Are you attending APA 2011? Many PAR authors will be presenting during the convention. The following are just a sample of the engaging workshops, sessions, and symposia presented by PAR authors:

Lisa A. Firestone, PhD, will be presenting two CE workshops during APA 2011, “Assessing and Treating Violent Individuals” on Friday, August 5 at 8 a.m. and “Overcoming the Fear of Intimacy” on Saturday, August 6 at 8 a.m. Dr. Firestone is coauthor of the Firestone Assessment of Violent Thoughts™ (FAVT™),  the Firestone Assessment of Violent Thoughts-Adolescent (FAVT-A), and the Firestone Assessment of Self-Destructive Thoughts and Firestone Assessment of Suicide Intent (FAST-FASI).

Cecil R. Reynolds, PhD, will be giving an invited address during the Contemporary and Future Directions in School Psychology session on Friday, August 5 at 4 p.m. He will also be participating in a symposium on Saturday, August 6, at 2 p.m., titled “Using Psychology to Improve the Climate for Teaching in K-12 Schools.” Dr. Reynolds is the coauthor of the Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales™ (RIAS™), the Reynolds Intellectual Screening Test™ (RIST™), the School Motivation and Learning Strategies Inventory (SMALSI), the Test of Irregular Word Reading Efficiency™ (TIWRE™), and the Revised Children's Manifest Anxiety Scales: 2nd Ed. (RCMAS-2).

John Briere, PhD, will be participating in two symposia: “Traumatic Dissociation--- Neurobiological, Assessment, and Clinical Implications—I” on Thursday, August 4, at 3 p.m. and “Traumatic Dissociation--- Neurobiological, Assessment, and Treatment Implications—II” on Friday, August 5, at 5 p.m. Dr. Briere is author of the Trauma Symptom Inventory™-2 (TSI™-2) , the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Young Children™ (TSCYC™) , the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children™ (TSCC™) , the Inventory of Altered Self-Capacities™ (IASC™) , the Detailed Assessment of Posttraumatic Stress™ (DAPS™) , and the Cognitive Distortion Scales™ (CDS™) .

Richard R. Abidin, PhD, will be participating in a symposium titled “Updates of Evidence-Based Assessment--Family Measures,” which will be held Friday, August 5, at 10 a.m. Dr. Abidin is the author of the Early Childhood Parenting Skills (ECPS), the Index of Teaching Stress™ (ITS™), the Parenting Alliance Measure™ (PAM™), the Parenting Stress Index, 3rd Edition (PSI), and the Stress Index for Parents of Adolescents™ (SIPA™).

Charles D. Spielberger, PhD, author of the State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory-2™ (STAXI-2™), will be chairing a symposium on Friday, August 5, titled “The APF Spielberger EMPathy Symposium.”

Richard Rogers, PhD, ABPP, will be presenting an invited address, “Know Your Miranda Rights? Myths, Mistakes, and Meta-Ignorance,” during the 2011 Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research in Public Policy session, on Friday, August 5, at 1 p.m. Dr. Rogers is the author of Structured Interview of Reported Symptoms, 2nd Edition (SIRS-2), the Rogers Criminal Responsibility Assessment Scales (R-CRAS), and the Evaluation of Competency to Stand Trial™ -Revised (ECST™-R).

See these PAR authors and many more during APA 2011. Make sure to stop by the PAR booth to see our new products, meet PAR staff, and place your orders. Don’t forget – you’ll receive 15% off all orders placed during the conference plus free shipping and handling! See you in Washington, DC!
Recently, we asked PAR authors to send us their favorite recipes for a series of blogs. The first three are presented here.

“I’ve been eating this potato salad ever since I can remember. My dad, Dr. Ira Cohen, always made it for summer barbecues, picnics, and even my birthday parties in August. I became a professional chef about 8 years ago, but I’ve still never tasted a better homestyle potato salad recipe. Recently, I turned this recipe into an appetizer for a party that my company Gastronaut catered by hollowing-out steamed baby new potatoes and stuffing them with this salad. Making it finger food was probably the only way I could improve on my dad’s classic recipe. As with most family recipes, it should be seasoned to taste (and checked by my dad!), so feel free to play with the quantities, especially the vinegar and mayo. It should be well-coated and pretty soft. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does!”

—Mirit Cohen

CEO, Gastronaut


Ira Cohen’s Potato Salad

5 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes

3 large eggs, hard-boiled (To hard boil, bring eggs immersed in cold water to a boil, cover, turn off heat, and let sit for 6 minutes. Drain and plunge into an ice bath to cool.)

1 large or 2 medium-small yellow onions

2 large carrots

2 stalks celery

1½-2 cups mayonnaise

½ cup white vinegar

1 tbsp. dried oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Mix mayonnaise, white vinegar, salt, pepper, and oregano in large mixing bowl.

  2. Bring whole potatoes in their skins to a low boil and cook until tender. Drain, run under cold water, and peel—the skins should come right off.

  3. Dice potatoes into 1-2” chunks and add to large mixing bowl.

  4. Using the shredder attachment of your stand mixer, shred carrots and yellow onion, retaining the juice from the onion. Add to bowl of potatoes.

  5. Finely dice celery into ¼” cubes and add to bowl.

  6. Grate the hard-boiled eggs on a box grater or slice both ways in an egg slicer and add to bowl.

  7. Mix all ingredients together with the oregano. Adjust to your taste with more salt, pepper, vinegar, and/or mayo.

  8. Enjoy! It’s always a hit when my dad makes it.

Dr. Cohen is the author/coauthor of the PDD Behavior Inventory™ (PDDBI™) and the PDD Behavior Inventory™ Screening Version (PDDBI™-SV).

“I have too many favorite recipes to list, but here are three simple ones—one for each meal. All are very tasty and time-tested.”

—Bruce Bracken, PhD

Breakfast: Bruce’s Favorite Omelet

Dice equal proportions of flavorful ham, sweet onion (e.g., Vidalia), fresh broccoli spears, and mushrooms and sauté in butter until onions are translucent. Season mix with freshly ground pepper, salt, and, most importantly, yellow curry. Set mix aside. Pour three well-beaten eggs into buttered omelet pan and cover. Heat should be set to medium-low so the egg does not burn or dry out. When egg is firm, spoon curried vegetable and ham mix over half of the omelet, top with grated mozzarella cheese, and fold the remaining half over. Turn off the burner, recover pan, and let omelet set until cheese melts. Serve hot.

Lunch: Stuffed Avocado

Cut a ripe avocado in half, remove seed, and fill cavity with one of the following fillings:

  • Soy sauce blended with wasabi

  • Bruschetta

  • Roasted tomato chipotle roja

  • Soy sauce blended with anchovy paste

Dinner: Scallops and Spinach

Six pieces of applewood smoked bacon

2 lbs. scallops

2 large bags of fresh baby spinach

Parmesan cheese

  1. Fry six pieces of bacon until crisp; set aside and pour off excess grease. When cool, crumble the bacon.

  2. Dredge scallops in sugar and fry until lightly brown on both sides.

  3. Simultaneously, steam the spinach. Place spinach (well-drained) on plate and top with scallops.

  4. Sprinkle dish with parmesan cheese and crumbled bacon.

Dr. Bracken is the author/coauthor of the Clinical Assessment of Behavior™ (CAB™), the Clinical Assessment of Depression™ (CAD™), the Clinical Assessment of Attention Deficit–Adult™ (CAT-A™), the Clinical Assessment of Attention Deficit–Child™ (CAT-C™), and the Clinical Assessment of Interpersonal Relations™ (CAIR™).

“The following recipe is best served with basmati rice, whole cranberry sauce, and chilled Chardonnay.”

—Jeff McCrae, PhD

Creamed Chicken Dijon

2 cups chicken stock

1 split bone-in chicken breast

1 rib celery, chopped

4 sprigs thyme (or ¼ tsp. dry)

1 bay leaf

4 cloves

1 bunch Swiss chard (or spinach), ribs removed, coarsely chopped

3 tbsp. butter

3 tbsp. flour

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

Salt and white pepper to taste

  1. Bring stock, chicken, celery, thyme, bay leaf, and cloves to a boil, then simmer just until the chicken is cooked—about 25 minutes. (Turn the breast after 15 minutes if the stock does not cover it.)

  2. Remove chicken, strain stock, and return to the heat; reduce to 1 cup liquid.

  3. Steam the chard for 5-8 minutes. Salt lightly.

  4. In another pan, melt the butter and add the flour to make a roux; add the reduced stock and whisk until thickened. Simmer for five minutes. Add the mustard, then add salt and pepper to taste.

  5. Bone the chicken and dice the meat; add to the sauce for a few minutes to reheat.

  6. Serve over the steamed chard. Serves two.

Dr. McCrae is the coauthor of the NEO™ family of products.
PAR is pleased to announce the release of the Social Emotional Assets and Resilience Scales™ (SEARS) by Kenneth W. Merrell, PhD, and the Social Emotional Assets and Resilience Scales™ Scoring Program (SEARS-SP) by Kenneth W. Merrell, PhD and PAR Staff.

The SEARS is a cross-informant system for assess¬ing the social-emotional competencies of children and adolescents from multiple perspectives. Closely tied to the ideas associated with the positive psychology movement, the SEARS focuses on a child’s assets and strengths.

The SEARS system offers separate long and short forms for children, adolescents, teachers, and parents. The forms may be used for any combination of student, parent, and teacher assessment. All forms measure common constructs (e.g., self-regulation, responsibility, social competence, empathy), and also include items designed to capture the unique perspective of the rater.

Click here for more information on the SEARS and SEARS-SP.

PAR author Ira L. Cohen, PhD, will be presenting at the 15th European Conference on Developmental Psychology in Bergen, Norway. The conference is being held from August 23-27, 2011.

Dr. Cohen’s will be presenting a poster titled, “Arousal-Modulated Fixation on Flashing Light Patterns in At-Risk Four-Month-Old Infants is Associated with Autism Severity Scores in Childhood.”

Dr. Cohen is the author of the PDD Behavior Inventory™ (PDDBI™) and the PDD Behavior Inventory™−Screening Version (PDDBI™-SV).

For more information about the 15th European Conference on Developmental Psychology, click here.
Last October—during National School Lunch Week—the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced it was giving $2 million to scientists to research ways to use psychology to improve how children and adolescents eat at school. As part of the package, a new center—the Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs at Cornell University—was established, and 14 other research projects in 11 states were also given funding.

Based on “behavioral economics,” the theory behind the initiative states that there are subtle ways to trick kids into making healthier choices in the lunch line.

For years, researchers have noted that small changes in a cafeteria line make big differences. A 2005 study published in Food Quality and Preference[1] discovered that changing generic names of foods to more descriptive ones (e.g., “Seafood Filet” to “Succulent Italian Seafood Filet”) increased positive feedback about the food. (Never mind that the phrase “seafood filet” is vague enough to make you wonder what you’re really eating.) The study was conducted in restaurants, but the concept can easily be adapted to a younger crowd: “Broccoli” becomes “Bangin’ Broccoli;” “Carrots” becomes “Caliente Carrots.” Similar research[2] was performed on U.S. Army soldiers, with results suggesting that, when it comes to taste, our brains can be easily fooled by labels.

Additional research has proven or suggested that:

  • Manipulating food prices (e.g., taxing sales of junk food) is generally not effective at improving Americans’ diets.[3]

  • The likelihood that children will choose healthier foods decreases as the number of tempting but less healthy options increases.3

  • Giving individuals the option to preselect healthy foods may improve well-being.3

  • Lighting, odor, and temperature can affect consumption.2,[4]

  • Displaying healthier options more prominently in the school lunch line can increase the salience of those foods; conversely, placing unhealthy foods in dimly lit, hidden, or hard-to-reach areas may decrease their salience.3

The researchers at Cornell, headed by David Just and Brian Wansink, have established a Web site ( that updates visitors about how the initiative is going. Visit the site and let us know: Do you think these using psychology-based ideas will have the intended result? Does our subconscious really play that large a role in our decision making? What do your kids like to eat at lunchtime?

[1]Wansink, B., van Ittersum, K., & Painter, J. E. (2005). How descriptive food names bias sensory perceptions in restaurants. Food Quality and Preference, 16, 393-400.

[2]Wansink, B. (2007). Mindless eating: Why we eat more than we think. New York, NY: Bantam Dell.

[3]Just, D. R., Mancino, L., & Wansink. B. (2007). Could behavioral economics help improve diet quality for nutrition assistance program participants? Economic research report no. 43. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture.

[4]Wansink, B. (2004). Environmental factors that increase the food intake and consumption volume of unknowing consumers. Annual Review of Nutrition, 24, 455-479.