Feature

The editor of the new journal International Perspectives in Psychology: Research, Practice, & Consultation is committed to international issues in both her professional and personal lives: For the last decade, Judith L. Gibbons, PhD, has spent the fall semester teaching psychology and international studies at Saint Louis University and the rest of the year living and conducting research in Guatemala.

Published in partnership with APA’s Div. 52 (International), the journal will feature research findings, conceptual models and methodologies, with the aim of understanding and improving the lives of people around the world. “The journal’s purpose is to assess what psychology can contribute to solving the world’s problems,” says Gibbons. The first issue will appear in 2012.

While promoting the use of culturally inclusive psychological science, the journal will also incorporate findings from medicine, education, public health, political science, gender studies and related disciplines.

Potential topics include poverty and development, education, conservation, disaster relief, inter-group relations, immigration and HIV/AIDS.

Gibbons is just as interested in who writes articles as what they’re about. “I want the majority to come from authors outside North America and Europe,” she says, adding that she is considering several African psychologists for the journal’s editorial board. In addition to giving a voice to psychologists who aren’t often heard from, the approach will also be helpful to psychologists in more developed countries. “They’ll be able to learn from what’s happening in developing countries,” she says.

International Perspectives in Psychology isn’t Gibbons’ first foray into journal editing. She has been a consulting editor for the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology and Psychology of Women Quarterly. She has also edited two special issues, one on adolescents for World Psychology and one on inter-country adoption for International Social Work.

Adoption across borders is the focus of Gibbons’ own research.

“I live in a country that until recently was one of the major ‘sending’ countries,” she says, explaining that 1 percent of Guatemalan babies were being released for international adoption. “There was little research from the perspective of a sending country — that is, what the average Guatemalan citizen thinks about sending so many children overseas.” Another area of Gibbons’ research is adolescents, especially relations between Guatemala’s Ladino and indigenous youth.

“This is an essential journal,” says Gibbons. “I can’t speak more highly of APA for taking it on.”


Rebecca A. Clay is a writer in Washington, D.C.