Committee on Socioeconomic Status (CSES): 2012 Annual Report

Mission Statement

As approved by APA’s Council of Representatives in August 2006:

The mission of the Committee on Socioeconomic Status (SES) shall be to further the major purpose of the APA –“to advance psychology as a science and a profession and as a means of promoting health, education and human welfare”—by ensuring that issues of SES receive the full attention of the Association. The Committee will identify and act as a catalyst in the Association’s efforts to address issues of SES, and promote appropriate attention to SES in psychological research and practice. In this regard, the Committee shall: (a) collect information and documentation concerning SES; (b) promote scientific understanding of the roles of poverty and SES in health, education, and human welfare; (c) develop approaches to the application of psychology that take into account the effects of SES on psychological development and well-being; and (d) advocate for social policy that will alleviate or reduce the disparities between SES groups.

CSES Composition

In 2012, CSES welcomed two new members to the committee:

Cynthia Hudley, (2012-2014) is a professor at Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at the University of California at Santa Barbara where she participates in two academic units; Child and Adolescent Development and Special Education, Disabilities and Risk Studies. Dr. Hudley received her PhD in educational psychology in 1991 from the University of California at Los Angeles, where she studied typical and atypical human development.

Ruth Riding-Malon, (2012-2014) is a professor at the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences at the Radford University, with Dr. Riding-Malon earned her PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Kentucky in 2008.

Drs. Hudley and Riding-Malon join the current committee members Salvador Macias, III (Chair); Laura Smith, PhD (Chair-Elect); Hector González, PhD; and Faye A. Reimers, PhD for a term extending from January 2012 until December 2014.


CSES met in Washington, DC on March 30-April 1 and October 5-7 for the 2012 spring and fall consolidated meetings. During the consolidated meetings, in addition to discussing, planning, and initiating activities relevant to the committee’s mission:

  • CSES met with the ED of Public Interest, Gwendolyn Keita, PhD; Susan Opotow, PhD of the Committee on International Relations in Psychology; Ali Mattu, PhD of APAGS, Jim Werth, Phd of CDIP, Kerry Bolger, PhD of the Public Interest-GRO, to identify and discuss areas of mutual interest and concern. The CSES had an opportunity to engage and be observed by BoD members Josephine Johnson, PhD, Jennifer Kelly, PhD and BAPPI liaisons Meg Bond, PhD and Karen Wyche, PhD.
  • CSES reviewed, discussed, and prepared corresponding memos for the seven (7) Cross Cutting Agenda items. Committee members agreed that it is important to use the Cross Cutting agenda to increase CSES’ visibility and SES as a form of diversity to other committees, boards, and members.

CSES Convention Programming and Planning

2012 APA Convention Programming

CSES co-sponsored the following convention symposiums for 2012.

  • Symposium: Hidden Curriculum – Nonacademic Determinants of Academic Success
    Co-sponsors: TOPSS, Division 2, PT@CC, CSES
  • Symposium: Special Challenges Facing College Students – First Generation Status and Poverty
    Co-sponsors: PT@CC, CSES, TOPSS

CSES hosted its annual SES Network Reception & Leadership Awards Ceremony, where it recognized its 2012 leadership awardees, Dr. Bernice Lott, Dr. Lawrence Yang, and the Tallahassee based non-profit, Florida Impact. The CSES also hosted an informal dinner for its members.

2013 APA Convention Planning

Due to the large demand, CSES was able to obtain convention hours for the 2013 convention in Honolulu, HI. The committee shared unanimous support for a convention proposal that would highlight the area ofsocial exclusion within the poverty context. The CSES programming efforts would endeavor to address isolation, visibility, obesity and the greater implication of lack of access, with an eye towards health disparities.

CSES is delighted to serve as co-sponsors/collaborators on four proposals to BAPPI for convention programming hours titled: Indigenous Healing among Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders: Lessons for Western Approaches to Mental Health, Counseling and Psychotherapy, Health Disparities: Emerging Biopsychosocial Challenges of Older Adults Living with HIV, Can Psychology Accommodate Divergent Views on Size? Barriers to a nuanced understanding of obesity, Culture and Health Disparities among Asian Americans and Native Hawaiians Indigenous Theory, Research and Practice.

Other CSES Activities

CSES Communications (Network, Listserv, Webpage, Newsletter)

CSES continues to engage in various communication activities to inform the discipline and increase attention and participation among psychologists to social class and SES related issues to include oversight of the annual SES Network Meeting, SES listserv, webpage, and SES Indicator Newsletter. In an effort to broaden and deepen its reach to the membership and the psychology community, the Committee has modified its newsletter delivery to a quarterly schedule.

World Poverty Day

In observance of the 2012 UN World Poverty Day, CSES collaborated with the APA Public Interest Communication office to engage members and the community through a social media based campaign to generate the public and psychology’s awareness of global poverty. In the week leading to October 17, 2012, CSES utilized twitter, Facebook, and to galvanize the awareness of World Poverty Day.

APAGS involvement with CSES
CSES met with Ali Mattu, PhD to discuss the possibility of having a APAGS monitor, and or liaison. CSES would like to collaborate and engage with the student voice of APA. Dr. Mattu is working on the scope of engagement they can offer.

Disentangling SES and Racial, Ethnic Minority Status
The Committee began its initial discussions on the multivariate analysis models that endeavor to separate race and SES. The Committee identified Division 45, as a possible collaborator in its next steps.

Guidelines for Psychological Practice with SES Disadvantaged Populations

The CSES has continued its discussion on scope of guidelines, by defining the difference from competencies and standards. Faye Reimers, PhD has taken the lead and will share responsibility in writing this proposal.

American Psychologist, Grad Psych and the Monitor Submission

In an effort to bring a broader awareness to World Poverty Day, the CSES would like to publish articles within the APA American Psychologist, Grad Psych , and the Monitor.