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.
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American Psychological Association. (May 2023). 2023 Work in America Survey.
U.S. Surgeon General’s Framework for Workplace Mental Health & Well-Being. (2022).