News from the Public Interest Directorate

Check out some division related news from the Public Interest Directorate

2011-2012 Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology

The APA Committee on Women in Psychology and the APA Women’s Programs Office are pleased to invite mid-career women psychologists who work full-time in academic, academic medicine, clinical, or consulting settings to apply for the 2011-2012 Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology (LIWP).  Please look for the 2011-2012 application on the WPO webpage in December 2010.

CWP announces its fourth annual Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology to be held on Tuesday, August 2, and Wednesday, August 3, 2011, in Washington, DC.  This year in addition to accepting approximately 30 mid-career women psychologist who work full time in academic/academic medical settings, we will also be accepting approximately 30 mid-career women psychologists who work primarily in clinical or consulting settings.  While there will be some overlap in the curriculum for these two groups, there will also be separate learning objectives and sessions for each.  This is a competitive process, please complete the application for the group with which you most clearly identify.
The overall mission of the CWP Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology is to empower, prepare, and support women psychologists as leaders to promote positive changes in institutional and organizational life and to increase the diversity, number, and effectiveness of women psychologists as leaders.  The program’s mission supports APA’s goal to advance psychology as a science and profession and as a means of promoting health, education and human welfare.

The CWP Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology has several objectives: 

  • Ensure that mid-career and senior women in psychology have the knowledge and skills necessary to compete for and be successful in leadership/management positions in academic, clinical/consulting, and other professional settings. 

  • Enhance the number and effectiveness of female psychologists holding institutional leadership positions in academic and other professional settings. 

  • Increase the diversity of women psychologists in institutional leadership positions. 

  • Create networks of women psychologists in senior management/leadership positions in varied professional settings. 

  • Document the career movement and professional advancement, as well as the perceived impact of the LIWP among participants.

CYF Call for Nominations (2012-2014)

The Committee on Children, Youth, and Families (CYF) is anticipating two vacancies in 2012. CYF welcomes nominations from individuals interested in linking research and policy for children and families within APA and the profession. The Committee is particularly interested in candidates with substantial expertise and demonstrated experience in applying psychological knowledge to the well being and optimal development of children, youth, and families; and in issues advancing psychology as a science and profession in the area of promoting health and human welfare. Candidates are sought who have particular expertise in contemporary issues facing children, youth, and families in the context of their socioemotional and cognitive development and mental health. Candidates who have particular interest in culturally and linguistically diverse, understudied, underserved and diverse populations are especially encouraged to apply.

Members are expected to participate in a targeted project directly related to CYF’s work and mission and to APA as a whole. The project is to be completed during their three-year term on the Committee. Some examples of topics previously addressed include immigrant children, youth, and families; school drop-out prevention; psychological implications of disasters; early mental health interventions; violence against children in the family and community; child maltreatment; the mental health needs of all children and adolescents; systems of care; bullying and violence in the media; homeless youth and families; spirituality and resilience; and promotion of healthy active lifestyles and prevention of obesity in children and youth. Areas of interest to the Committee at present include education, mental health, and health disparities; suicide prevention; cultural diversity; and social media. Potential candidates are encouraged to visit the CYF website to learn more about CYF’s mission and prior initiatives.

The Committee places a priority on maintaining representation within the Committee's membership that reflects the diversity of psychology and society (e.g., ethnicity, culture, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, geographic location, and those who are employed less than full time). The candidates selected to serve on the Committee will serve for three years and will be required to attend two Committee meetings a year in Washington, DC, with expenses reimbursed by APA, and to participate in conference calls. The successful candidate is expected to attend, if possible, the informal CYF meeting held during the APA convention at the member's own expense. In addition, members are expected to work on projects and Committee business between meetings.

Each candidate is asked to submit:

  1. a letter indicating his/her willingness to serve; 

  2. a brief statement describing the applicant’s expertise and interest in one or two contemporary issues facing children, adolescents and families that they would bring to the Committee; 

  3. two letters supporting their nomination; and 

  4. a current curriculum vita.

Nomination material including a letter from the candidate indicating a willingness to serve, an issues statement, two letters supporting their nomination, and a current CV must be received by Monday, August 29, 2011. Nomination materials received after August 29 will be held for consideration the following year. Material may be sent to CYF Nominations, c/o Amani Chatman, Public Interest Directorate, American Psychological Association, 750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC, 20002-4242, by e-mail or fax (202) 336-6040. 

New APA Report Highlights Resilience and Recovery after War in Refugee Children and Families

Washington—In the ongoing contentious debate surrounding immigration, the lives and experiences of resettled refugees are often an afterthought. War and armed conflict affect millions of people around the world each year, tens of thousands of whom flee their home countries for the U.S. 

Resilience and Recovery after War: Refugee Children and Families in the United States, a recent task force report from the American Psychological Association:

  • reviews the research on the psychosocial effects of war, 

  • identifies areas of needed culturally and developmentally appropriate research, and 

  • provides recommendations for culturally and developmentally informed practice and programs.

The report is the product of the APA Task Force on the Psychosocial Effects of War on Children and Families Who are Refugees from Armed Conflict Residing in the United State and can be found on the Resilience of Refugee Children After War webpage. Images featured in this report are from the AjA Project, a nonprofit organization that utilizes photography-based educational programs to transform the lives of refugee and displaced youth by getting them to see themselves as agents of personal and social transformation.

Psychology is beginning to understand the full impact of armed conflict, displacement, and resettlement on children’s development and overall well-being. However, despite the mental health risks of the unimaginable hardship and trauma associated with war, there is evidence to suggest that war-affected children demonstrate tremendous resilience. 
Psychologists and other mental health professionals can assist refugee children and their families with recovery by: 

  • Recognizing and understanding the factors involved in psychosocial adjustment following war and violence 

  • Providing comprehensive mental health services that are culturally and linguistically appropriate 

  • Partnering with members of the refugee community in performing research, advocacy, and mental health care 

  • Adhering to strong ethical standards in the research, practice, and advocacy to protect human rights of refugee communities 

The treatment needs of refugee populations resettled in America are complex and diverse. Consequently, psychologists and other mental health providers must provide comprehensive services that are culturally competent and that integrate evidence-based practice with practice-based evidence.  Sample vignettes in the report bring to life scenarios that war affected children and families face everyday.  Each vignette is followed by a mental health care principle that takes theory and puts it into practice.
Researchers must utilize a wide range of methodologies to identify and understand cultural variations in well-being and distress and instill ethical considerations of the power disparities and vulnerabilities that exist for refugee populations in the conduct of their work.   The report concludes with recommendations for advancing services and supports, the research and knowledge base, and education and training opportunities for refugee children and families.