelligence test designed for group or individual administration.

  • Composed of seven subtests that assess crystallized intelligence, fluid intelligence, and quantitative aptitude or intelligence.

  • Designed to provide continuity of measurement across a wide age span.

  • Can be used to help users determine a child's educational placement and diagnose various forms of childhood psychopathology; as a measure of intelligence in general clinical and neuropsychological evaluations; as part of evaluations for the diagnosis of specific disorders; in disability determinations under various state and federal programs; and as a measure of aptitude in human resources/employment settings.


Composed of items from the RAIT, the TOGRA is a speeded measure of reasoning ability and problem-solving skills.

  • Offers a wider variety of item content and greater test score stability than competing measures.

  • Requires only 16 minutes for administration and 2-3 minutes for scoring.

  • Appropriate in many settings whenever a speeded measure of reasoning ability and problem solving under pressure is considered useful, including in the evaluation of students for giftedness, athletes, managerial and executive-level staff, and public safety officer candidates.

  • Two equivalent alternate forms (Blue and Green) enable users to retest and monitor progress without concern for practice effects.

Beyond the technical requirements of the job, what are the workplace personality traits that lead to success in a specific work environment? Understanding the personality traits needed for a particular job or workplace can be the key to a good career choice—a match that works for both employee and employer.

The new Working Styles Assessment™ (WSA™) from PAR is a measure of work-related personality traits such as initiative, persistence, concern for others, self-control, conscientiousness, and analytical thinking. By measuring these traits, career counselors can help their clients find jobs they love—and employers can find workers who have what it takes for success on the job.

The WSA is the only workplace personality assessment that uses the current Occupational Information Network (O*NET) terminology, which means that the personality traits measured by the WSA can be compared to the traits associated with hundreds of current occupations listed in the O*NET database.

The WSA helps create a win-win situation for job seekers and employers:

  • Career counselors can help their clients use the WSA to identify their own strengths and explore the career options that are most likely to be a good fit.

  • HR professionals can decide which traits are most important for a given job and then use the WSA to identify candidates who have those traits.

  • Job seekers can look up interesting jobs on the O*NET and compare the working styles required by those jobs to their own working styles.


The WSA is a useful complement to the recently released 5th Edition of the Self-Directed Search® (SDS®), John Holland’s gold standard career interest inventory. The WSA will also soon be available on PARiConnect, PAR’s online assessment platform.

To learn more about the WSA and other career products from PAR, visit www.parinc.com or call Customer Support at 1.800.331.8378.
A picture may be worth 1,000 words, but sometimes a Webinar is better. Join us on Wednesday, February 26th at 12 PM EST for Introduction to the Vocabulary Assessment Scales, a one-hour Webinar presented by Senior Clinical Assessment Consultant Julie Alexander, PhD, NCSP. Delve into the details about this innovative new measure and learn how the Vocabulary Assessment Scales−Expressive (VAS−E) and Vocabulary Assessment Scales−Receptive (VAS−R) can help you measure vocabulary throughout the lifespan using full-color photographs. Realistic photographs are easily discernible and more ecologically valid than line drawings—giving your students and clients every opportunity to show you what they know.

Register now for this insightful Webinar. Space is limited!

Unable to attend the Webinar, but interested in learning more about the VAS−E and VAS−R? Watch an interview with author Rebecca Gerhardstein Nader, PhD.
Get ready, Washington, DC! PAR staff have arrived in our nation’s capital for the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Annual Convention. If you are attending NASP, be sure to stop by the PAR booth to learn about some of our new products, including the Working Styles Assessment™ (WSA™) and the Self-Directed Search®, 5th Edition.

Cecil R. Reynolds, PhD, author of the Reynolds Adaptable Intelligence Test™ (RAIT™) and the Test of General Reasoning Ability™ (TOGRA™) will be presenting tomorrow, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:20 a.m. His session, titled “Two New Adaptable Reliable Intelligence Measures for Busy Practitioners,” will cover the development, application, and research involved in creating these two new assessments.
If you will be attending the International Neuropsychological Society’s 42nd Annual Meeting in Seattle this week, make sure to stop by the PAR booth. We will be exhibiting in the Metropolitan Ballroom on the third floor of the Sheraton Seattle Hotel. Meet PAR staff, place your orders, and learn about our new products. Remember, you’ll receive 15% off all orders placed during the conference plus free domestic shipping and handling. We look forward to seeing you!
A recent study of 648 older adults in India suggests that those who were bilingual developed dementia more than four years later, on average, than those who spoke only one language—regardless of educational level.

Published recently in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), the study found that speaking two languages seems to have a protective effect against three types of dementia: Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, and vascular dementia.

“Speaking more than one language is thought to lead to better development of the areas of the brain that handle executive functions and attention tasks, which may help protect from the onset of dementia,” said study author Suvarna Alladi, DM, with Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences in Hyderabad, India, in a press release from the AAN.

The study subjects, all of whom were diagnosed with dementia, had an average age of 66. Approximately half spoke two or more languages; 14 percent were illiterate.

“These results offer strong evidence for the protective effect of bilingualism against dementia in a population very different from those studied so far in terms of its ethnicity, culture and patterns of language use,” Alladi said.

To learn more or to read the full article online, visit the Neurology Web site.
Despite a downward trend in the number of Americans who smoke, individuals with mental illness are still as likely to smoke today as they were in 2004, according to data from the federal Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. The study looked at the time period of 2004 to 2011, when smoking rates in the general population fell 14%, though the rate of smokers with mental illness remained unchanged.

In 2011, about 25% of individuals with mental illnesses reported being smokers, while only about 16.5% of the general population reported smoking.

Individuals with mental illnesses who were undergoing treatment, however, showed greater quit rates than those who were not receiving treatment (37% versus 33%).

The full report appears in the January 8 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Can’t stop checking your e-mail? Feel phantom vibrations even when your phone isn’t in your pocket? You aren’t alone. Occupational psychologist Emma Russell has released new research that indicates workers obsessed with checking e-mail may actually be damaging their mental health.

Dr. Russell, of London’s Kingston University, analyzed the e-mail of employees across many different types of companies to see which habits had positive or negative influences on their work lives. Many of the habits were thought to be positive traits by the employees, yet had negative effects, as well.

“This research reminds us that even though we think we are using strategies for dealing with our e-mail at work, many of them can be detrimental to other goals and the people we work with,” said Dr. Russell, who presented her Seven Deadly E-mail Sins at the British Psychological Society’s Annual Conference. According to Dr. Russell, the Seven Deadly E-mail Sins, when used in moderation, are fine, but can have a negative impact if they are not handled correctly. For example, while workers may check e-mail outside of business hours to stay on top of work, it may also mean they have trouble switching between work and home life. While responding immediately to e-mails may show concern and interest, it may take the sender away from other tasks needing concentration.

The seven sins include: ping pong (constant e-mails back and forth, creating long chains), e-mailing outside of work hours, e-mailing around others, ignoring e-mails, requesting read receipts, responding immediately to an e-mail alert, and sending automated replies.

Among PAR’s newest and most innovative products, the Vocabulary Assessment Scales (VAS) present highly realistic, full-color digital photographs to measure the breadth of an individual’s vocabulary and oral language development. This complementary pair of assessments measure both expressive (VAS-E) and receptive (VAS-R) vocabulary.  Norm-referenced and designed for simple administration and scoring, the VAS-E and VAS-R can be used individually or in combination throughout an individual’s life span.


Click the video link above to view a short interview with VAS author Rebecca Gerhardstein-Nader, PhD, and learn more about the features and benefits of this exciting new product!

https://vimeo.com/82204714

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