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American Psychological Association (APA)

The American Psychological Association (APA) was founded in July 1892, and by the 1990s, it was both the world's largest association of psychologists and the major organization representing psychology in the United States. APA has 159,000 members and affiliates (students and high school teachers) from around the world. APA sponsors approximately 50 specialty divisions.

The program of the APA is organized in four directorates, namely Science, Practice, Public Interest, and Education, all of which contribute to the goal of seeking ways to increase human wellness through an understanding of behavior. The Science Directorate promotes the exchange of ideas and research findings through conventions, conferences, publications, and traveling museum exhibits. It also helps psychologists locate and obtain research funding. The Practice Directorate promotes the practice of psychology and the availability of psychological care. It lobbies both federal and state legislatures on issues such as health care reform, regulatory activities such as state licensure, and public service such as the pro bono services provided through the Disaster Response Network. The Public Interest Directorate supports the application of psychology to the advancement of human welfare through program and policy development, conference planning, and support of research, training, and advocacy in areas such as minority affairs, women's issues, and lesbian and gay concerns. The Education Directorate serves to advance psychology in its work with educational institutions, professional agencies, and programs and initiatives in education.

APA publishes books as well as more than 24 scientific and professional journals and newsletters, including APA Monitor and American Psychologist. Since 1970, PsychINFO, a worldwide computer database, has provided references in psychology and related behavioral and social sciences. The week-long APA annual convention is the world's largest meeting of psychologists. More than 15,000 psychologists attend, and have opportunities to attend the presentation of more than 3,000 papers, lectures, and symposia.

Further Information

American Psychological Association. 1200 Seventeenth Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20036, (202) 336–5500.

Additional topics

Psychology EncyclopediaPsychology Organizations