Juvenile Intervention Assessment

Juvenile Intervention Assessment

The Juvenile Intervention Assessment (JIA) evolved from the Treatment Intervention Inventory (TII). It is the juvenile (14 - 18 years) version of the TII. The Juvenile Intervention Assessment (JIA) has 143 items and takes 25 to 30 minutes to complete. It has nine scales (measures): 1. Truthfulness Scale, 2. Anxiety Scale, 3. Depression Scale, 4. Self-Esteem Scale, 5. Distress Scale, 6. Family Dynamics Scale, 7. Alcohol Scale, 8. Drug Scale and 9. Stress Management Scale. If you're looking for a test to screen juveniles (male and female) for emotional, adjustment, or substance (alcohol/drug) use, we recommend you consider the JIA.

Nine JIA Scales (Domains)

  1. Truthfulness Scale: Measures the youth's truthfulness while completing the Juvenile Intervention Assessment. This scale identifies denial, problem minimization and attempts to fake good.
  2. Anxiety Scale: Measures nervousness, apprehension and somatic correlates of anxiety. This score varies directly with experienced symptoms. Adolescence has been characterized as the "age of anxiety."
  3. Depression Scale: Measures dejected and self-depreciating emotional states that vary from normal to pathological. Melancholy, unhappiness and dysphoria are included in this definition of depression.
  4. Self-Esteem Scale: Reflects a person's explicit valuing and appraisal of self. It incorporates an attitude of acceptance-approval versus rejection-disapproval of self.
  5. Distress Scale: Measures experienced pain, worry, sorrow and suffering. Distress can involve both mental and physical pain. Distress is one of the most common reasons troubled youths seek help.
  6. Family Dynamics Scale: Measures family issues, problems and concerns. The juvenile rates their own family relationships. Family refers to parents, siblings and other residents of the home.
  7. Alcohol Scale: Measures the severity of alcohol use and abuse. Alcohol is a licit substance. Alcohol refers to beer, wine and other substances.
  8. Drug Scale: Measures the severity of illicit drug use and abuse. Drug refers to marijuana, crack, cocaine, amphetamines, barbiturates, heroin, etc. The Drug Scale incorporates prescription and non-prescription drugs.
  9. Stress Management Scale: Measures how well a youth handles anxiety and perceived pressure. Stress exacerbates emotional and mental health symptomatology. Consequently, a Stress Management Scale score at the 90th percentile (or above) indicates the presence of an established mental health (DSM) problem.

Why Use the JIA?

JIA results can be used in counseling and treatment program intake assessment or for screening and referral, as warranted. The JIA provides an objective and standardized assessment of the youth tested. It can be administered as a screening or referral test, at program intake, at follow-up intervals of 90 days or more and at counseling or treatment completion.

The JIA has many advantages over an interview. For example, it is a test with demonstrated reliability, validity and accuracy. It has been standardized on troubled youth. Its Truthfulness Scale, Truth-Corrected scores, expanding database, annual testing program summary, and ongoing database research are very desirable features of this test. In contrast, interviews are subjective because interviewers must repeat, paraphrase and probe for acceptable answers.

The JIA was developed specifically for troubled youth screening. These screenings can occur at schools, counseling settings, probation offices, HMO, EAP and social services' offices to help determine appropriate referral alternatives. The JIA can also be administered at counseling or treatment program intake, at 30-day intervals (minimum) thereafter or prior to program completion.

It's a fact that early problem identification facilitates timely intervention, treatment and improved outcome results. There are many key points in juvenile rehabilitation. First, problems need to be identified and, when present, the youth needs to be referred for help. JIA results help in deciding upon appropriate referrals, the type of treatment needed and the level of care that is warranted.

At one sitting of approximately 25 to 30 minutes duration, staff can acquire a vast amount of helpful information that can influence subsequent intervention and treatment recommendations. And, as noted earlier, early problem identification facilitates timely referral and treatment.

Advantages of Screening

Screening or assessment instruments filter out individuals with serious problems that may require referral for help. This filtering system works as follows:

JIA Risk Range

Risk Category

Risk Range Percentile

Total Percentage

Low Risk

0 - 39%


Medium Risk

40 - 69%


Problem Risk

70 - 89%


Severe Problem

90 - 100%


Reference to the above table shows that a problem is not identified until a scale score is at the 70th percentile or higher. These risk range percentiles are calculated on the youths that have completed the JIA. This procedure is fair and avoids extremes such as over-identification and under-identification of problems.

A department, agency, program or mental health professional might refer youths with serious problems for further evaluation, counseling or treatment. In this case (Severe Problem), 11% of the youths screened would be referred. In this example, 89% of the youths screened would not be referred for additional and often unnecessary services.

Budgetary savings (dollars) would be large with no compromises in juveniles receiving appropriate evaluation and treatment services. Indeed, more juveniles would receive help. Without a screening program, there is usually more risk of over or under-utilization of additional professional services.

JIA Test Booklet

JIA test booklets are provided free. These booklets contain 143 items and are written at a 5th to 6th grade reading level. If a person can read the newspaper, they can read the JIA test booklet.


In brief, JIA reports summarize the youth's self-report history, explain what attained scale scores mean and offer specific score-related recommendations.

Within 2 or 3 minutes of test data computer entry, automated (computer-scored) three-page reports are printed on-site. These reports summarize a lot of information in an easily understood format. For example, reports include a JIA profile (graph), which summarizes scale scores at a glance. Also included are attained scale score paragraphs, an explanation of what each score means and specific score-related recommendations. In addition, significant items (direct admissions) are highlighted, and answers to a built-in interview (last sequence of items) are presented. Emphasis is placed on having meaningful reports that are helpful and easily understood.

Reliability and Validity

The JIA has a proprietary built-in database that insures collection of all tests administered in a confidential (no names) manner. These reliability and validity statistics are reported in the document titled "JIA: An Inventory of Scientific Findings." Annual database analysis further demonstrates that JIA scales have very high reliability and validity coefficients.

The inter-item reliability (alpha) coefficients for the nine JIA scales are presented in the table below. All scales are highly reliable. All of the reliability coefficient alphas for all JIA scales were at or above 0.85. These results demonstrate that the JIA is a very reliable juvenile assessment test.

JIA Reliability Coefficients (N = 760, 2012)

Juvenile (JIA) Scales

Alpha Coefficient

Significance Level

Truthfulness Scale


p < .001

Anxiety Scale


p < .001

Depression Scale


p < .001

Alcohol Scale


p < .001

Drug Scale


p < .001

Distress Scale


p < .001

Family Dynamics Scale


p < .001

Self-Esteem Scale


p < .001

Stress Management Scale


p < .001

All JIA scales are highly reliable. All alpha coefficients are well above the professionally accepted standard of .75. These results clearly demonstrate that the JIA is a reliable test.


The JIA system contains a proprietary built-in database. Earlier, it was noted that all used JIA test data is downloaded into the JIA database. This expanding database allows ongoing research and testing program summary -- features that were not possible before.

Annual Summary Reports

Online-Testing 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.

Staff Member Input

The JIA is to be used in conjunction with experienced staff judgment. For these reasons, the following statement is contained in each JIA report: "Juvenile Intervention Assessment results are confidential and should be considered working hypotheses. No diagnosis or decision should be based solely upon these results. Use only with experienced staff judgment."

Unique JIA Features

Truthfulness Scale: Identifies denial, problem minimization and faking. It is now known that many juveniles attempt to minimize their problems. A Truthfulness Scale is a necessary component in contemporary tests. The JIA Truthfulness Scale has been validated with the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), polygraph exams, other tests, truthfulness studies and experienced staff judgment. The JIA Truthfulness Scale has been demonstrated to be reliable, valid and accurate. In some respects, the JIA Truthfulness Scale is similar to the MMPI's L and F-Scales. It consists of a number of items that most people agree or disagree with.

Truth-Corrected Scores: Have proven to be very important for assessment accuracy. This proprietary truth correction process is comparable to the MMPI's K-Scale correction. The JIA Truthfulness Scale has been correlated with the other 8 scales. The Truth Correction equation converts raw scores to Truth-Corrected scores. Truth-Corrected scores are more accurate than raw scores. Raw scores reflect what the juvenile wants you to know. Truth-Corrected scores reveal what the juvenile is attempting to hide.

Stress Management Scale: Measures how well the juvenile handles stress, tension and pressure. And, we now know that stress exacerbates emotional and mental health symptomatology. This scale is a non-introversive way to screen for established (diagnosable) mental health problems. This important area of inquiry is missed by many other assessment tests.

More than just another alcohol or drug test. In addition to alcohol and drugs, the JIA assesses other important areas of inquiry like truthfulness, denial and faking, Family Dynamics, emotional/mental health problems, etc. The JIA is specifically designed for juvenile screening.

Reading Impaired Assessment: Reading impaired juveniles represent 20+ percent of the juveniles tested. This represents a serious problem to other treatment tests. Online-Testing has developed an alternative for dealing with this problem: Human Voice Audio.

Human Voice Audio: Presentation of the JIA is in English and Spanish. Juveniles' passive vocabularies are often greater than their active vocabularies. Hearing items read out loud often helps reduce cultural and communication problems. This administration mode requires earphones and simple instructions to orient the juvenile to the up-down arrow keys on the computer keyboard. Human Voice Audio is an alternative approach for screening reading impaired juveniles.

Confidentiality: Online-Testing encourages test users to delete juvenile names from diskettes before they are returned to Online-Testing. Once juvenile names are deleted, they are gone and cannot be retrieved. Deleting juvenile names does not delete demographics or test data, which is downloaded into the JIA database for subsequent analysis. This proprietary name deletion procedure involves a few keystrokes and insures juvenile confidentiality and compliance with HIPAA (federal regulation 45 C.F.R. 164.501).

Test Data Input Verification: Allows the person that inputs test 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 can continue. This proprietary Data Input Verification procedure is optional, yet strongly recommended by Online-Testing.

Staff Training: Online-Testings' staff is available to participate in JIA training programs conducted by statewide programs, departments and high volume agencies in the United States. Sometimes, smaller volume providers get together for collective (multiple providers) on-site training. Online-Testing typically participates in 4-hour or 6-hour JIA training sessions. This training can include hands-on computer scoring, as desired. Online-Testing gives attendees certificates attesting to their JIA training.

Staff training is also provided on Fridays at Online-Testings' 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 Online-Testing at least ten days in advance. Participation is on a first call, first scheduled basis.

Additional information can be provided upon request. Contact Professional Online Testing Solutions, Inc., P.O. Box 32974, Phoenix, Arizona 85064-2974. Online-Testings' telephone number is (602) 234-3506, our fax number is (602) 266-8227 and our e-mail address is info@online-testing.com .

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