Candidate Statements

Candidates for president-elect

Meet the candidates for Div. 37 president-elect.
Anita J. Thomas, PhD

Anita J. Thomas, PhDI currently serve as associate professor of counseling psychology at Loyola University Chicago where I teach courses in multicultural issues, family therapy and human development.  My research interests include racial identity, racial socialization and parenting issues for African Americans. I have conducted training seminars and workshops on multicultural issues for state and national professional organizations in counseling and psychology, hospitals and corporations, as well as served as a consultant for human service organizations. 

Most of my experience and service in APA has focused on addressing issues for children, youth and diverse families. I currently serve as member at large-task forces and diversity activities. I was a member of the Task Force on Resilience and Strength of Black Children and Adolescents from 2006-2008. I have also served on the APA's Committee for Children, Youth, and Families from 2008-2010, serving as chair in 2010. As a member of the committee, I was able to write a policy brief on spirituality in African American families which was presented to the Congressional Black Caucus. I have also participated in Capitol Hill visits sponsored by the APA Public Interest Directorate Government Relations Office and the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Preparation.

I am interested in continuing to promote advocacy opportunities and experiences for division members. Div. 37 is poised to help psychologists to translate research findings for practice and policy. I am particularly interested in furthering our work to support children, youth and families of color.

Preston A. Britner, PhD

Preston A. Britner, PhDI am a professor of human development and family studies at the University of Connecticut (UConn) and the Philip E. Austin Endowed Chair. As a psychologist, I have committed myself to the promotion of science-based, contextually relevant prevention and intervention research and evaluation. Over the past 18 years as a faculty member at UConn (after completing my PhD in developmental psychology at the University of Virginia), I have incorporated this orientation into sustained efforts in my research (e.g., integrating housing and child welfare, promoting educational access/success for youth in foster care), service (e.g., editor emeritus of The Journal of Primary Prevention ; former co-chair, Families with Service Needs Advisory Board, State of Connecticut) and teaching/mentoring. (See my website.)

A fellow of Div. 37, I am on the editorial board of the division's journal, Advances in Child and Family Policy and Practice. I have been a regular reviewer for division programming at the annual APA meeting and served on the Task Force on Child and Family Advocacy, among other involvements. Within the division's Section 1 (Child Maltreatment), I have been a member of the Social Policy Committee, a member of the Award Committee and an elected member at large for social policy and member of the Executive Committee. I was appointed to the APA Working Group on Child Maltreatment Prevention in Community Health Centers and selected as one of the six members of APA's Committee on Children, Youth, and Families (CYF), serving as co-chair in 2012. I have held similar policy/practice positions within the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) Family Policy section and APA Div. 27 (Society for Community Research and Action).

If elected, I'd like to emphasize greater coordination of child/family policy and practice issues across APA's central office (e.g., Practice and Public Interest Directorates), key APA divisions (e.g., Divs. 7, 43, 54), and other organizations (e.g., SRCD). Div. 37 does terrific work that I would love to see better integrated with the efforts of potential partner organizations and more widely disseminated, for maximum impact.