Beth Doll, PhD: Nominee for Council Representative 2

Meet and learn about the candidate Beth Doll, running for Division 16 Council Representative 2.

Beth Doll, PhD: Nominee for Council Representative 2Three years ago, the Model Licensing Act dominated Division 16’s agenda. At that time, division minutes and statements emphasized the hard times that we faced protecting the parity of school psychology within professional psychology. The Division’s successful advocacy on the Model Licensing Act was due to the astute and methodical preparation by the Division officers and Council representatives during the year before I joined the Executive Committee; and to the broad and thoughtful support that we received from our colleagues. We thought we were a small group standing alone, and we found that we were partners with diverse psychologists who understood our dilemma and valued our contributions to the developmental competence and psychological wellness of children and youth. I believe that this is the most striking lesson to take away from the vote: the critical importance played by School Psychology’s partnerships with other divisions and associations. If I am elected to a second term as the Division’s Council Representative, I intend to invest renewed energy into reinforcing these partnerships with child, family, and education interests on Council and among APA directorates. With our partners, we share goals, a vision for psychological services, common interests in the well-being of young people, and a commitment to advocacy for underrepresented groups within and outside APA.

Conversations within Division 16 now emphasize future visions for the discipline of School Psychology – a vision that is global, deeply rooted in evidence-based practice and practice-based evidence, and encompassing a strong commitment to advocacy for children, youth, and families. The difference in conversations is profound – we are creating resources and fostering developments that shape School Psychology into an even more effective discipline. I have appreciated being part of these efforts and would very much like to continue to participate in the Division governance for a second term as Council Representative.

To reiterate the commitment that I made during my first candidacy, I would be responsible for casting my council vote consistent with the stated positions of the division on any not-yetanticipated issues that might emerge during my time in office. When clear division positions cannot be identified, the values governing representation of the division will be as follows: (1) I believe that it is critically important that we work towards parity for the specialty of school psychology – within the broader realm of professional psychology, in work settings, within educational institutions, and as represented in statutory and regulatory language. (2) In many instances, parity is part of a larger goal of equity – for those who practice school psychology and the clients or students that they serve – but also for other specialties within psychology and other communities and families who are the beneficiaries of psychological services. I believe that equity must be a guiding principle of our actions. (3) Although I recognize the importance of staying vigilant to the impact of different council actions on the specialty of School Psychology, I believe that our interests are almost always better served when we work in partnerships with other divisions and specialties. (4) Ultimately, the best course of action will be the one that is in the best interest of the children and families that we serve, and that makes it possible for us to do our jobs well.


Beth Doll is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of School Psychology at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. She completed her PhD in Educational Psychology (School Psychology) at the University of Kentucky in 1983. Since then, she has worked as a school-employed school psychologist for 5 years, a clinic-based school psychologist for 5 years, and a university faculty member for 19 years. Within governance of Division 16, she has been the Vice-President for Social and Ethical Responsibility and Ethnic Minority Affairs; the Division 16 President; and an Associate Editor of the School Psychology Quarterly. Within the larger APA governance, she has been a member and chair of the Committee on Children, Youth, and Families and represented School Psychology on the Council for Chairs of Training Councils. She currently advises doctoral students and leads a research seminar in population-based mental health services. Dr. Doll’s principal research interest is the natural systems in schools and communities that support the mental health and psychological wellness of children and adolescents. She is especially interested in the emotional and social aspects of classroom systems and school playgrounds, and the contributions that these make to children’s psychological health and well-being.