APA News

New APA initiatives aim to bring more psychology into education

APA's Center for Psychology in Schools and Education is working on three initiatives aimed at promoting the value of psychology in education:

  • The center is staffing a new APA Presidential Task Force on Educational Disparities created by APA President Melba J.T. Vasquez, PhD. The task force is identifying what psychological science has to say about the nature and source of educational disparities; to pinpoint interventions that have been successful in addressing these gaps; and to recommend ways psychologists and the public can incorporate these interventions in practice, policy and research. A report outlining their findings will be released in 2012.

  • APA's Board of Educational Affairs will now give an annual award that recognizes effective learning environments to a local school in the APA Annual Convention host city. A task force is working to develop a set of criteria to evaluate and select winning schools.

  • In collaboration with Science Directorate staff, the center will staff a new Task Force on Training Psychologists to Participate in Multi-Disciplinary Team Science. This eight-member group will recommend initiatives APA can pursue to advance and improve the training of psychologists to participate in multidisciplinary team science.

APA launches free outcome measurement database for members only

APA members can now search for information about a range of outcome measures for professional practice through PracticeOUTCOMES: Measures for Psychologists.

Access to PracticeOUTCOMES is free to APA members. This practical tool contains information on measure domains, features, costs and reliability, among other indicators. The database also allows psychologists to compare measures side by side in order to help them choose the right outcome measure for their practice.

All outcome measures meet scientific criteria for inclusion.

Included measures are relevant to practice, are appropriate for monitoring patient progress in treatment, have a reliability range 0.70 or above and have sufficient evidence supporting the use of the measure for the identified population and for the intended purpose.

The database includes basic and advanced search options. New measures are being added regularly. Members can access PracticeOUTCOMES through their MyAPA accounts under the preset PracticeOUTCOMES link in their APA tool box or by going to PracticeOUTCOMES page.

If you are the author of a measure and would like to submit it to be considered for inclusion in PracticeOUTCOMES, please email the PracticeOUTCOMES staff.

APA welcomes members' feedback on the system's features and usability.

APA wins prestigious ‘Silver Award' for girls project

The American Society of Association Executives gave APA its 2011 "Power of A Silver Award," which honors associations that engage in activities and initiatives benefiting America and the world.

APA's Sexualization of Girls Project was recognized for its extraordinary contributions to society. An April Advocacy Against Sexualization Summit, spearheaded by APA's Public Interest Government Relations Office, was a major initiative that implemented the recommendations of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls, staffed by the Women's Programs Office. In 2007, APA released a report on the Sexualization of Girls. Since that time, APA has worked with other associations to support legislation based on the report, create the Healthy Media for Youth Week, and lead the Advocacy Against Sexualization Summit.

"APA is honored to receive a Power of A Silver Award from the American Society of Association Executives for our work against the sexualization of girls," said Gwendolyn P. Keita, PhD, executive director of the Public Interest Directorate. "In line with our mission of applying psychology to the fundamental problems of human welfare and social justice, it is extremely important to APA that our research does not sit on a shelf."

Learn about the Advocacy Against Sexualization Summit.

Learn more about APA's Women's Programs Office and its resources on sexualization.

Apply for 2011 Minority Fellowship Program

APA's Minority Fellowship Program welcomes applications for its psychology fellowships, which stimulate interest in ethnic-minority-focused mental health services by providing financial support and mentoring to doctoral students and postdoctoral trainees. The fellowships are:

  • The Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Predoctoral Fellowship for doctoral students in clinical, counseling or school psychology who are planning to pursue careers in behavioral health service delivery or policy and who specialize in ethnic-minority populations.

  • The Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Postdoctoral Fellowship, which supports recent doctoral recipients interested in careers in behavioral health service delivery or policy who will receive specialized training focused on ethnic-minority populations.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents enrolled or in training full-time when they begin the fellowships and must demonstrate their commitment to ethnic-minority mental health. Mental health and substance-abuse services predoctoral applicants must be in APA-accredited programs. Apply by Jan. 15.

Lula A. Beatty joins APA

Lula A. Beatty, PhDPsychologist Lula A. Beatty, PhD, of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, is working in APA's Public Interest Directorate on substance abuse and health disparities issues.

Beatty, the director of NIDA's Special Populations Office in the Office of the Director, comes to APA for a year thanks to an Intergovernmental Personnel Act Agreement, which allows for the temporary assignment of personnel between the federal government and state and local governments, colleges and universities, and other eligible organizations.

At NIDA, Beatty's responsibilities include:

  • Developing racial/ethnic minority research and health disparities programs,

  • Developing initiatives to encourage the increased participation of underrepresented scholars in drug abuse and addiction research, and

  • Monitoring NIDA's support of diversity and health disparities research.

At APA, she will work on the APA Health Disparities Initiative plus additional areas of focus, including:

  • Addressing substance abuse research, prevention, treatment and education.

  • Examining the feasibility of a men and boys health disparities initiatives.

  • Exploring the interest and opportunities for other potential health disparities initiatives.

Spend a year working for the federal government

APA seeks applications for its congressional fellowship and executive branch science fellowship programs. These opportunities allow up to three psychologists to spend a year in Washington, D.C., where they receive first-hand experience with federal policymaking and agency research and funding.

Congressional fellows work as special legislative assistants in congressional members' or committees' offices and engage in a diverse range of policymaking activities.

APA offers the Catherine Acuff Congressional Fellowship for midcareer professionals, William A. Bailey Congressional Fellowship for experts in health and behavior issues, and the American Psychological Foundation Jacquelin Goldman fellowship for psychologists with experience working with children. Executive branch science fellows gain crucial experience in science policy and research coordination and funding working in a federal science agency. Both programs offer an annual stipend and funds to support relocation, travel, and the purchase of health insurance.

For more information, visit APA Policy Fellowships & Internships or call the Public Interest Government Relations Office at (202) 336-5935 or the Science Government Relations office at (202) 336-5932. Applications must be postmarked by Jan. 6.

APA adds more journals to its mix

APA is publishing four more journals beginning in 2012:

  • Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice.

  • Law and Human Behavior.

  • Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology.

  • Psychology of Popular Media Culture.

APA and Div. 43 (Society for Family Psychology) have joined together to launch Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, a peer-reviewed scholarly journal publishing papers representing the science and practice of family psychology. As the official journal of Div. 43, it will be a forum for scholarly dialogue regarding the most important emerging issues in the field, a primary outlet for research — particularly as it affects practice — and for papers exploring education, public policy, and the identity of family psychology. Mark Stanton, PhD, is the inaugural editor. The journal will officially begin receiving manuscripts on May 1, and the first issue will be published in early 2012.

Law and Human Behavior (official journal of APA Div. 41, the American Psychology-Law Society) addresses the relationship among law, justice and psychology and has a reputation for being the most highly regarded journal in its field. Editor Margaret Bull-Kovera, PhD, also of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, hopes to increase its impact in psychology. "The journal will benefit from being under the umbrella of the premier publisher of psychological scholarship, inclusion in the PsycARTICLES database, and from the impressive marketing that APA does for its journals," she says.

Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology (official journal of APA Division 48) publishes scholarly manuscripts on peace, conflict, and their interaction at all levels of analysis, from interpersonal to community, regional, and international issues. Editor Susan Opotow, PhD, of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, says the journal's focus on emerging issues in the field attracts researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and educators. "We are pleased that the journal will be situated within psychology as it is relevant to just about all psychological subdisciplines," she says.

Psychology of Popular Media Culture will debut next spring. Its editor, James C. Kaufman, PhD, of California State University at San Bernardino, hopes the journal will "bring people together to learn [about psychology] they wouldn't normally have connected with." Reaching out to a number of disciplines, the journal will cover a range of social media, technology and popular culture topics. "A lot of creative research doesn't have an obvious publishing venue. One of our goals with the journal is to provide a home for popular media and pop culture research," Kaufman says.

Videos guide psychologists through Medicare reporting

The APA Practice Organization has created a two-part video series on the Physician Quality Reporting System, formerly known as the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative. Narrated by APA's Diane Pedulla, JD, the videos guide psychologists through the basics of the Physician Quality Reporting System, including information on bonus payments, eligible measures, how to report and the transition to a mandatory reporting program in 2015.

For part one of the video, go to "Featured Video: Bonus payments for psychologists through Medicare reporting program."  Part two is at "Featured video: Part II: How to report in the Physician Quality Reporting System."

Johnson, McDaniel join APA Board of Directors

APA's Council of Representatives has elected two new members-at-large to serve three-year terms on APA's Board of Directors: Josephine D. Johnson, PhD, and Susan H. McDaniel, PhD. Both women bring strong leadership skills and a wealth of governance experience to their new roles.

Josephine D. Johnson, PhDJohnson, a private practitioner at Johnson Behavioral Health in Livonia, Mich., served on APA's Committee for the Advancement of Professional Practice (CAPP) from 2005 to 2008 and is the Council of Representatives member for Div. 42 (Psychologists in Independent Practice). She also chaired APA's Membership Board this year, and plans to focus on boosting and enhancing membership during her time on the Board of Directors.

"We have had a number of challenges to maintaining membership in recent years — some economic, some philosophical and some related to meeting the needs of diverse constituent groups," she says. "I'm interested in working on ways to increase the value of belonging, and I'm especially interested in making APA membership indispensable for the next generation of practitioners, researchers, educators and social justice activists."

Susan H. McDaniel, PhDMcDaniel is a distinguished professor in the department of family medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center and director of the university's Institute for the Family. She chaired APA's Publication and Communications Board in 2006, served on the Council of Representatives for Div. 43 (Society for Family Psychology) that same year and was a member of CAPP from 2008 to 2010.

As one of psychology's primary-care pioneers, McDaniel intends to use her three decades of family medicine experience to help APA develop and define psychology's role in integrated care. "As health care transforms, there are many opportunities for us if we are at the table and trained to provide this kind of care," she says. "Women's health, palliative care, geriatrics, pediatrics — there are so many contexts that need psychologists to develop programs and provide or oversee services."

—J. Chamberlin