Drs. Janis Kupersmidt Rebecca Stelter, and Alison Parker
from innovation Research & Training (iRT), presented a poster entitled, “SIP-AP:
Web-based Assessment of Social information Processing in Children and
Adolescents,” at the Society for Research in Child Development Special Topic
Meeting: Technology and Media in Children’s Development on October 29, 2016. This conference, held in Irvine, California, was
organized to showcase scholarship investigating the impact and influence of media
and technology on child and adolescent development as well as assessment and
intervention strategies using media.
The poster describes two multimedia Web-based assessment
tools, the SIP-AP for Elementary Boys and the SIP-AP for Adolescent Boys, created
and tested by the scientific team at iRT.
The suite of SIP-AP tools were designed to provide a standardized,
self-administered, psychometrically strong tool for assessing Social
Information Processing (SIP) skills and deficits in aggressive youth. The tool
is based upon the SIP theory proposed by Crick and Dodge (1994) that describes
the underlying cognitive mechanisms associated with interpreting social
interactions and deciding how to respond to them. This theory has been frequently
applied to studies examining decision-making around being aggressive. Previous
methods of assessing SIP skills posed a number of problems for both practitioners
and researchers, including a lack of standardized, ecologically-valid, and
To complete the SIP-AP, youth view developmentally
appropriate videotaped vignettes of everyday social interactions with peers. These
videos were shot from a first-person perspective in order to encourage
immersion in the assessment experience and facilitate participant engagement
with the content. Each vignette shows a social situation where the viewer is
the victim of aggression and the intent of the perpetrator is ambiguous. A range of social situations are shown in the
videos such as being tripped, excluded from a social gathering, excluded from secrets
being shared among peers, and hit while playing ball. Boys viewed the brief
videotapes and then, answered a series of questions about how they interpreted and
felt about the provocation as well as how they might respond, if it happened to
Two studies have been conducted to evaluate the SIP-AP with
both targeted age groups of boys. In
addition, boys provided feedback about their experience completing the assessment.
Most importantly, the findings from both
studies revealed that SIP deficits were associated with a history of aggressive
and antisocial behavior. Also, 100% of the
elementary school-aged boys enjoyed the vignettes and over 90% of the
adolescent boys found the computer program somewhat or very interesting. The
identified SIP deficits were also correlated with antisocial behavior in these
target populations. These studies showed that the SIP-AP can be very helpful to
psychologists and other mental health professionals in pinpointing social
cognitive targets for intervention to reduce aggressive behavior in boys.
iRT hopes that SIP-AP can be used by researchers conducting
both basic and applied research studies as well as by clinicians engaged in
preventing or treating aggressive behavior in youth. The information learned from
completion of the SIP-AP can be used in efforts that aim at reducing
anti-social and aggressive behavior. iRT has also invested in creating
videotaped vignettes showing elementary school-aged and adolescent girls as
perpetrators and bystanders to allow for assessment of SIP skills in children
of both genders.
Dr. Janis Kupersmidt, President,
Founder, and Senior Research Scientist at iRT.
Dr. Rebecca Stelter, Research
Scientist II at iRT.
Dr. Alison Parker, Research
Scientist II at iRT.