ALEXSA Adaptation for Use in Large Scale Substance Use Surveys

Award Information
Department of Health and Human Services
Award Year:
Phase I
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Small Business Information
ASSESSMENTS ILLUSTRATED, 4382 Kilbert Dr, Allison Park, PA, 15101
Hubzone Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator
 () -
Business Contact
Phone: (814) 880-0844
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This NIDA STTR reapplication is to develop a personal digital assistant (PDA) format of a validated child self- report (Assessment of Liability and EXposure to Substance use and Antisocial behavior(c) or ALEXSA(c)) for early harmful substance use, antisocial behavior, and risks for these behaviors. Large markets for this instrument include large-scale surveillance surveys; private-, community-, or school-based prevention efforts; pediatric research; epidemiology; public health; and mental health clinical work. The prototype ALEXSA software (developed outside of NIDA funding) works well on Windows 98 and later operating systems. However, the potential for commercial use of the ALEXSA in school settings (where the largest commercial volume lies) is blocked by strong reservations held by school personnel regarding installation of software on their own PCs (if they have a computer lab) and their perception of the inconvenience of conducting class activities outside the classr oom. Laptops present significant logistical hurdles due to their weight, size, shipping expense, risk of student tampering, and disruption of school routines. A PDA ALEXSA (ALEXSApda) could be used in classrooms in a manner that closely resembles the tradi tional paper-and-pencil format with which school personnel are comfortable. PDAs are compact enough that a single test administrator could carry 30 units or more from class to class to administer the ALEXSApda. PDAs are easily transported to settings where PCs or laptops cannot be used (e.g., rural camps). Not only will the ALEXSApda be marketable, it will advance psychological assessment science - - no PDA child self-report exists. In addition to coding software, Phase I data are needed to (a) test how to best revise the ALEXSA to fit the PDA format; (b) compare it to the PC ALEXSA and a paper ALEXSA in terms of children's perceptions, internal consistencies, and validities; and (c) understand school personnel perceptions of and needs (e.g., training) relat ed to using a PDA survey. Phase II will be to develop materials and obtain data for final steps toward marketing the ALEXSA: standardization data, school personnel feedback, a User's Manual, report formatting, more accurate estimation of costs, and differe nces between ages, genders, and ethnicities. All STTR Phases will consist of collaborations between University of Pittsburgh; a three year old small business, Assessments Illustrated; and Research Triangle Institute, a world leader in large-scale epidemiol ogical research. The innovations and marketability of the proposed products and research include the first PDA child self-report for computerized assessments, PDA software to facilitate use of audios and cartoon illustrations of questions and response opti ons, group PDA administration protocols for school and preventive intervention settings, and further development of valid self- report assessments for children under the age of 12 years.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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