Developed Specifically for Welfare-Recipient Screening
The Self-Assessment Index
differs from other tests, in that it was designed, specifically, for
welfare-to-work recipient screening. What other test measures cloaked issues,
like recipients' truthfulness, substance (alcohol and other drugs) use,
barriers to employment, and recipients' abilities to handle stress? The Self-Assessment Index
has, empirically, demonstrated reliability, validity, and accuracy. And, the
Self-Assessment Index is affordable.
The Self-Assessment Index is designed to screen welfare recipients applying for welfare-to-work
programs. The Self-Assessment has 103 items and takes 30 minutes to complete.
Automated (computer-scored) reports are available on-site, within two
minutes of data entry. The Self-Assessment has five (5) measures (scales):
1. Truthfulness Scale,
2. Alcohol Scale,
3. Drug Scale,
4. Work Index Scale, and
Coping Abilities Scale. The Self-Assessment measures recipient truthfulness,
quantifies substance (alcohol and other drugs) use or abuse, evaluates
work attitudes, and assesses stress coping abilities. The Self-Assessment Index is much more
than just another alcohol or drug test.
** Self-Assessment Index **
Assessment of welfare recipients in welfare-to-work programs
Screening people in job training programs
Job placement programs' applicant screening
Five (5) Scales (Measures)
The five Self-Assessment Index scales are described as follows:
1. Truthfulness Scale: Measures how truthful the client (welfare
recipient will be used throughout this manual) was while completing the Self-Assessment.
It identifies denial, guardedness, minimization, and faking. It identifies
attempts to fake good.
2. Alcohol Scale: Measures the severity of alcohol use or abuse. Alcohol
refers to beer, wine, and other liquor.
Drug Scale: Measures the "other drugs" use and abuse. Drugs
refer to marijuana, crack, ice, cocaine, amphetamines, barbiturates, and heroin.
This scale measures the severity of illicit drug use or abuse.
4. Work Index Scale: Measures attitude and motivational factors that
influence welfare recipients' work-related attitudes and behavior.
Stress Coping Abilities Scale:
Measures how effectively the welfare
recipient handles stress. Aside from alcohol and drugs, a common relapse trigger is
stress -- or more specifically, how the individual copes with stress (anxiety and pressure).
Many of these factors (expense, transportation, family support, child care responsibilities, etc.)
are subtle, but important barriers to job training and employment. Other
factors are more visible (substance abuse and stress coping) and equally important.
The Self-Assessment Index assesses attitudes and behaviors, yielding a welfare recipient profile. The Self-Assessment was
developed, specifically, for welfare-to-work evaluation. The Self-Assessment is much more than
just another alcohol or drug test; consequently, it measures important
attitudes/behaviors missed by other tests. It is brief (103 items), yet
effective, when screening barriers to employment.
* * * * *
Why use the Self-Assessment Index?
Early detection of
welfare recipients' barriers to employment, facilitates quicker
intervention, which increases the probability of successful employment.
This type of information can, also, help in selecting job skill training objectives.
At one sitting, of approximately 15 to 20 minutes' duration, (testing time) staff can acquire a
vast amount of welfare recipient information, which facilitates timely intervention and
improves job placement success.
Advantages of Screening. Assessment
or screening instruments (tests) filter out individuals with serious
problems that represent barriers to employment. Serious or severe problems
may warrant referral for intervention (e.g., AA, NA or CA meetings, or
stress management groups) or treatment (e.g., counseling). This filtering
system works, as follows:
Self-Assessment Index RISK RANGES
Risk Range Percentile
Reference to the above table shows
that a problem is not identified until a scale score is at, or above the 70th
percentile. These risk range percentiles are based upon the Self-Assessment's
expanding database. This procedure is fair and avoids extremes, i.e.,
over-identification or under-identification of problems.
A department or agency's policy might refer clients, with "severe"
problem, (11%) for further
evaluation, intervention, or treatment services. In this case, eleven
percent (11%) of the people screened (Severe Problem, 90th to 100th
percentile score) would be referred.
Or, contingent upon staff adopted policy, people with problems and severe problems might be
referred. In this case, thirty-one percent (31%) of the people screened (Problem Risk and Severe
Problem) would be referred.
In these examples, 89% or 69% (contingent upon adopted policy) of the people screened would not be
referred for additional (and expensive) services. Budgetary savings
(dollars) would be large, with no compromises in clients receiving
appropriate evaluation and/or treatment services. Indeed, more welfare
recipients would receive needed help. Without a screening program, there
is usually more risk of over, or under-utilization of additional, professional services.
Test Booklets. Self-Assessment Index test booklets are
provided free. These booklets contain 103 items (true/false and multiple
choice) and are written at a 5th to low, 6th grade,
reading level. If a person can read the newspaper, they can read the Self-Assessment Index.
Reports.In brief, Self-Assessment Index reports
summarize the welfare recipient's self-report history, explain what
attained scale scores mean, and offer score-related recommendations.
Within two (2) minutes of test data
entry, automated (computer-scored) 3-page, reports are printed on-site.
These reports summarize a lot of information in an easily understood
format. For example, reports include a Self-Assessment Index profile (graph), which
summarizes scale scores, at a glance. Also included are attained scale
scores, an explanation of what each score means, and specific, score-related
recommendations. In addition, significant items (direct admissions) are
highlighted, and answers to multiple choice questions (last sequence of
questions) are presented. Emphasis is placed on having meaningful reports
that are helpful and easily understood.
Reliability, Validity, and Accuracy.
The Self-Assessment Index has a built-in database that insures inclusion of all administered
tests, in a confidential, database (no names) manner. This database
facilitates annual database analysis of the Self-Assessment Index, which includes
reliability, validity, and accuracy determinations. Research and
statistical findings are reported in a separate document titled, "Self-Assessment: An
Inventory of Scientific Findings." Annual database analysis, further,
demonstrates that Self-Assessment scales have high, reliability and validity.
For example, internal consistencies (coefficient alphas) for Self-Assessment scales are reported in the
following table, for some, welfare recipients (N=510) screened in the year 2002. This is one,
among several samples.
A Self-Assessment research study is presented at the end of this webpage. To go directly to this research,
Self-Assessment Research Study link.
Validity and Accuracy"
Self-Assessment RELIABILITY (N=510, 2002)
Stress Coping Abilities
All, Self-Assessment scales have alpha coefficients well above the professionally, accepted standard of .75, and
are very reliable. All, coefficient alphas are significant at the p<.001 level.
Early, validity studies used criterion measures, and Self-Assessment scales were validated with other tests,
e.g., MMPI L-Scale and F-Scale. Much of this research is summarized in the
document titled, "Self-Assessment: An Inventory of Scientific Findings." Subsequently,
additional, database research has been completed that supports Self-Assessment'
reliability, validity, and accuracy.
Fairness goes beyond reliability and
validity. The term applies to accuracy, for demographic groups like gender
and ethnicity. This research is ongoing. The Self-Assessment is a fair test.
The Self-Assessment is available in
Windows format. Windows diskettes require a one-time, computer setup procedure,
after which Self-Assessment data diskettes are used to score and print reports.
Training manuals are provided free. New test users can be walked through
the scoring procedure, over Behavior Data Systems, Ltd.'s (BDS) telephone line.
Proprietary, Self-Assessment diskettes contain 25
or 50 test applications. These 3½" diskettes score, interpret, and
print reports on-site. Once a Self-Assessment account is established, ordered
diskettes are mailed to users. Approximately, 97% of orders are mailed back
to users the same day. When all test applications are used, that diskette
is returned to Behavior Data Systems, where the demographics are downloaded
into the Self-Assessment database, for subsequent database analysis. The proprietary,
"delete names" program is activated by the test user with a few keystrokes,
to delete all welfare recipient names from the diskette, before it is
returned. Deleting all recipient names insures protection of each, welfare recipient's confidentiality
and is in compliance with HIPAA (federal regulation 45 C.F.R. 164.501).
The "Self-Assessment: Orientation and Training
Manual" explains how the Self-Assessment works, and should be read by staff. The "Self-Assessment:
Computer Operating Guide" explains how to score tests, print, or store
reports, and discusses other, unique, Self-Assessment, computer-related functions.
Database. The Self-Assessment system contains a
proprietary, built-in database. Earlier, it was noted that al,l used, Self-Assessment
diskettes are returned to Behavior Data Systems, and the test data is
downloaded into the Self-Assessment database. This expanding database allows ongoing
research and annual summaries of testing programs -- features that were not
possible before. Ongoing research ensures quality control. Annual testing
program summaries provide for program self-evaluation. The
Self-Assessment Research link gives access to
a Self-Assessment research study; whereas, the
Annual Summary Report link takes you to an example, summary report.
Both, the ongoing research and summary reports are provided to test users, free.
Built-in Database. The Self-Assessment system
contains a proprietary, built-in database. And, the Self-Assessment permits ongoing
research and annual program summary -- at no additional cost. As discussed
earlier, when the 25 or 50 tests on a diskette are used, diskettes
are returned to Behavior Data Systems, checked for viruses, and downloaded
into the expanding Self-Assessment database. Advantages of this proprietary database
are many and include database (research) analysis and annual summary reports.
No personal information, names, social security numbers, etc., are, ever, downloaded into any, test
Returned diskettes can be summarized on a state, department, or agency basis -- at no additional
cost to users. Annual summary reports provide information that permits testing program
Annual Summary Report
link takes you to an example, summary report.
After downloading test data, returned diskettes are destroyed.
In summary, all, returned Self-Assessment diskettes' test data is centrally filed in the Self-Assessment database, at
Behavior Data Systems' offices. This database has many advantages. Database analysis
permits ongoing, cost-efficient research that includes scale alpha
coefficients, ANOVA, frequency distributions, correlations, cross-tab
statistics, along with reliability, validity, and accuracy determinations.
Research Study link takes you
to a Self-Assessment research study.
Annual Summary Reports
Behavior Data Systems can access each of its
tests' built-in databases, for statistical analysis and summarization, of all
tests administered in a year. Annual Summary Reports are prepared
for state, department, agency and, even, some individual providers -- at no
cost to them. These reports are provided as a professional courtesy
to large volume, test users. Summary reports include demographics,
court-history, when relevant, and test statistics (reliability, validity,
and accuracy). Has anyone offered to summarize your testing program?
Annually? At no additional cost to you? Minimum testing volume, for
annual reports, is 350 tests. There is no maximum limit. Behavior Data
annual reports range in size, from 350 tests to over 55,000 tests annually.
An example, Annual Summary Report can be viewed by clicking on this,
Annual Summary Report link.
Staff Member Input. The Self-Assessment is to be
used in conjunction with experienced, staff judgment. Staff should also
interview the welfare recipient.
For these reasons, the following statement is contained in each Self-Assessment report: "Self-Assessment
Index results are confidential and are working hypotheses. No decision should be based,
solely, upon these results. These test results are to be used in
conjunction with experienced staff judgment and review of available records."
"Provides a Sound
Empirical Basis for Decisions"
Why develop the Self-Assessment Index?
Job training placement and vocational success, often, depend upon helping
welfare recipients overcome barriers to employment. Many of these barriers
to employment include substance (alcohol and other drugs) abuse,
self-defeating work attitudes, and poorly developed, stress coping
abilities. Welfare-to-work programs are most effective with early
identification of barriers to work, so that staff can help participants
overcome these obstacles. The Self-Assessment was designed, specifically, to meet these
needs -- early identification of barriers to work.
How do you know if the welfare
recipient is minimizing problems or, even, lying? The Self-Assessment has a Truthfulness
Scale that determines how truthful the recipient was while completing the
test. This scale identifies problem minimization and detects faking. And,
the Self-Assessment doesn't stop there. Error of measurement, due to untruthfulness, is
measured for each scale and converted to Truth-Corrected scores. Raw
scores only reflect what the recipient wants staff to know.
Truth-Corrected scores reveal what the recipient is trying to hide.
Truth-Corrected scores are more accurate than raw scores.
Unique Self-Assessment Features
Scale. Measures how truthful the recipient was while completing the Self-Assessment. This scale
identifies denial, problem minimization, and faking. Many
welfare recipients attempt to minimize their problems. The Self-Assessment
Truthfulness Scale has been validated with other tests, truthfulness
studies, and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) L and F-Scales. It consists of a
number of items that the majority of people in our
society, agree or disagree with. This important scale has been, repeatedly,
demonstrated to be reliable, valid, and accurate. Much of this research is
reported in the document titled, "Self-Assessment: An Inventory of Scientific Findings."
"More Accurate Assessment
with Truth-Corrected Scores"
Truth-Corrected scores have proven to be
important in enhancing assessment accuracy. It is important to know if the
welfare recipient answered test items truthfully. The Self-Assessment,
Truth Correction program is comparable to the MMPI K-Scale, correction
methodology. The Self-Assessment Truthfulness Scale has been correlated with the other,
four, Self-Assessment scales. The Truth Correction equation, then, converts raw scores to
Truth-Corrected scores. As noted above, raw scores reflect what the
recipient wants you to know. Truth-Corrected scores reveal what the
recipient is trying to hide. Truth-Corrected scores are more accurate than raw scores.
Work Index Scale. The Work Index Scale measures attitude and motivational
factors that influence welfare recipients' success in welfare-to-work
programs, and their subsequent employment.
Attitudes are complex products of
experience, and learning that includes enduring preferences, aversions,
prejudices, and beliefs. Attitudes can be overt or covert, yet they
influence our behavior. Many attitudes, such as the perceived value of
work, the impact of work-related expenses, transportation concerns, the
influence of family support (or the lack of it), child care
responsibilities, the effort involved, welfare recipient commitment, etc.,
influence the success of welfare-to-work programs and subsequent,
employment success. Moreover, negative attitudes increase the probability
of program failure, because they can become barriers to program completion
and employment. The Work Index Scale helps us better understand the
welfare recipient's attitudes and motivation.
Substance Abuse Screening. Substance
abuse screening is important because alcohol and/or drug use is, often,
associated with vocational rehabilitation failures. The Alcohol Scale
identifies alcohol use and measure the severity of abuse. The Drug Scale
identifies illicit drugs use and measures the severity of abuse. Inclusion,
of these two scales, helps identification of a person's substance of choice,
and polysubstance abuse. Substance abuse is acknowledged as an, all too
common barrier, to employment.
Stress Coping Abilities Scale. The
Stress Coping Abilities Scale measures how well the welfare recipient
handles tension, pressure, and stress. This scale goes beyond establishing
whether or not the welfare recipient is experiencing stress. It determines
how well the welfare recipient handles or copes with stress. Stress
exacerbates emotional and mental health symptoms. Consequently, this scale
is a non-introversive way to screen established (diagnosable), mental
health problems. A welfare recipient scoring at, or above the 90th
percentile on the Stress Coping Abilities Scale, should be referred to a
certified/licensed, mental health professional for a diagnosis, prognosis,
and treatment plan, as warranted. This important area of inquiry is missed
by other welfare-to-work tests.
More than just another alcohol or
drug test. In addition to alcohol and drugs, the Self-Assessment assesses other,
important areas of inquiry like truthfulness, work attitudes, and stress
coping abilities. The Self-Assessment Index is designed, specifically, for welfare-to-work programs.
Three ways to give the Self-Assessment.
can be administered in three, different ways:
1. Paper-pencil test booklet
format. This is the most popular testing procedure.
The Self-Assessment can be
given directly on the computer screen.
Human Voice Audio involves a
computer and headset. The recipient uses the up-down, arrow keys. As the
welfare recipient goes from question to answer with the arrow keys, that
question or answer is highlighted on the monitor (screen) and,
simultaneously, read to the client.
These three, test administration modes are discussed in the "Self-Assessment: Orientation and Training
Manual." Each test administration mode has advantages and, some limitation.
Behavior Data Systems
offers these three, test administration modes, so test users
can select the one that is best suited to their needs.
Reading impaired assessment.Reading
impaired recipients represent 20+ percent of welfare recipients tested.
This represents a serious problem to other, welfare recipient tests. In
contrast, Behavior Data Systems has developed a proprietary alternative
for reading impaired assessment, which is termed, "Human Voice Audio."
Human Voice Audio.
Human Voice Audio is available in English and Spanish.
It helps resolve many, reading and cultural difference issues. A person's
passive vocabulary (what they hear and understand) is often greater than
their active (spoken) vocabulary. Hearing items read aloud, often, helps
reduce cultural and communication problems. Human Voice Audio, test
presentation requires a computer, earphones and, simple instructions,
regarding how to operate the up-down, arrow keys on the computer keyboard.
Without this, "Human Voice Audio" option, a welfare-to-work program could be limited.
Confidentiality.Behavior Data Systems encourages users to delete recipient names from diskettes, before they are returned to
Behavior Data Systems. This proprietary, name deletion procedure involves a few keystrokes. Once welfare recipient names
are deleted, they are gone and cannot be retrieved. Deleting names does not delete demographics or test data,
which is downloaded into the Self-Assessment database, for subsequent analysis. This
procedure insures client confidentiality and compliance with HIPAA
(federal regulation 45 C.F.R. 164.501).
Test data input verification.
proprietary program allows the person who inputs data from the answer sheet
into the computer, to verify the accuracy of their data input. In brief, test
data is input twice, and any inconsistencies, between the first and second
data entries, are highlighted until corrected. When the first and second data
entries match, or are the same, the staff person may continue. Use of this data
input verification procedure is optional, yet strongly recommended by
Behavior Data Systems.
Inventory of Scientific Findings. Much
of the Self-Assessment research has been gathered together in one document titled, "Self-Assessment:
An Inventory of Scientific Findings." This document summarizes Self-Assessment research,
chronologically -- as the studies were completed.
"More Than Just Another
Alcohol and Drugs Test"
This innovative, chronological, reporting format was established largely, because the Self-Assessment database
permits annual database analysis of all tests administered that year. It, also, allows
the reader to observe the evolution of the Self-Assessment, into a state-of-the-art welfare-to-work test.
Behavior Data Systems'
staff is available to participate in Self-Assessment training programs, scheduled by
test users in the United States. Large departments/agencies or statewide
programs, often, are interested in Self-Assessment training. Sometimes, smaller agencies or
departments get together for a joint Self-Assessment training session. Behavior Data
Systems gives attendees
certificates, attesting to their Self-Assessment training.
Staff training is, also, provided on Fridays at Behavior Data Systems' Phoenix offices, from 8:30 a.m. to
11:30 a.m., or from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. These training sessions are free. To participate, contact
Behavior Data Systems, at least ten days in advance. Participation is on a first call, first scheduled basis.
The Self-Assessment Index is the
product of over, 25 years of licensed, psychologists' experience in evaluating
patients, court defendants, employment disability applicants, Job Training
Partnership Act (JTPA) participants, worker compensation clients, and
unemployment compensation recipients. This experience augments years of psychometric research.
The goal, from the beginning, has been
to develop a practical, helpful, and psychometrically sound, welfare-to-work
assessment and screening instrument. Practical, in the sense that it is
appropriate for the predominately, female welfare recipient participant. The
testing, also, needs to be completed in a timely fashion. Helpful, in terms of
identifying barriers to employment and, it must be psychometrically sound,
with regard to reliability, validity, and accuracy.
Behavior Data Systems' staff members are proud of the Self-Assessment and, believe we have attained the goals set forth above,
i.e., a practical, helpful, and psychometrically sound test.
Self-Assessment scales were conceptualized to
address common barriers to welfare-to-work success. Five, Self-Assessment scales
(measures) were decided upon, because they explore the most, common barriers
to employment. These five (5) scales include:
1. Truthfulness Scale,
2. Alcohol Scale,
3. Drug Scale,
4. Work Index Scale, and
5. Stress Coping Abilities Scale.
Welfare-recipient evaluation or testing has to overcome the recipient's worry, concern, or fear that
their children will be taken away from them because of their negative work
attitudes, mental health problems, or substance (alcohol and other drugs)
abuse. In programs that do little to resolve these concerns, (or
inadvertently magnify them) it is difficult to get recipient test-related
compliance. Consequently, welfare-to-work tests must be designed to
accommodate and overcome these fears. The Self-Assessment Index is,
uniquely, designed to overcome such barriers to welfare-recipient compliance.
Few, if any other tests can overcome these assessment or screening concerns.
The Work Index Scale is innovative, in
that it acknowledges the importance of welfare recipients' attitudes toward
work, training, and subsequent employment.
Hopefully, this dialogue explains why the Self-Assessment is one of the very few tests designed, specifically,
for welfare-recipient screening. In conclusion, we know user feedback is important. We
want to assure Self-Assessment users that we will listen to their suggestions. We
appreciate Self-Assessment user feedback, whether by telephone, e-mail, fax, or letter.
Behavior Data Systems provides a full range of support services that includes: Information
(descriptive materials, demo diskette, and staff presentations);
telephone line (602-234-3506); staff training (manuals, high volume users'
on-site presentations); first time user (telephone walk-through scoring); ongoing
support (test-related software); Self-Assessment updates (no additional cost);
free, Self-Assessment materials (test booklets and training manuals); and other, (as long
as it's Self-Assessment related) support services. Behavior Data Systems is committed to
providing Self-Assessment support services to interested parties and test users.
Test Unit Fees (Cost): Self-Assessment cost information can be reviewed by clicking on the
Test Unit Fee
(Cost) link. There is only one cost or charge, and that is the test unit
fee. Everything else is included, at no additional cost to the test user. This
includes test booklets, answer sheets, training manuals, upgrades, ongoing
database research, annual summary testing reports, staff training, and support
services. Do not be misled by some test publishers' à la carte pricing, like
separate costs for each test administration, as well as for each of the
test-related items, listed above. Instead of asking for the test administration
cost, ask for the total cost involved in using a test. We believe Behavior Data
Systems' one, test
unit fee is very affordable.
Free Examination Kit:
A 1-test, demonstration diskette is available on a 30-day, cost free basis.
Demo diskettes are in Windows format. The Examination Kit includes a 1-test, demo
diskette, installation CD (with instructions), test booklet, answer sheet and, some
descriptive materials. Behavior Data Systems, Ltd. does want the test booklet and
diskette returned, within 30 days.
Selecting a Welfare Recipient Assessment or Screening Instrument.
If you are selecting a welfare recipient assessment instrument or test, the following, Comparison
Checklist should be helpful. This checklist itemizes important assessment and
screening qualities. The "Other" column represents any other test you might
want to compare to the Self-Assessment Index.
Designed Specifically for Welfare Recipients
Test Reliability and Validity Research Provided
Test Completed in 15 to 20 Minutes
On-Site Reports within 2 Minutes
Truthfulness Scale to Detect Faking
Truth-Corrected Scores for Accuracy
Three Test Administration Options
1. Paper-Pencil (English and Spanish)
2. On Computer Screen (English and Spanish)
3. Human Voice Audio (English and Spanish)
Confidentiality (Delete Names Procedure)
HIPAA (federal regulation) Compliant
Test Data Input Verification (Accurate Scoring)
Annual Database Research (free)
Annual Testing Program Summary (free)
Alcohol and Drug Scales
Work Index Scale (Measures Values and Attitudes to Work)
Stress Coping Abilities Scale
Standardized on Welfare-to-Work Applicants
Easily Understood and Helpful Reports
Staff Training (Free)
Examination Kits (Free)
Very Affordable Test Unit Fee
Self-Assessment Index Interpretation
An example, 3-page, Self-Assessment Index, or Self-Assessment report follows this discussion of the Self-Assessment
interpretation. The example report is provided as a ready reference, to
augment this dialogue.
The following table is a starting point for interpreting Self-Assessment scores.
Self-Assessment RISK RANGES
Risk Range Percentile
A problem is not identified until a
scale score is at the 70th percentile or higher. Elevated, scale
scores refer to scale percentile scores that are at, or higher than the 70th
percentile. Severe problems are identified by scale scores at, or above the
90th percentile. Problem Risk scale scores represent 20% of Self-Assessment
scores. Severe Problem scores represent the highest 11% of welfare recipients
evaluated with the Self-Assessment. The Self-Assessment's, normative sample continues to expand with
each, Self-Assessment test that is administered.
1. Truthfulness Scale:Measures how
truthful the welfare recipient was while completing the test. The
Truthfulness Scale identifies guarded and defensive people, who attempt to
fake good. Scores at, or below the 89th percentile, mean that all,
Self-Assessment scales are accurate. Truthfulness Scale scores in the 70th to 89th
percentile range are accurate, because they have been Truth-Corrected. Scores,
at or above the 90th percentile, mean that all Self-Assessmen scales are
inaccurate (invalid) because the recipient read things into test items that
aren't there, was minimizing problems, or was faking answers. Recipients with
reading impairments might, also, score in the 90th to 100th
percentile range. If not consciously deceptive, recipients with elevated
Truthfulness Scale scores are uncooperative, fail to understand test items,
or have a need to appear in a good light. The Truthfulness Scale score is
important, because it establishes whether or not the recipient was truthful
while completing the Self-Assessment.
One of the first things to check, when
reviewing a Self-Assessment report, is the Truthfulness Scale score. Truthfulness Scale
scores overrule all, othe, Self-Assessment scale scores. As noted above, Truthfulness
Scale scores at, or below the 89th percentile indicate that all,
other, Self-Assessment scale scores are accurate. Truthfulness Scale scores at, or above
the 90th percentile do not occur by chance. Indeed, a definite
pattern of deviant, Truthfulness Scale item responding is necessary to obtain
an elevated, let alone, Severe Problem (90th to 100th percentile)
score. The Truthfulness Scale can be interpreted independently.
2. Alcohol Scale: Measures alcohol use
and the severity of abuse. Alcohol refers to beer, wine, and other liquor. An
elevated, (70th to 89th percentile) Alcohol Scale score is
indicative of an emerging drinking problem. An Alcohol Scale score in the
Severe Problem (90th to 100th percentile) range identifies serious
Since a history of alcohol problems
could result in an abstainer (current non-drinker) attaining a Low to
Medium Risk score, precautions have been built into the Self-Assessment to, correctly,
identify "recovering alcoholics." Several Self-Assessment items are printed in the
"Significant Items" section of the Self-Assessment report, for quick reference. These,
alcohol items include #57 (I have a drinking problem), #10 (recovering), #49
(Drinking problem), #97 (describes drinking), and #98 (recovering). In
addition, the Alcohol Scale risk range paragraphs, for elevated scores,
clearly state the recipient may be a "recovering alcoholic."
In intervention and treatment settings,
the recipient's Alcohol Scale score helps staff work through denial. The
objective and standardized, Alcohol Scale score is accepted by most clients,
especially in comparison to a staff member's, subjective opinion. It should be
explained that elevated scores don't occur by chance. A definite pattern of
alcohol-related admissions is required, before an elevated score can occur.
An elevated, Alcohol Scale score, in
conjunction with other elevated scale scores, indicates that alcohol use
exacerbates other, attitudes/behaviors, which can contribute to the other,
elevated Self-Assessment scores. For example, alcohol abuse can magnify
attitudes/behaviors represented by an elevated Work Index Scale score.
Indeed, alcohol abuse can erode and further impair a person's stress coping
abilities. In summary, the Alcohol Scale can be interpreted independently, or
in conjunction with other elevated scores.
3. Drug Scale: Measures illicit drug
use and the severity of abuse. Drugs refer to marijuana, cocaine, crack,
amphetamines, ice, barbiturates, and heroin. An elevated, (70th to 89th
percentile) Drug Scale score is indicative of an emerging drug problem. A
Drug Scale score, in the Severe Problem (90th to 100th percentile)
range, identifies serious, drug abusers.
A history of drug-related problems
could result in an abstainer (drug history, but not presently using drugs)
attaining a Low to Medium Risk score. Precautions have been built into the Self-Assessment to correctly identify
"recovering drug abusers." Several, Self-Assessment items are
printed in the "Significant Items" section of the Self-Assessment report, for easy
reference. These items include: #47 (admits drug problem), #98 (recovering),
#39 (drug problem in last year), #99 (describes own drug use) and #102
(number of drug treatment programs enrolled in). In addition, the Drug
Scale risk range paragraphs, for elevated scores, clearly state the recipient
may be a "recovering drug abuser."
In intervention and treatment settings,
the recipient's Drug Scale score helps staff work through client denial.
And, an elevated, Drug Scale score in conjunction with other elevated scale
scores can magnify the severity of the other, elevated scores.
Concurrently elevated, Alcohol Scale
and Drug Scale scores indicate polysubstance use. When both of these scales
are in the Severe Problem range, polysubstance use is confirmed. The higher
scale score indicates the welfare recipient's substance of choice. In
summary, the Drug Scale can be interpreted independently, or in conjunction
with other elevated scales.
Work Index Scale:
attitude/motivational factors that influence the welfare recipient's
welfare-to-work program behavior. Many of these factors seem trivial, but
when taken together, are important attitude, motivation, and behavioral
determinants. Some of these factors, including the welfare recipient's perceived
value of work, the magnitude of work-related expenses, the need to acquire
work clothes, transportation concerns, the influence or encouragement (or
lack of) from significant others, family and child care responsibilities,
etc., influence the welfare recipient's chances of program completion and
their probability of successful employment.
An elevated, Work Index Scale indicates
negative or self-defeating attitudes are emerging, along with motivational
weakening. Work Index Scale scores, in the Problem Risk (70th to 89th percentile)
range are indicative of attitude and motivational problems that
need to be worked through and resolved. Work Index Scale scores in the
Severe Problem (90th to 100th percentile) range may warrant group
or individual, counseling involvement. Attitudinal change must, usually, occur
before behavioral change.
An elevated, Work Index Scale can be,
particularly, problematic when accompanied by an elevated, Alcohol or Drug
Scale score. The higher the scale scores, the more difficult the problem
resolution. Substance (alcohol and other drugs) abuse tends to reinforce
negativistic thinking. And, in the Severe Problem range, substance abuse can
contribute to apathy, feelings of alienation, isolation, withdrawal, and non-compliance.
In summary, work-related attitudes and
beliefs influence welfare-to-work program success. The Work Index Scale can
be interpreted independently, or in conjunction with other, Self-Assessment scale scores.
5. Stress Coping Abilities Scale:
Measures how well the recipient copes with pressure and stress. It is now
known that stress exacerbates symptoms of mental and emotional problems.
Thus, an elevated Stress Coping Abilities Scale score in conjunction with
other elevated Self-Assessment scale scores can help in understanding the welfare
recipient's situation. For example, when a person doesn't handle stress well,
other frustrations and concerns can be exacerbated. This problem
augmentation applies to substance abuse, cooperation, attitudes, emotional
conflicts and motivation.
When a Stress Coping Abilities Scale
score is in the Severe Problem (90th to 100th percentile) range, it
is likely that the recipient manifests an identifiable mental health
problem. In these instances, referral to a certified/licensed mental health
professional is warranted. In summary, the Stress Coping Abilities Scale can
be interpreted independently or in conjunction with other Self-Assessment scale scores.
Self-Assessment Index, 3-page reports
utilize a common outline or format, yet are highly individualized. Self-Assessment's are
scored and reports are printed on-site, within 2½ minutes of data entry.