Department of Psychology
Chicago, IL 60660
Department of Psychology
Chicago, IL 60660
Dear members of Div. 7,
As I write this column at the start of my term as president of Div. 7, I think about the tremendous impacts of COVID-19—including the ways it has affected research, education, children and families and how the pandemic has laid bare longstanding racial and economic injustices. Although I have hope for a better 2021, it is clear just wishing will not make it so. What can we do? For Div. 7, here are some of my ideas, and I invite our members to reach out with their own (more on that below):
One thing we can do is work with APA to advance an initiative that I learned of in a December Town Hall—cultivating more effective, bi-directional relationships between APA and APA divisions. In my many years of service to Div. 7 (on and off since 1998), I have been convinced that the dollars I put towards being an APA and Div. 7 member contributes to the APA's advocacy work supporting developmental psychology. Nonetheless, for APA to truly advocate for developmental psychology, the connections between APA and the Div. 7 need to be strengthened, so that expertise of our membership can be leveraged as major issues arise. These connections will need to be made through a combination of APA initiatives, and Div. 7's own efforts to open lines of communication with our members.
Another way we raise awareness of the scientific contributions of developmental psychologists is through Div. 7's awards. These awards, and award winners, are featured here on our website, and are celebrated in multiple ways, including at the annual APA convention. There are awards at every career stage—from seasoned professionals, to mid-career and early career developmental psychologists, as well as awards for papers, books, and to support research. We need to increase the number and diversity of candidates nominated for these awards.
The Boyd McCandless Award for Distinguished Early Career Contributions recognizes scholars who have received their PhD within the last seven years. The Mavis Hetherington Award for Excellence in Applied Developmental Science and the Mary Ainsworth Award for Excellence in Developmental Science recognize mid-career scholars. For senior scholars, we recognize their lifetime contributions with two awards: the G. Stanley Hall Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Developmental Psychology and the Urie Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Contribution to Developmental Psychology in the Service of Science and Society. We also recognize exemplary mentors (with 15 or more years of mentoring experience) with the Mentor Award in Developmental Psychology.
The Dissertation Award, Early Career Outstanding Paper Award, and Eleanor Maccoby Book Award—recognize noteworthy papers and books published in the previous year. And we have two awards supporting research: the Dissertation Research Grant, and Early Career Research Grant.
The nomination deadlines are March 15, each year. Details about how to make nominations can be found in the links for each award. I encourage our members to help us highlight cutting-edge developmental science work and nominate scholars for these awards.
We postponed our celebration of our award winners when APA 2020 went virtual. Div. 7 programming will be online in 2021 as well, and we are making plans for a celebration times two—for all of our award winners from the past two cycles. Our division programming is being developed now, under the terrific leadership of our program committee chair Jonathan Tirrell and co-chair Elise Dykhuis. Program chair was my first role in Div. 7, and I know how much time and effort goes into this work; I appreciate all these two are doing to highlight terrific scientific contributions in developmental psychology through Div. 7's programming for the 2021 convention. The call for proposals for APA 2021 is now open, and we welcome your submissions.
We continue initiatives to communicate developmental psychology research to families, practitioners, and policymakers—including the Child and Family Blog—to which I encourage you all to subscribe. If you have a recent publication that you think should be featured, you can contact Duncan Fisher, the editor. Currently on the Child and Family Blog there are several pieces about children and the pandemic.
Div. 7's voice is also amplified when we work with other divisions and participate in interdivisional initiatives. One example is an ongoing effort to prevent and reduce the use of physical punishment – involving divisions with expertise on children and families, including Divs. 7, 37, 53, and 54, schools (16) and diversity (45). This work has been spearheaded by Div. 7 Fellow Elizabeth Gershoff, and resulted in APA adopting a formal resolution that opposes the use of corporal punishment in educational settings. Div. 7 is participating in the recently funded interdivisional effort to extend this work to (a) host a Congressional Briefing to advocate for the end to corporal punishment in schools, and (b) offer trainings to education organizations about the science behind No Hit Zones and how to implement them using a toolkit.
One more set of ideas for action I will suggest as I close: we can make the coming year better by increasing the number and diversity of our membership and member involvement in Div. 7. Reach out to colleagues who are not members and encourage them to join. Membership in APA is not required, and the cost is minimal ($6 for undergraduate and graduate students, and $12 for new regular members; $24 for continuing regular members after the first year). Sign up to be a mentor or mentee in Div. 7's mentoring program (PDF, 65KB). Become active in Div. 7 leadership. Provide us with input about further steps Div. 7 can take to support researchers, educators, children and families, and confront racism and inequity. We can do a lot working together.
Catherine A. Haden
President, Div. 7