In July, APA members went to Capitol Hill to inform policy-makers about psychological research on aging issues and education.
Donna Cohen, PhD, and Jane Pearson, PhD, testified before the Senate's Special Committee on Aging at a hearing chaired by Sen. John Breaux (D-La.) on "Senior depression: life-saving mental health treatments for older Americans." Cohen, a professor in the department of aging and mental health and director of the Violence and Injury Prevention Program at the University of South Florida, testified on how depression among older adults can lead to suicide or homicide. Pearson, associate director for preventive interventions at the National Institute of Mental Health, highlighted current federal research efforts on geriatric depression and suicide.
Gerontology expert and psychologist William Haley, PhD, presented his research on caregiver stress at an APA congressional briefing on "Providing lifespan respite care: vital support for family caregivers." Haley, chair of the department of gerontology at the University of South Florida, discussed the benefits of respite services, as well as individual and family counseling, to ease caregiver stress that can lead to increased health problems and depression.
Rebecca Marcon, PhD, of the University of North Florida, and Patricia O'Reilly, PhD, of the University of Cincinnati, spoke at another APA briefing on "Enhancing educational performance: social, motivational and cultural factors." At the briefing--co-sponsored by the Consortium of Social Science Associations--both psychologists highlighted recent research findings on ways to improve academic performance among schoolchildren. In addition, Marcon discussed her research on which types of preschool programs best prepare young children for school learning, and O'Reilly recommended ways to construct better learning environments for adolescent girls.