The Society for the Psychological Study of Masculinity and Men, Division 51, American Psychological Association
volume 11
number 2
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August 9 & 13, 2006

Neil A. Massoth

SPSMM Council Representative

It is good to report that APA is in sound financial shape.  As a result, APA was able to reauthorize the Public Education Campaign and to increase (by $10) member’s journal credit.  Additionally, the current five years dues ramp-up for early career psychologists has been changed to a gradual eight-year ramp-up which should help with the current problem of converting student members to full membership status.

Council adopted the following reports:

1) Guidelines for the Undergraduate Psychology Major which provides a set of learning goals and outcomes

2) the report of the Working Group on Psychotropic Medications for Children & Adolescents which identified gaps in the knowledge base for treatment of young people with mental health disorders

3) the report of the APA Task Force on Socioeconomic Status which established a Continuing Committee of Socioeconomic Status

4) the report of the APA Zero Tolerance Task Force which reviewed ten years of research on zero tolerance policies in schools and found that they did not have the desired effect of reducing violence.  The report recommended that such policies continue and that school personnel be given greater flexibility in implementation of disciplinary policies

The Committee on Accreditation will now be called the Commission on Accreditation and membership of the body has been increased to allow for additional membership representing internships, postdoctoral residency programs, and a diversity seat.

The Membership Committee has been restructured to include a separate Fellows Committee.  This change requires a Bylaw amendment which will be sent to the membership for vote in November.

Extensive time was spent discussing the issue of the ethics of psychologists’ involvement in national security interrogations.  This was a follow-up to the PENS Task Force report which was presented at the February Council meeting.  Council has presentations by both Lt. General Kevin C. Kiley, Surgeon General of the U.S. Army who explained the role of psychologists working as consultants at Guantanamo Bay.  He was clear that there are no areas in which psychologists are unable to adhere to the APA Code of Ethics.  Dr. Steven Reisner of Columbia University’s International Trauma Studies Program presented the view that psychologists should not be present at any interrogations.  Issues relevant to this topic are the following:

   1) The APA Ethics Committee is currently working on a Casebook which will address issues such as defining cruel and degrading treatment.

   2) Council adopted a resolution affirming the organization’s opposition to all forms of torture and abuse.  The resolution affirms the centrality of the U.N. human rights declarations, and specifies the psychologists’ duty to intervene to stop acts of torture or degrading treatment.

   3) Council requested that APA President, Gerald Koocher, write a letter to all military psychologists and those working for the VA and National Guard to commend them for their contributions and sacrifices.

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  Edited by: Mitchell Hicks, PhD