Due to safety protocols due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the August 2020 and February 2021 Council of Representatives (COR) meetings were held remotely using online platforms. In attendance, as representatives for Div. 5, were elected council member, Rachel Fouladi (2018-2020, 2021-2023), and Abigail Panter (2019-2021). Different online platforms were used in the August and February meetings to facilitate effective presentations, productive discussions, and voting procedures.
In the leadup to the scheduled meeting dates for the COR meetings, multiple webinars and online group meetings were held for presentations and discussions of key issues and pending items. Even prior to Covid-19, there was a general shift of very detailed reviews of multiple reports from different offices to more online presentations via webinars with online Q&A of information items before the actual COR meeting (e.g., financial report details). Perhaps because of the increased comfort with this format, additional sessions were held before the full council meeting than previously.
The online format also allowed the scheduling of caucus and workgroup meetings leading to greater attendance and participation by council members. Elected representatives for Div. 5 were active participants in the caucus meetings at the August 2020 and February 2021 COR Meeting, attending meetings of the Coalition for Academic, Scientific and Applied-research Psychology (CASAP), General Applied Psychologists/Psychology, Women’s Caucus, Public Interest Caucus, Ethnic Minority Issues in Psychology Caucus, the Caucus on the Underutilized New Talent, the Council Diversity Workgroup, as well as discussions of the Council Effectiveness Workgroup. In August 2020, after having served two years as member-at-large with CASAP and having been recently elected to second term on council by Div. 5, Rachel Fouladi was elected to be president for CASAP in 2021. Although not elected representatives for Div. 5, there was also good representation and involvement on caucus or workgroup executive committees/leadership by Div. 5 members, Jodi Ulman on the (Women’s Caucus) and Fred Wertz (caucus addressing Council Effectiveness).
At each of the August and February COR meetings, the usual activities, including (a) new representative training for incoming members and appointed substitutes, and (b) a plenary meeting which included brief presentations by APA presidents (S. Shullman—2020, J. Kelly—2021, and several individuals interested in running for the position of 2022 president).
At the 2020 and 2021 COR meetings, CEO Evans and 2020 President Shullman’s leadership in the face of the pandemic were highlighted including advancing all aspects of APA’s strategic plan and issues working toward raising the profile of applied psychology. In 2021 meeting, Kelly’s presidential initiative on health equity were also highlighted with a panel discussion.
The minutes on the August 2020 COR meeting are available on the APA website. As of the writing of this report the minutes for the February 2021 COR meeting have not yet been published, but similarly will be found once available in the Governance section on APA’s website.
Below we review a brief overview of items and reports from August 2020 and February 2021 COR meetings. Italicized items that may be of particular interest to Div. 5 members.
Main items from the August 2020 COR Meeting
Elections, awards, membership, and human resources
Item 3. CORapproved forwarding to the membership for a vote, amendments to the APA Bylaws for membership eligibility of graduate students, as graduate student members, to APA, to divisions, boards, and committees. This was amendment was subsequently put to a vote by APA members and was approved.
- Item 3A. COR voted to postpone item 3A, Division 42 name change. This item as originally formulated was to have change the name from Division of Psychologists in Independent Practice to the Division of Practicing Psychologists was of concern to a variety of members, particularly in applied psychology which includes some members of Division 5, as the name change was considered as possibility changing the mission of the division to extend beyond health care psychology to include other areas of practice in psychology, e.g., I/O, forensic, consulting psychologists.
- Item 21. COR received as information an update on the activities of the Ethics Code Task. Force.
- Item 22. COR was provided with information on initiatives of the Ethics Committee.
- Item 4. COR voted to approve a statement on Psychology’s Understanding of the Challenges Related to the COVID-19 Global Pandemic in the United States.
- Item 5. COR voted to receive the report of the Work Group on Enhancing Council’s Effectiveness as a Policy-Making Body. Additionally, council voted to refer the report to Council Leadership Team and the Work Group on Enhancing Council's Effectiveness as a Policy-Making Body for a 45-day comment period.
- Item 5A. COR voted to approve forwarding to the membership for a vote on amendments to the APA Bylaws article concerning the Composition of the Council of Representatives, to include one representative from each APA affiliated Ethnic Minority Psychology Association. This amendment was subsequently put to a vote by APA members and was approved.
Publications and communication
- Item 6. COR voted to approve the creation of a new journal published by APA, titled Journal of Chinese Career and Work Psychology.
- Item 7. COR voted to approve amendments to Association Rule 90-4 concerning the Commission for the Recognition of Specialties and Subspecialties.
- Item 8. COR voted to adopt the following as APA policy: (1) Revised Education and Training Guidelines: A Taxonomy for Education and Training in Professional Psychology Health Service Specialties with December 31, 2030 as the expiration date for the guideline; (2) Principles for the Recognition of Subspecialties; (3) Revised Principles for the Recognition of Specialties; and (4) Revised Procedures for the Recognition of Specialties and Proficiencies.
- Item 9. COR voted to approve the recognition of clinical psychopharmacology as a specialty in professional psychology for a period of seven years.
- Item 10. COR voted to approve the continued recognition of clinical child and adolescent psychology as a specialty in professional psychology for a period of 7 years.
- Item 11. COR voted to approve the continued recognition of police and public safety psychology as a specialty in professional psychology for a period of 7 years.
- Item 12. COR voted to approve the continued recognition of school psychology as a specialty in professional psychology for a period of 7 years.
- Item 13. COR voted to approve an extension of recognition of counseling psychology as a specialty in professional psychology for an additional period of 1 year, to expire in August 2021.
- Item 14. COR voted to approve an extension of recognition of sleep psychology as a specialty in professional psychology for an additional period of one year, to expire in August 2021.
- Item 24. COR received as information an update from the Board of Educational Affairs/Board of Professional Affairs Task Force to Delineate Competencies for Students Completing Master’s Level Programs in Health Service Psychology.
- Item 15. COR voted to approve withdrawal of Council New Business Item NBI 25A/Aug 2013, Guidelines for Psychologists Regarding the Assessment of Trauma for Adults.
- Item 19. COR received as information an update on the business pending item, Healthcare Practice Guideline Policy (March 2018).
- Item 25. COR received as information an update on the work of the Advisory Steering Committee for Development of Clinical Practice Guidelines and APA Guideline Development Panels and plans for 2020.
- Item 16. COR voted to adopt a Resolution on Ownership of Exotic Animals as Pets as APA Policy.
- Item 17. COR voted to archive the 2002 Resolution on Ageism.
- Item 20. COR received as information an update on the business pending item, Police Citizen Contact New Business Item from Peace Psychology Division Violence Summit (February 2017).
- Item 26. COR received as information the 2019 Audited Financial Statements.
- Melba Vasquez was presented with the 2020 APA President’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
- Kathleen Brown (Advocacy Coordinating Committee chair) and Katherine McGuire (APA Chief Advocacy officer) provided council with an advocacy update.
- Jean Carter (PhD, APA treasurer) provided council with the financial report.
Main items from the February 2021 COR Meeting
- Item 2.COR approved an extension for the National Standards for High School Psychology Curricula, the Guidelines for Psychological Evaluations in Child Protection Matters, the Guidelines for Psychological Practice in Health Care Delivery Systems, the Guidelines for the Practice of Parenting Coordination, the Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychology, the Guidelines for Assessment of and Intervention with Persons with Disabilities and the Principles for Quality Undergraduate Education in Psychology. The extensions were approved to provide sufficient time for revision and public comment. Division members with methodological and assessment interests in these areas will want to pay attention for calls to contribute and provide comment.
- Item 5. COR voted to approve Standards of Accreditation for Health Service Psychology: Master’s Programs. The March 2018 council meeting approved APA moving forward with steps to develop an accreditation system for master’s programs in areas where APA already accredits. This item stimulated extensive discussion. Although in standards details regarding competencies are not indicated, the standards were notable in their emphasis on methodological training as fundamental. This emphasis points to the recognition of methodology and assessment as foundational knowledge for psychological science and practice. (Page 7, item ii)
“Programs must cover the following areas of knowledge at the graduate level (Category 2)
(a) Consumption of research, including the reading and interpretation of primary source literature, attending to trustworthiness in qualitative and validity in quantitative research with an understanding of sampling issues, parametric assumptions, design confounds, and meta-analyses.
(b) Research related to practice, including topics such as qualitative inquiry, single-case designs, quantitatively describing outcomes, statistical description, logic models, and basic inferential statistics. (c) Psychometrics, including topics such as theory and techniques of psychological measurement, scale and inventory construction, reliability, validity, evaluation of measurement quality, classical and contemporary measurement theory, and standardization.”
- Item 6. COR voted to approve Professional Practice Guidelines for Evidence-Based Practice in Health Care Psychology. The professional practice guidelines were notable for their emphasis on measurement and methodological rigour, as well as attention to diversity and intersectionality.
Example quotes on attention to methodology include: (Lines 343-351)
Psychologists endeavor to ground their assessment practices in the best available research on psychological assessment, psychometrics, measurement, clinical judgment, psychopathology, personality, development, and patient biopsychosocial circumstances and characteristics that can influence assessment results. Structured clinical interviews and adherence to diagnostic criteria are associated with higher diagnostic reliability (Garb, 1998; Garb, Lilienfeld, & 347 Fowler, 2016). Tests of personality and psychopathology can permit inferences about response consistency and validity, clarify complex diagnostic pictures, and aid with differential diagnosis. When assessments include tests, psychologists seek to select measures that are reliable, valid for the intended use, and appropriate for the assessment purpose, population, setting, and context in accordance with the ethical mandate for the appropriate use of assessment (9.02, Use of Assessments; APA, 2016). They strive to demonstrate knowledge of the psychometric properties, valid applications, and appropriate interpretations of the tests that they employ. When interpreting test findings, psychologists account for a range of possible sources of variability related to context, setting, purpose, and population (e.g., depression in children is often misconstrued as a lack of motivation whereas depression in older adults is sometimes mistaken for early-stage dementia; see 9.06 Interpreting Assessment Results; APA, 2016).
- Item 7. COR voted to approve Amendment to Association Rule 50-2: Equal Opportunity Representation that were suggested by the Board for the Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest (BAPPI) in consultation with the Office of General Counsel. Specifically, the Resolution states:
50-2.1 The APA is enhanced by the full and effective involvement of its members regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, disability (visible or non-visible), or socioeconomic status. The APA shall promote the inclusion of diverse representation on all boards, committees, task forces, and other governance bodies at all levels of responsibility
In the justification to the Council, the authors of the item stated clearly that” Explicit affirmation of various identities and inclusive representation enhances APA’s commitment to involving members with various marginalized identities that may have not been not previously involved and strengthens how APA actively supports the intersectionality of identities, disciplines, and psychology to address critical societal issues.” These are important resolutions. Importantly, for APA to be able to enact these resolutions, APA will need to have data on members regarding these identities, and members must trust that these data will be used in a good way without negative consequences of disclosure. Division members will also be interested in knowing that diversity, inclusion, equity, accessibility were themes of discussion throughout Caucus meetings, (e.g., CASAP, COUNT, Women’s Caucus), as well as discussion on Council. I hope that we can create an environment in which we are able to share our diverse identities within Division, in hopes of advancing the discipline.
- Item 8. COR voted to adopt the APA Resolution on Racism: “Harnessing Psychology to Combat Racism: Adopting a Uniform Definition and Understanding”. This resolution on racism offers a 4-level definition of racism grounded in diverse literatures: structural racism, institutional racism, interpersonal racism, internalized racism. This resolution regarding the definition is an important first step and is just one of many in which APA is engaged to address psychology’s and APAs legacy in racism, and racist practices. The recent hiring of Maysa Akbar, as new chief diversity officer, is an excellent step in this direction. Similarly, the hiring of Mitch Prinstein, as new chief scientific officer, with an outstanding history as a scholar and in administrative roles at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, acknowledges the racist and white supremacist legacy of psychology. Based on his comments of self-introduction at CASAP, he is committed to making a change in APA and in psychological science and education. I am hopeful that Maysa Akbar and Mitch Prinstein will work well to advance the positive direction of CEO Arthur Evan and deputy CEO, Brian Smedley.
- Item 9. COR voted to approved: (1) archiving the 2011 Guidelines for the Evaluation of Dementia and Age-Related Cognitive Change; and (2) adopting as APA policy the revised Guidelines for the Evaluation of Dementia and Age-Related Cognitive Change. Not surprisingly, several of the Guidelines highlight relevant work of Division 5 members. In addition to addressing the importance of culturally relevant methodologies and norms (APA’s 2017 Multicultural Guidelines: An Ecological Approach to Context, Identity, and Intersectionality) in:
Guideline 5. Psychologists are aware of cultural perspectives and of personal and societal biases and engage in nondiscriminatory practice.
the revised Guidelines are clear with regard to the critical role of appropriate methodologies and psychometric tools.
Guideline 7. Psychologists conduct a clinical interview as part of the evaluation.
Guideline 8. Psychologists are aware that standardized psychological and neuropsychological tests are important tools in the assessment of dementia and age-related cognitive change.
Guideline 10. Psychologists are sensitive to the limitations and sources of variability and error in psychometric performance and to the sources of error in diagnostic decision-making.
Guideline 11. Psychologists make appropriate use of longitudinal data.
D. Item 10. COR voted to approve Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Sexual Minority Persons
Lines 1417-1420: “Research focused on the sexual functioning of sexual minority persons is often limited by similar problems, including measurement scales that are heterosexist and cisnormative in nature (Flynn et al., 2017; Peixoto, 2017; Sobecki-Rausch et al., 2017).”
E. Item 11. COR voted to adopt the Resolution on (Coercive) Sexual Identity Change Efforts.
F. Item 12. COR voted to adopt the Resolution on (Coercive) Gender Identity Change Efforts.
A Item 13. COR voted to accept the Report of the APA Task Force on Human Rights.
B. Item 14. COR voted to adopt the Resolution on APA, Psychology and Human Rights.
- An additional item (A CALL TO INVESTIGATE THE CREATION OF A PSYCHOLOGIST GENERAL OF THE U.S., DEDICATED TO PSYCHOLOGICAL APPROACHES TO PUBLIC MENTAL HEALTH (NBI 24A/AUG 2019) was put forward for discussion regarding whether APA should put form a task force to examine the viability of a consultant psychologist, akin to the surgeon general, to the U.S. president. This motion was defeated.
- Chester Copemann and Carrie Kennedy were 2021 APA President Citations.
- Kathleen Brown, Advocacy Coordinating Committee chair, provided council with an advocacy update.
- Jean Carter, PhD, APA treasurer, provided council with the financial report.
- Maysa Akbar, APA Chief Diversity officer, provided council with an overview 2021 EDI Strategic Priorities, recent work by APA and the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Office, which is in the Executive Office of the APA.
- Update on the Ethics Task Force (and as recording)
- Update on Council Policy Manual—Automatic Sunset of Standards and Guidelines
- Report of the APA Presidential Workgroup on the Modernization of APA Bylaws
- Update on Development of Clinical Practice Guidelines
Update on Advocacy Coordinating Committee 2021 priorities including:
Funding for basic and applied psychological research
- Advocate for increased funding for basic, clinical and applied psychological research within key agencies, foundations, and funding sources (e.g., NIH, NSF, CDC, VA, DoD, Ed, EPA). Expand opportunities for application in public and private sectors.
General applied psychology promotion
- Educate APA membership and advocate across key private sector stakeholders regarding the various contributions of psychology and roles of psychologists in areas such as human performance, motivation, leadership and personnel assessment, conflict resolution, and civic engagement.
Psychology education and training financing
- Improve access to graduate study for psychology, including student financial aid programs, loan repayment, and loan forgiveness programs.
Psychology workforce development
- Improve training and leadership skills of next generation of culturally competent, diverse psychologists, engage students, and secure federal funding for psychology workforce training programs, including accredited internships, and post-doctoral fellowships that expand interprofessional training opportunities working with underserved populations. Increase opportunities for basic and applied psychology trainees.
Update on Publications and Communications (P&C) Board activities (from report from Publication group)
- “APA Publishing serves two important functions, as a content provider of important research, and as APA’s primary source of income. Total revenue for APA’s core scholarly and professional publishing program (APA Journals, APA Books, Publication Manual, Academic Writer, PsycInfo abstracts, PsycArticles full-text, PsycLearn, PsycTests, PsycTherapy, PsycBooks, PsycExtra, and PsycNet platform) totaled over $100 million in 2020.”
- “Journal Editor Appointments. The P&C Board is pleased to have made to several journals including Psychological Assessment: Julie Suhr, PhD”
- “A multi-society collaborative launched the Psychological Research Preregistration-Quantitative (PRP-Q) Template, available here: http://dx.doi.org/10.23668/psycharchives. This Joint Psychological Societies Preregistration Task Force consisted of the American Psychological Association (APA), British Psychological Society (BPS) and German Psychological Society (DGPs) and was supported by the Center for Open Science (COS) and the Leibniz Institute for Psychology (ZPID). The goal of the Task Force was to provide the psychological community with a consensus template for the preregistration of quantitative research in psychology, one with wide coverage and the ability, if necessary, to adapt to specific journals, disciplines and researcher needs.”
- “The PsycTests database grew by 4,057 new records, totaling more than 62,900 records by the end of the year. Nearly half of the metadata records are accompanied by full tests.”
- “PsycLearn: Research Methods was the first course resource provided to instructors for use in their classes. Version 1.4 was launched in August of 2020. There were three primary points of focus to this update. The first was to increase the level of ADA compliancy. We concentrated on the interactive components to ensure there was a keyboard activated experience available for those who are physically disabled, and inserted downloadable transcripts enabling screen readers for the visually impaired. The second was to revise relevant content to reflect APA Style Manual 7e changes. This was particularly important for Research Methods which covers content such as citing references and reporting research. The third was to enable a randomization feature in all summative assessments to discourage student cheating.”