Board for the Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest (BAPPI): 2008 Annual Report

Mission Statement

The Board for the Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest (BAPPI) shall consist of not fewer than ten members elected for three-year terms.  Nine of the members must be members of the American Psychological Association.  The tenth member shall be a public member appointed by BAPPI for up to a three-year term.   The mission of BAPPI shall be to encourage the generation and application of psychological knowledge on issues important to human well being.  It shall have general concern for those aspects of psychology that involve solutions to the fundamental problems of human justice and that promote equitable and just treatment of all segments of society.  BAPPI shall encourage the utilization and dissemination of psychological knowledge to advance equal opportunity and to foster empowerment of those who do not share equitably in society's resources.  The Board shall be concerned with increasing scientific understanding and training in regard to those aspects that pertain to, but are not limited to culture, class, race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age and disability.  The Board shall support improving educational and training opportunities for all persons in psychology and continue the promotion of culturally sensitive models for the delivery of psychological services.  The Board shall be sensitive to the entire range of APA activities as they pertain to the mission of this Board and make recommendations regarding ethically and socially responsible actions by APA when appropriate.   The composition of the Board shall reflect diversity in terms of ethnic minorities, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities and religion, as well as the range of interests’ characteristic of psychology in all its aspects.

Membership and Meetings

The members of BAPPI in 2008 were:  Douglas C. Kimmel, PhD (chair), Martha E. Banks, PhD, Jean L. Chin, EdD, Kristin A. Hancock, PhD, Olivia Moorehead-Slaughter, PhD (2008 chair elect), Allan S. Noonan, MD, MPH (Public Member), Ena Vazquez-Nuttall, EdD, Barbara Palombi, PhD, Sandra Shullman, PhD, and Sherri L. Turner, PhD

Drs. Banks, Kimmel, Chin and Noonan completed their terms of service on BAPPI on December 31, 2008.  Dr. Asuncion M. Austria and Dr. Douglas C. Haldeman, PhD were appointed to serve on BAPPI for the 2009-2011 term.  Joan S. Meier, JD was selected by BAPPI to serve as the public member.

Public Interest Communications

During the spring 2008 meeting, BAPPI members discussed ideas, recommendations, identified needs and other issues regarding the evolving process for development of an expanded communications plan for the Public Interest Directorate.  BAPPI then discussed the particular public relations issues of Public Interest, noting that there is a profound need to frame public interest focused efforts as necessary to psychology: what is good for public interest is good for psychology.  This would probably involve concentrated efforts to change perceptions of what people see as “public interest” and reframe it as what psychology is really all about. 

2008 APA Convention Programming

In accordance with the theme chosen by the Board for its 2008 sponsored programming, Empowering Psychology’s Contributions to Public Health through Policy and Practice, BAPPI developed and offered the following symposium:

Empowering Psychology’s Contributions to Public Health Through Research, Practice, and Policy
Chair:  Douglas C. Kimmel, PhD
Participants:  Ronald H. Rozensky, PhD; Linda Degutis, DrPH, MSN; Vickie M. Mays, PhD; Margaret Heldring, PhD
Discussant:  Allan S. Noonan, MD, MPH
Description:  Public health is a global term describing practices in which psychology must play a major role, especially health promotion and disease prevention. Since that role is inadequate at the moment and becoming more and more important daily, we must strive to enhance the role of psychology in many areas of public health practice and policy.

BAPPI also sponsored the following series of programs which were developed by PI committees. 

Committee on Socioeconomic Status:  Symposium Title:  Enriching Psychology’s Contributions to Public Health by Incorporating Issues of Socioeconomic Status into Research, Practice, and Policy
Committee on Socioeconomic Status and Committee on Women in Psychology Collaborative Symposium
Symposium Title:  Partnering with Community Groups in Advocating for Low-Income Communities
Task Force on Gender Identity, Gender Variance, and Intersex Conditions Request for 2008 APA Annual Convention Program Hour: Presentation Titles:  History of the Task Force; Needs of Psychologists; Literature Review; Policy
Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs and Committee on Children, Youth, and Families:
Session Working Title:  Psychological Implications of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids:  Strategies to address mental health issues of immigrant children, youth
Committee on Aging:  10th Anniversary Convention Programming
Committee on Aging, Committee on Disability Issues in Psychology, Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs, and Ad Hoc Committee on Psychology and AIDS:  Symposium:  Best Practices of Integrated Care:  Opportunities and Challenges

Prevention of Incarceration

BAPPI has identified prevention of incarceration as one of its two major priorities for the next several years, along with psychology and public health.  To this end, the Board has been developing and initiating activities, some in conjunction with the PI Government Relations Office.  A 2009 APA Convention panel discussion will focus on research relevant to prevention of incarceration, effective treatment, and programs that have been successful in the psychological adjustment following incarceration. Presenters will address the strategies, approaches, and models with empirical support that can provide some handles that policy makers can grasp to have productive impact on this major problem.

Task Force on the Implementation of the APA Multicultural Guidelines

The Final Report of the Task Force on the Implementation of the APA Guidelines on Multicultural Education, Training, Research, Practice and Organizational Change for Psychologists (“the Multicultural Guidelines”), which recommends methodologies for the application of guidelines throughout APA and the field of psychology, has been completed and available on APA’s Public Interest Directorate Web site and through the PI Executive Office. 

Task Force on Diversity in Course Content, Publications and Training Programs

The Task Force on Diversity in Course Content, Publications and Training Programs was charged by Council to make recommendations regarding the ongoing development of the report on the status of diversity in course content, publications, and training programs and to develop a report to inform Council and serve as the basis upon which to recommend the resources needed to enhance diversity in the discipline of psychology.  

A survey/questionnaire was distributed to psychology programs and department heads, selected faculty, and students, and a report based on the findings and analysis, along with recommendations for action, of the survey results is currently in development.