Appendix VIII: History of Creation of Divisions as Structural Units of the APA
A major reorganization of the APA took effect in 1945. The events that culminated in the reorganization began in 1942 with the deliberations of the National Research Council (NRC) as a part of the war mobilization effort. Its major concern was the fractional state of organized psychology. There were nearly a dozen organizations representing some special interest of psychology at that time. The APA was the oldest and was recognized as the organization national in scope that represented psychology. The American Association for Applied Psychology (AAAP) was a major force as well. Under guidance from the NRC, an APA-AAAP constitution committee developed the plan for the new APA that was adopted by the membership in 1944.
The purpose of the reorganization was twofold. One purpose was to give greater recognition to individual differences, both scientific and professional, of specialized subgroups within the total APA membership. The second purpose was to give greater attention to the professional problems of its members. The broadened objectives of the APA and a structure that encouraged special interests brought organizations such as the AAAP and the Society for the Psychological Studies of Social Issues (now Division 9) into the new APA.
The structure of the reorganized APA was described as in some respects a radical break with the old pattern. Instead of having one undifferentiated whole, differences in interest were recognized by the creation of eighteen APA divisions. In order to keep step with changing needs, provision was made for the creation of new divisions as well as their dissolution.
The Council of Representatives was created with this reorganization. It replaced the full membership of the APA as the body having legislative power over most business of the Association. It initially contained two types of representatives, those from divisions and those from regional associations. Some changes in the composition of the Council were foreseen to provide for the direct representation of state associations. At the time of APA's reorganization, fourteen state associations existed. All organizations previously affiliated with the AAAP or APA were automatically accepted for affiliation with the new APA upon request. In 1945-46 issues involving affiliation and representation of state associations in the new APA were considered. The Conference of State Psychological Associations (CSPA) was established. Its function was described as primarily integrative and educative. State associations were represented in CSPA roughly in proportion to the size of their state memberships. The CSPA was composed of representatives who were members of APA. It elected representatives from its own membership to the Council of Representatives. The number of representatives allowed to state associations was determined annually in accord with the same provision for determining the number of representatives allowed to divisions.
Major organizational changes developed between 1956 and 1958. The CSPA was dissolved. Individual states were given seats for direct representation on Council. A special meeting of Council in 1966 created the Albee Commission which recommended that Division 31 (State Psychological Association Affairs) be created to represent states on Council rather than state associations having individual seats. However, the Board of Directors later amended the Albee Commission recommendations. While Division 31 was created, state associations maintained their individual seats on Council along with divisions. The number of seats on Council for both divisions and state/provincial psychological associations has since been determined by an apportionment ballot.