The APA Council of Representatives held a virtual meeting February 24–26, 2022.
The following (policy) resolutions were passed:
- Council quickly drafted, and unanimously passed, a motion voicing solidarity with the National Psychological Association of Ukraine, the Ukrainian people, and colleagues in the Eastern European region, as the Ukrainian nation defended itself against military invasion.
- With 88% of members in favor, Council adopted the resolution, “Affirming and Building on APA’s History of Support for Reproductive Rights,” (PDF, 91KB) committing the association to continuing to work for reproductive justice. This includes helping to preserve the right to legal abortion and supporting equal access to affordable contraception, comprehensive sex education, and freedom from sexual violence for women and child-bearing individuals, with particular emphasis on those from marginalized groups.
- 95% of Council voted in favor to pass a policy regarding “Psychology’s Role in Advancing Population Health,” which emphasizes working within and across diverse systems. The policy also advocates for working upstream by promoting prevention and early intervention strategies and urges psychologists to collaborate with community partners.
- Council adopted (with 99% in favor) an updated resolution regarding the “Interrogation of Criminal Suspects.” The new measure will strengthen APA’s standing as an authoritative voice on this topic with updated science, especially important because of issues related to false confessions.
- 99% of Council approved an updated resolution on “Poverty and Socioeconomic Status,” recommitting APA to advocate for culturally sensitive and inclusive research that examines the causes and impact of poverty across the lifespan, including structural racism, economic disparities, and related intersectional issues.
The following (policy) guidelines were approved:
- The Council voted unanimously to adopt revised “Guidelines for Assessment and Intervention with Persons with Disabilities.”
- The Council also adopted (with 97% approval) revised “Guidelines for Child Custody Evaluations in Family Law Proceedings,” which promote ethically informed practice in disputes over decision making, parenting time, and access to children when relationships dissolve.
- The Council adopted (with 99% in favor) revised “Guidelines for Ethical Conduct in the Care and Use of Nonhuman Animals in Research,” which are widely used in the education and training of psychological scientists.
- With 91% in favor, Council adopted revised “Guidelines for Ethical Conduct of Behavioral Projects Involving Human Participants by High School Students.”
In other matters,
- Council received a comprehensive audit of current anti-racism activities across APA, including policies, practices, and procedures aimed at stemming racial inequities and promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion. This was the next step in a process detailed in a resolution Council passed in October that accompanied an apology for past racist actions and omissions by APA and the discipline of psychology. Proposed priority actions will be presented to the Council in August.
- Council also received the report of the APA Task Force on Climate Change, “Addressing the Climate Crisis: An Action Plan for Psychologists” (PDF, 644KB).The report calls on the discipline of psychology to strengthen its capacity to address climate change and collaborate with other fields and sectors for maximal impact.
- The Council voted unanimously to adopt revised “National Standards for High School Psychology Curricula,” which include an increased focus on the scientific underpinnings of the field and the importance of incorporating diversity into understanding mental health.
- With 94% of members in favor, Council voted to remove the question on the APA membership form asking if applicants have been convicted of a felony. Proponents of removing the question argued that it was discriminatory, deterred otherwise qualified people from joining the association and needlessly stalled the process of becoming a member.
- The Council passed (with 90% in favor) a motion to request APA membership to vote to amend the APA Bylaws to update the mission of the Membership Board and related amendments to the Association Rules.
- Additionally, the Council voted (65% in favor) to request an APA membership vote to amend the APA Bylaws to allow Associate Members voting privileges after one year of associate membership.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or desire more information regarding any of these actions. All APA members are able to access the Council of Representatives agenda book (and those of all boards and committees) online.