Women's Programs Office, American Psychological Association

The Women's Programs Office (WPO) works to improve the status, health, and well-being of women psychologists and consumers of psychological services by:
 
Promoting those aspects of psychology that involve solutions to the fundamental problems of human justice and equitable and fair treatment of all segments of society;
 
Encouraging 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;
 
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 discrimination; and to support improving educational training opportunities for all persons.

Contact

750 First Street NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
Ph. (202) 336-6044
Fx. (202) 336-6117
http://www.apa.org/pi/women/index.aspx
khill@apa.org


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Principal Staff

Shari E. Miles-Cohen, PhD, Senior Director
E-mail: smiles@apa.org

Tanya L. Burrwell, Assistant Director
E-mail: tburrwell@apa.org
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Featured Events


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Areas of Expertise:

Projects & Campaigns

Disabilities

Inequity to Equity: Promoting Health and Wellness for Women with Disabilities 
A two-day national conference on October 17-18, 2011 which highlighted special issues concerning women with disabilities, including health disparities, disease prevention, health promotion and maintenance, heath conditions, reproductive health, psychological health, abuse, access to care and services, and health equity.
 
Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology

The Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology: Year Two commenced in earnest on August 4, 2009 with a day-long workshop held in Toronto, Canada just prior to the APA Convention. The goal of this leadership program is to prepare, support, and empower women psychologists as leaders to promote positive changes in institutional and organizational life and increase the diversity, number, and effectiveness of women psychologists as leaders. 
 
One of the primary priorities of the Institute is to ensure that leadership training opportunities are available for mid-career and senior women psychologists in all of their diversities, including race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, and disability.

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Reports & Resources

Academe
 

This task force report explores the characteristics, roles and status of women psychologists working in academic settings and documents the continued need for improvement in women's standing in academic institutions. (2000).
 

This guide discusses critical incidents and decisions that may confront women and ethnic minorities as they enter and progress through the academic pipeline. (1998).
 

This report by the Commission on Ethnic Minority Recruitment, Retention, and Training in Psychology Task Force/Textbook Initiative Work Group Provides suggestions and examples for publishers, authors, and instructors in order to help them advance psychology as an inclusive science. (2003).
 
Women and Depression
 

It's common for women to experience the "baby blues" -- feeling stressed, sad, anxious, lonely, tired, or weepy -- following their baby's birth. Whether your symptoms are mild or sever, recovery is possible with proper treatment.
 

Postpartum Depression (PPD) is a serious mental health problem characterized by a prolonged period of emotional disturbance, occurring at a time of major life change and increased responsibilities in the care of a newborn infant. PPD can have significant consequences for both the new mother and family.
 

Information on risk factors for depression in women and what is needed to better understand and treat women with depression.
 

This report outlines the proceedings and recommendations resulting from the 2000 Summit, which brought together more than 35 internationally renowned experts from a variety of disciplines to provide a state-of-the-art review of research findings on women and depression. (2000)
 

Manuscripts written by Summit participants specifically for the Summit on Women and Depression and published in various journals across disciplines.
 
Women in Psychology 
 
Report of the Task Force on the Changing Gender Composition of Psychology 

This report assesses the significance and implications of the increase in the number of women entering the discipline of psychology. (1995). For more information, contact the Women's Programs Office.
 

This report provides data on the numbers of women participating as members and serving in leadership roles in psychology, including in divisions; in state associations; on the boards and committees that make up APA's governance structure; in the publications process as editors, associate editors, and reviewers; and in APA's central office. (2006).
 
Poverty
 

This briefing paper provides a summary of recent research on the powerful and negative impact of mental health problems, such as depression, and on the high prevalence of mental health problems among poor women.
 

This report looks at the real causes of poverty among women and what the scientific research tells us about issues such as domestic violence, education and training, the structure of work and workplace benefits, child care, and physical and mental health care. (1998).
 
Violence
 

Learn what actions employers can undertake to help minimize the psychological impact of terrorist violence.
 

Violence against women is a major cause of reduced quality of life, distress, injury and death for women and has serious secondary effects for families, communities, and the economy.
 
Mental Health and Abortion
 

This report reviews the scientific research addressing mental health factors associated with abortion, including the psychological responses following abortion. (2008).
 
Sexualization of Girls
 

This report explores the cognitive and emotional consequences, consequences for mental and physical health, and impact on development of a healthy sexual self-image. (2007).
 
 
 
 
Domestic Violence Resources
 




 
Committee Publications
 

Publication of this CWP anniversary report was made possible by the generous contributions of time, memories, and photographs by current and former members and friends of the Committee.
 
If sex enters into the psychotherapy relationship (1989) — Not available 

A reprint of an article originally published by the CWP to help patients understand the impact of sex with their psychotherapist and provide information on resources available should such a relationship occur.
 
 
The CWP proposed a new initiative to focus on older women within the profession of psychology and within society. This grew out of the committee’s concern that the U.S. population is aging and that the majority of older people are women.
 
Task Force Reports
 

This is a report of the Division 35 Task Force on Women, Poverty and Public Assistance providing information on key areas of welfare reform that should be addressed, sympathetically interpreted or amended in the legislation current at that time in order to ensure the long-term goal of self-sufficiency for women on public assistance.
 

The APA Task Force on Mental Health and Abortion reached its conclusions after evaluating all of the empirical studies published in English in peer-reviewed journals since 1989 that compared the mental health of women who had an induced abortion to comparison groups of women, or that examined factors that predict mental health among women who have had an elective abortion in the United States. The task force, formed in 2006, was charged with collecting, examining and summarizing the scientific research addressing mental health factors associated with abortion, including the psychological responses following abortion.
 
Report of the Task Force on the Changing Gender Composition of Psychology (1995) — Not available 

This report describes a study that assessed the significance and implications of the increase in the number of women entering the discipline of psychology over two decades.
 

This report outlines research priorities pertaining to specific diseases and health practices that significantly affect women.
 
 
Journalists, child advocacy organizations, parents and psychologists have argued that the sexualization of girls is a broad and increasing problem and is harmful to girls. The APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls was formed in response to these expressions of public concern.
 

This report outlines the proceedings and recommendations resulting from the 2000 Summit, which brought together more than 35 internationally renowned experts from a variety of disciplines to provide a state-of-the-art review of research findings on women and depression, make recommendations on how these findings can be reflected in health policy and incorporated into practice, and generate a targeted research agenda on women and depression.
 

This publication considers the characteristics, roles and status of women psychologists working in academic settings and documents the continued need for improvement in women's standing in academic institutions.
 

This report examines the number of women in APA, their distribution across the subfields of psychology and their representation in the APA.
 
Women Psychologists in Academe: Mixed Progress, Unwarranted Complacency (2001) — Not available 

This American Psychologist article summarizes and updates the report of the Task Force on the Status of Women in Academe (APA Task Force on Women in Academe, 2000), a group established by the APA Council of Representatives "to delineate and evaluate issues associated with recruitment, retention, and progress of women psychologists throughout their careers in academe."
 

Actions employers can undertake to help minimize and ameliorate the psychological impact of terrorism violence.
 
Resolutions and Brochures
 

This brochure highlights the psychological consequences of intimate partner violence, the forms of psychological aggression, how to screen/recognize signs of violence, as well as safety planning information.
 

This document outlines actions of APA's Council of Representatives over the past 30 years in response to the issues raised in the historic 52 demands relating to resolutions that dealt with employment, education, child and healthcare facilities, psychological theories and practice, conventions, equity in decision making and the general status of women.
 

An extensive overview of postpartum depression including: symptoms, risk factors, frequency and what can be done to help. 

 


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Center News

Call for Proposals: Conference on Health of Women with Disabilities
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - 5:06pm

Call for Proposals: Deadline July 8, 2011

Inequity to Equity: Promoting Health and Wellness of Women with Disabilities

October 17-18, 2011 in Washington, DC
http://www.apa.org/pi/women/programs/disabilities-conference/index.aspx

The American Psychological Association invites submissions of proposals for an interactive, interdisciplinary conference, “Inequity to Equity: Promoting Health and Wellness of Women with Disabilities”.  We seek proposals for poster presentations, papers, and symposia regarding women with disabilities that address the following topics: Health Disparities and Equity; Access to Healthcare; Health Promotion and Disease Prevention; Reproductive Health and Sexual Health; Psychosocial Health; Interpersonal Violence and Violence Prevention; Disability across the Lifespan; and Legal Guidance and Public Policy.  The conference is cosponsored with the Howard University Women’s Health Institute and Gallaudet University and will be held at the Kellogg Conference Hotel at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC on October 17 - 18, 2011. By promoting the exchange of knowledge and information among psychologists, other health care providers, researchers, educators, policymakers, women with disabilities and advocates, this conference aims to foster an integrated health care agenda that will improve health outcomes for women with disabilities.  Call for Proposals deadline is July 8, 2011.


 



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Opportunities, Grants & Fellowships

Internship Opportunities
 
The American Psychological Association (APA) is offering spring, summer and fall internship opportunities in the Women’s Programs Office of the Public Interest Directorate.
 
The Women’s Programs Office (WPO) works to improve the status, health and well-being of women psychologists and consumers of psychological services. Activities of the office span the science, practice, education and policy arenas. On a daily basis, WPO provides staff support for the Committee on Women in Psychology (CWP) and related task forces and working groups; serves as an information and referral resource on women’s issues; and develops and disseminates reports, pamphlets, and other materials addressing research, practice and consumer concerns relevant to women’s lives.

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