Welcome to APPA
Assessing Wellbeing in a Digital Age
APPA (Adaptive Processing Psychological Assessment) is a powerful tool designed to assess child and youth wellbeing using digital technology to tap into the minds of young people. The wellbeing and resilience of young people is a major issue across the world. Teenagers facing more complex stresses than in the past have led to greater levels of anxiety and depression. As parents and teachers know, a young person will not always confide in an adult when they have a problem.
So, to prevent young people falling into a vacuum where they cannot access help or even talk about their issues, APPA Scotland has come up with a novel and creative solution, “APPA”. Augmenting the incredible work of guidance teachers and parents, APPA will provide the young person with a clear picture of their strengths and weaknesses, enabling a more focused approach to building wellbeing either through self-help or counselling.
What is APPA?
A new measure of Wellbeing
The simple 8 indicator SHANARRI report was previously criticised by the high court of Scotland as being too general. Working with Dr Julienne McGeough of Liverpool Hope University, APPA Scotland has developed this into the SHANNARI40®. This measurement focuses on 40 sub-constructs of the 8 indicators to generate reports that are more in depth and detailed than a SHANARRI report.
With the help of Dr McGeough, we’ve integrated three innovative scales for measuring Wellbeing into APPA:
- My World Triangle
- Resilience Matrix
Each resulting measurement gives teachers and carers valuable insight into the lives of the young people they are working with.
APPA is a mobile app that assesses a young person’s resilience and wellbeing. APPA removes adults from the assessment process by using digital technology that young people can relate to. The individual answers the young person gives to each question are private unless they agree otherwise. This provides a more accurate and objective assessment than other assessment methods. The reports provide insights into young peoples strengths, the risks they face and the resources available to help them. This allows teachers and professionals to identify pupils who would benefit from extra support in some areas.
APPA gives schools the capability to assess resilience and wellbeing based on quantitative data that has been validated in a 10-year study costing over CAD 1million. Working with a leader in the field of resilience in young people, Dr Michael Ungar (Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia), we have embodied this research into the assessment.
The term resilience generally refers to a person’s ability to overcome adversity. In fact, research shows that resilience is very seldom an individual quality at all, but a process. Resilience is our ability to navigate to positive experiences that sustain our wellbeing. When given opportunities to experience wellbeing and competence our resilience improves. These experiences can come from many sources, such as families, schools, health services and communities.
This understanding of resilience shifts our focus when encouraging positive development through adversity. Whilst individual qualities are important, so too are the resources provided to them. When these are easily accessible, and provided in ways the individual values, this helps to further build resilience. Individuals who are best able to interact with the resources available to them show the most resilience during adversity.
To find out more about resilience, please visit the Resilience Research Centre website www.resilienceresearch.org.
A functional, meaningful outcome
After completing an assessment, teachers can access the young person’s Report on the APPA teachers portal. The report will show which areas they are doing well in and which areas they could use extra support in. APPA provides suggested actions to improve resilience. This helps educators and professionals develop resilience to its fullest potential.
The young person can complete the assessment whenever and wherever they are most comfortable. This means a huge amount of information about pupil wellbeing is generated outside of classroom time. Teachers will receive alerts when APPA identifies students with low scores on the assessment. APPA can also be used to reassess students periodically. This allows teachers to verify if the current level of support is actually improving the young person’s wellbeing.