Div. 20 program committee report

Program co-chairs report on Div. 20 programming at APA's 2017 Annual Convention.

By Katherine Judge, PhD, and Allison Bielak, PhD

APA’s 2017 Annual Convention in Washington D.C., was very successful for Div. 20. The conference included several exciting collaborative programming sessions that reflected a broad range of research findings and clinical issues, including innovative interventions for veterans with neurological disorders, integrated healthcare across the lifespan, health and successful aging and optimizing outcomes for individuals with autism. Div. 20 hosted six other symposia, and over 50 posters were presented at the conference. These symposia and posters presented innovative and contemporary topics that included emotional processing and regulation, assessment in older adulthood, caregiving, mental health needs of older adults, biological aspects of aging, positive aging, social support and social networks, training and intervention programs, end of life issues and translating research findings to policy.

Manfred Diehl’s presidential address, “Motivating Adults to Engage in Health-Promoting Behavior: How Far Have We Come and Where Are We Going?,” discussed motivating middle-aged and older adults in behavior change that leads to healthy physical and cognitive aging. Other programming highlights included Thomas Hess’s Baltes Distinguished Research Achievement Award Address and the Fellows Address given by  Jennifer Margrett and Walter Boot. NIA Program Officers, Lisa Onken and Johnathan King, gave an informative session discussing the NIH Science of Behavior Change Roadmap Project. Also, the Center for Research and Education on Aging and Technology Enhancement (CREATE) group was recognized for their impressive program of research and received the APA prize for Interdisciplinary Team Research: Research on Aging and Technology.

Finally, convention offered members the opportunity to network and socialize. A group dinner was organized for the first day of the convention at Sixth Engine. This was a joint event between Div. 20 and Div. 12-Section II and PLTC. Over 50 individuals participated and enjoyed a great evening. After the presidential address, Div. 20 hosted a wine and cheese hour that included the awards ceremony. The Social Hour was graciously sponsored by the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging, CREATE, Columbine Health Systems Center for Healthy Aging at Colorado State University and the RoseMary B. Fuss Center for Research on Aging and Intergenerational Studies.

Overall, the programming for Div. 20 at convention was a great success and reflected innovative findings in the field of adult development and aging. The program chairs look forward to working with Div. 20 members to put together an even better program for APA’s 2018 Annual Convention in San Francisco.