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  • April 27, 2022 1:03 PM | Anonymous

    Statement from the Arizona Psychological Association: LGBTQ+ Rights and Advocacy Efforts

    Arizona Governor Ducey signed into law SB1165 and SB1138 on March 30th, 2022, which deny gender-affirming surgical care to Transgender individuals before the age of 18 and access to sports for Transgender athletes.

    Such legislation is harmful to the children and adults who identify as LGBTQ+. Many states have recently passed similar anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, which denies the basic human rights of individuals and communities that identify as LGBTQ+.

    The Arizona Psychological Association (AzPA) strongly opposes the passage of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, policies, and practices. The negative long-term and societal costs of passing legislation that discriminates against LGBTQ+ individuals are well documented in psychological science and research.

    According to the American Psychological Association (APA, 2020):

    Anti-LGBTQ+ stigma harms the physical and psychological health of LGBTQ+ people (Bialer & McIntosh, 2016; Burke, 2016; Cahill, 2017; Hatzenbuehler et al., 2009; Newman-Freeman, 2013; Raifman et al., 2018; Singh, & McKleroy, 2011) while equalizing laws and initiatives lead to improvement in LGBTQ+ people's physical and psychological health (Hatzenbuehler & Keyes, 2013; Mattocks et al., 2014; Parco & Levy, 2013; Tran, 2016; Wight, LeBlanc, & Badgett, 2013; Woodford et al., 2018).

    Transgender children vary in athletic ability, just as other youth do. There is no evidence to support claims that allowing transgender student athletes to play on the team that fits their gender identity would affect the fairness of the sport or competition (ACLU, 2020).

    Stereotype-based information about LGBTQ+ people appearing in discourse around laws, policies, and practices contributes to social stigma (Ball, 2010; Bull & Gallagher, 1996; Conrad, 1983; Douglass, 1997; Dugan, 2005; Eastland, 1996a; 1996b; Fingerhut et al., 2011; Herman, 1997; Keen & Goldberg, 2001; Moats, 2004; Russell & Bohan, 2014; Sarbin, 1996; Witt & McCorkle, 1997) and carries negative effects for LGBTQ+ people (Fingerhut et al., 2011; Russell, 2000; Russell & Richards, 2003).

    Research and clinical literature demonstrate that variations in sexual and romantic attractions, feelings, and behavior as well as gender identity and gender expression are normal and positive variations of human sexuality (Bell, Weinberg, & Hammersmith, 1981; Bullough, 1976; Ford & Beach 1951; Kinsey, Pomeroy, & Martin, 1948; Kinsey, Pomeroy, Martin, & Gebhard, 1953) and gender (Bockting, 2008; Coleman et al., 2012; Kuper et al., 2012) and there is no scientific basis for such discrimination based on LGBTQ+ identities. There is ample evidence that an opportunity for adolescents to participate in sports results in positive outcomes, such as better grades, greater homework completion, higher educational and occupational aspirations, and improved self-esteem (Darling et al., 2005; Fredericks & Eccles, 2006; Marsh & Kleitman, 2003; Nelson, & Gordon-Larsen, 2006; Ortega et al., 2008; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2008). Additionally, excluding any subset of gender from sports can encourage divisiveness and compromise group cohesion, undermining the benefits all youth deserve from team sports (ACLU, 2020). All youth should have access to the benefits of sports.

    Transgender youth foregoing gender-affirming care can have tragic consequences. Evidence has shown Transgender youth experience disproportionate levels of violence and bullying. Transgender youth are also more likely to feel less safe at school than cisgender youth, that is youth whose gender identity is consistent with their assigned sex at birth (Day et al., 2018).

    Access to gender-affirming care has a positive relationship with the mental health of transgender youth and lowers their risk of depression and suicide (Bauer et al., 2015; Green et al., 2021. Transgender youth who have access to gender-affirming medical care experience improvements in mental health and often show mental health comparable to their cisgender peers (Toomey et al., 2022). Additionally, the distress experienced by youth who are provided treatments, but then decide to discontinue them and grow up to be cisgender, is significantly less than that which is experienced by transgender youth when such treatments are delayed (Ashley, 2021).

    Decisions about whether to seek gender-affirming care, and what specific services to utilize, must be made between a provider, patient, and the patient’s parents or guardians. Such decisions are relative to the youth’s individual clinical situation. Gender affirming care typically includes steps toward social transition, potentially treatments to temporarily postpone puberty, and in some instances, gender affirming hormone therapy (Coleman et al., 2012). Rather than allow flexibility to account for the varying needs of individuals, SB1138 adopts a “one size fits all” approach by categorically banning the provision of appropriate gender-affirming surgery for minors.

    Therefore, the Arizona Psychological Association, ask the federal and state governments to support equal opportunity, fairness, and equal access to care for LGBTQ+ individuals and all minority communities.

    We call upon the AzPA membership to advocate for Arizona’s LGBTQ+ and other minority communities by opposing discriminatory legislation such as SB1165 and SB1138.

    AzPA asks state policymakers and leaders to join with us in opposing unjust practices and policies in order to promote the well-being of LGBTQ+ communities and all of Arizona’s minority communities.

    AzPA asks the citizens of Arizona to join us in urging our leaders to respect and protect the well-being of LGBTQ+ individuals from discriminatory laws, policies, and practices such as SB 1165 and SB 1138.

    Evelyn Burrell, Psy.D. 
    President
    Arizona Psychological Association 

    Ashton Dessert
    LGBTQ+ Committee Chair
    Arizona Psychological Association

    Click here to view as a PDF

    References

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    American Psychological Association. 2020. Resolution on opposing discriminatory laws, policies, and practices aimed at LGBTQ+ persons. https://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/policy/opposing-laws

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    Eastland, L.S. (1996b). The reconstruction of identity: Strategies of the Oregon Citizens Alliance. In F.B. Ray (Ed.), Case studies in communication and disenfranchisement: Applications to social health issues. (pp. 59-75). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

    Fingerhut, A.W., Riggle, E.D.B., & Rostosky, S.S. (2011). Same-sex marriage: The social and psychological implications of policy and debates. Journal of Social Issues, 67, 225-241. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-4560.2011.01695.x

    Ford, C.S. & Beach, F.A. (1951). Patterns of sexual behavior. The Harper Brothers.

    Fredericks, J. A., & Eccles, J. S. (2006). Is extracurricular participation associated with beneficial outcomes? Concurrent and longitudinal relations. Developmental Psychology, 42(4), 698–713.

    Green, A. E., DeChantes, J. P., Price, M. N., Davis, C. A. (2021). Association of gender affirming hormone therapy with depression, thoughts of suicide, and attempted suicide among transgender and nonbinary youth. Journal of Adolescent Health.

    Hatzenbuehler, M.L., McLaughlin, K.A., Keyes, K.M., & Hasin, D.S. (2010). The impact of institutional discrimination on psychiatric disorders in lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations: A prospective study. American Journal of Public Health, 100(3), 452-459. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2009.168815

    Hatzenbuehler, M.L., O'Cleirigh, C.,Grasso, C., Mayer, K., Safren, S., & Bradford, J. (2012). Effect of same-sex marriage laws on health care use and expenditures in sexual minority men: A quasi-natural experiment, American Journal of Public Health, 102(2), 285-291. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300382

    Hatzenbuehler, M.L., & Keyes, K.M. (2013). Inclusive anti-bullying policies and reduced risk of suicide attempts in lesbian and gay youth. Journal of Adolescent Health, 53 (1), S21-S26. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2012.08.010

    Hatzenbuehler, M.L. & Link, B.G. (2014). Introduction to the special issue on structural stigma and health. Social Science & Medicine, 103, 1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2013.12.017

    Hatzenbuehler, M.L., Phelan, J.C., & Link, B.G. (2013). Stigma as a fundamental cause of population health inequalities. American Journal of Public Health, 103, 813-821. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.301069

    Herman, D. (1997). The antigay agenda: Orthodox vision and the Christian Right. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/c/9780226327693.001.0001

    Keen, L., and Goldberg, S.B. (2001). Strangers to the law: Gay people on trial. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

    Kinsey, A.C., Pomeroy, W.B., & Martin, C.E. (1948). Sexual behavior in the human male. Oxford, England: Saunders.

    Kinsey, A.C., Pomeroy, W.B., Martin, C.E., & Gebhard, P.H. (1953). Sexual behavior in the human female. Oxford, England: Saunders.

    Kuper, L.E., Nussbaum, R., & Mustanski, B. (2012). Exploring the diversity of gender and sexual orientation identities in an online sample of transgender individuals. The Journal of Sex Research, 49 (2-3), 244-254. doi: 10.1080/00224499.2011.596954

    Marsh, H.W. & Kleitman, S. (2003). School athletic participation: Mostly gain with little pain. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 25(2), 205–228.

    Mattocks, K.M., Kauth, M.R., Sandfort, T., Matza, A.R., Sullivan, J.C., & Shipherd, J.C. (2014). Understanding health-care needs of sexual and gender minority veterans: how targeted research and policy can improve health . LGBT health, 1 (1), 50-57. doi: 10.1089/lgbt.2013.0003

    Moats, D. (2004). Civil wars: A battle for gay marriage. Orlando, FL: Harcourt.

    Nelson, M. C. & Gordon-Larsen, P. (2006). Physical activity and sedentary behavior patterns are associated with selected adolescent health risk behaviors. Pediatrics, 117(4), 1281–1290.

    Newman-Freeman, V.M. (2013). Bridging the Gaps: How Does Anti-Gay Discourse and Legislation Affect the Emotional and Relational Well-Being of African-American Lesbian Women and Family (Doctoral dissertation, Drexel University).

    Ortega, F. B., Ruiz, J. R., Castillo, M. J., & Sjöström, M. (2008). Physical fitness in childhood and adolescence: A powerful marker of health. International Journal of Obesity, 32, 1– 11.

    Parco, J.E., & Levy, D.A. (2013). Policy and paradox: Grounded theory at the moment of DADT repeal. Journal of Homosexuality, 60 (2-3), 356-380. doi: 10.1080/00918369.2013.744925.

    Raifman, J., Moscoe, E., Austin, S. B., Hatzenbuehler, M.L., & Galea, S. (2018). Association of state laws permitting denial of services to same-sex couples with mental distress in sexual minority adults: A difference-in-difference-in-differences analysis. Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry, 75(7), 671–677.

    Russell, G.M. (2000). Voted out: Psychological consequences of anti-gay politics. New York: New York University Press.

    Russell, G.M. (2011). Motives of heterosexual allies in collective action for equality. Journal of Social Issues, 67, 376-393. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4560.2011.01703.x

    Russell, G.M., & Bohan, J.S. (2014). Toward a contextual understanding of psychology trainees' religious conflicts. Journal of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 1, 293-301. doi:10.1037/sgd0000072.

    Russell, G.M., Bohan, J.S., McCarroll, M.C., & Smith, N.G. (2010). Trauma, recovery, and community: Perspectives on the long-term impact of anti-LGBT politics. Traumatology, 1- 10. https://doi.org/10.1177/1534765610362799

    Russell, G.M., & Richards, J.A. (2003). Stressor and resilience factors for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals confronting antigay politics. American Journal of Community Psychology, 31, 313-328. http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1023919022811

    Sarbin, T.R. (1996). The deconstruction of stereotypes: Homosexuals and military policy. In G.M. Herek, J.B. Jobe, & R.M. Carney (eds.), Out in force: Sexual orientation and the military (pp. 177-196). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    Singh, A.A., & McKleroy, V.S. (2011). “Just getting out of bed is a revolutionary act”: The resilience of transgender people of color who have survived traumatic life events. Traumatology, 17 (2), 34-44. https://doi.org/10.1177/1534765610369261.

    Toomey, R. B., McGuire, J. K., Olson, K. R., Baams, L., & Fish, J., N. (2022). Gender-affirming policies support transgender and gender diverse youth's health. Society for Research in Child Development. https://www.srcd.org/research/gender-affirming-policies-support- transgender-and-gender-diverse-youths-health.

    Tran, L.D. (2016). Moderate effects of same-sex legislation on dependent employer-based insurance coverage among sexual minorities. Medical Care Research and Review, 73 (6), 752–768. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077558715625560

    Wight, R.G., LeBlanc, A.J., & Lee Badgett, M.V. (2013). Same-sex legal marriage and psychological well-being: findings from the California Health Interview Survey. American Journal of Public Health, 103 (2), 339-346. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.301113

    Witt, S.L., & McCorkle, S. (Eds.). (1997). Anti-gay rights: Assessing voter initiatives. Westport, CT: Praeger

    Woodford, M. R., Kulick, A., Garvey, J. C., Sinco, B. R., & Hong, J. S. (2018). LGBTQ policies and resources on campus and the experiences and psychological well-being of sexual minority college students: Advancing research on structural inclusion. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 5 (4), 445-456. https://doi.org/10.1037/sgd0000289.

  • March 10, 2022 1:49 PM | Anonymous

    Lynda Hughes, Red House Medical Billing

    Red House works with clients in transition at every new signing. These are sensitive moments for cashflow. Working in tandem is essential - that means work from the owners of a practice or ops team at a facility. Attempting to establish new billing processes without two-way set up is a recipe for disaster. Claims may be able to get out the door. But the efforts to work denials, maximize digital workflows and payments, and engage with RPA are hobbled.

    If you’re managing your own billing, what do you do when someone is retiring or quitting? Or in analysis, you’ve discovered deficiencies in their work? Who is managing website accesses, CAQH and other compliance updates and is it worth a doctor/owner managing it rather than focusing on patient outcomes? For various reasons, changing your billing can be a serious disruption to your cash flow if not properly handled.

    In 2022, industry standards in medical billing are electronic and automated. Major carriers have cut back their customer service staff in favor of websites and voice response systems. Staff nowadays are being forced to register for accounts at carrier websites because customer service agents are literally instructed to refuse service unless an answer could not be obtained from the website first. Carriers encourage or require use of direct deposit for payment and electronic remit (ERA) in lieu of paper EOBs.

    The problem with all of this? HIPAA. Not just anyone can perform these enrollments. Security is tight, and providers have no choice but to be involved in the process. If you want your new biller to be efficient, you must be ready to participate in getting these chores done. You must not assume your billers can do the work without you. Insurance companies need the assurance and participation of providers and owners to guarantee they are working with authorized third parties.

    Some vendors will call to confirm that the person who registered had your permission. Some will mandate that you first create your own account, and then grant access to an associated user account. Some will ask for seemingly sensitive information, such as owner name, dates of birth, or social security number, especially if direct deposit is part of the process. You will hamper your new biller’s efforts right out of the gate if you do not take the time and make the effort to manage the needed enrollments. And that will likely mean a gap in your payments while they struggle to get everything flowing.

    The good news? Once it’s done, it’s done. Once an enrollment is completed, they remain fairly maintenance-free unless there is a major change like a new user or a new bank account. New beginnings can be a bit hectic, but if you work as a team with your new biller, the pain will be very temporary. Stay focused on two-way communication and participation in transition and your cash flow will thank you!

    Lynda Hughes is a co-founder of Red House Medical Billing. She has been a dynamic entrepreneur in the RCM space since 2003. She is a certified coder and her work has spanned dozens of specialties, states, and facility sizes. She currently oversees all coding and billing operations for Red House. She has been active in AzPA as a sponsor for 5 years!

  • March 12, 2021 10:59 AM | Anonymous

    Jeff Hillam, CEO, Red House Medical Billing

    One of the first lessons in practice ownership is Revenue Cycle Literacy. For those who are masters of budgeting, accounting, and finance analysis they learn that the skills of managing a practice’s revenue cycle is altogether distinct.

    The revenue cycle for a practice is defined as the sum of all processes that bring in the revenue. These processes include front desk management, accuracy measures, patient communication, billing and coding, payer relationship management, collections, reconciliation, and collaboration between the billing and accounting softwares.

    Typical financial health measures might have you looking at your Profit and Loss statement to see how much you’re making, spending, and what’s left over. That data helps you make decisions about where to cut costs, budget growth, and gauge performance. Or you may spend time on your Balance Sheet tracking your assets and debt. In product and service based businesses these financial measures are the bare bones basics. Many of your financial advisors or CPAs may try and help you in your business by relying on these standard reports.

    But in a mental health practice you have to know how to read your money through the eyes of billing reports. And you must learn how to process documentation in a way that streamlines these numbers. The most basic items you must be comfortable reading are your Account Receivable (AR) report, EOBs, and payment reports.

    Your AR report tells you who owes you money. Your billing software will likely allow you to run AR reports filtered by insurance company, patient, claim, or practitioner. Using the various filters helps you analyze trends and to make decisions about how you work. The AR report tells you how old the money is and who owes it to you. If you see a patient on January first and you do not get paid until March 1, your AR report on February 15 will show a claim that is 45 days old. The AR report is generally broken into several buckets based on age – 0-30 days, 31-60 days, 61-90 days, 91-120 days, and 120+ days. To have Revenue Cycle Literacy you need to know how to use the data in the AR report to make decisions and to take actions and not just see how old an outstanding claim is. Decisions like which insurances you will work with, patients you may need to stop working with, or how to evolve your documentation to avoid costly denials.

    An EOB (explanation of benefits) is a statement from the insurance company detailing services allowed, contractual adjustments, denials, and patient responsibility. You need to know how to interpret these documents as they show any denials. Remember a denied line item on an EOB is not always final. Utilize the expertise of your biller (hopefully Red House) to work denied lines that could pay. Revenue is lost in practices who don’t analyze EOBs. You will create your patient statements using EOBs as well. We recommend a streamlined practice where all EOBs are electronic. Electronic EOBs equates to faster velocity of revenue. Your ability to properly and punctually utilize the EOB increases your revenue and creates clean, accurate patient billing.

    Lastly is the payment report. You should review this report monthly as a minimum. It shows everything you collected during the month. As you get comfortable maneuvering this report you will find trends in payment speed, reimbursement rates, and completeness. Remember payment reports don’t match your bank statements naturally. This confuses a lot of CPAs and bookkeepers. Payments will post to your bank accountand not be communicated to your billing system electronically for days. You billing system should post (or reconcile) that payment as soon as it comes in. But payments at the fringes of the month can be split across month lines. These reports help you also to double as a revenue report to function in conjunction with other billing reports. It is easier to compare AR and payment reports out of a billing system than to try to use P&L lines to compare with billing system reports. That should not worry you. It is a natural side effect of the purpose of each system.

    Once you have mastered the basics, reach out to us to learn about more nuanced and faceted reporting based on code performance, practitioner efficacy, and payor relationship management.

    You work hard and deserve to be reimbursed for your valuable services. The best chance of capturing the money owed to you is using these reports to maximize the stages of your revenue cycle. If this article drove only one thing home, it is that if you are managing a practice, you must make the time to become Revenue Cycle Literate.

    Click here to view the PDF article

  • February 12, 2021 10:58 AM | Anonymous

    Check out Dr. Stafford's segment on PBS! Click here to view

  • March 26, 2019 10:57 AM | Anonymous

    The University of North Texas' Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program has opened up admission for students affected by the Argosy closure. Applications are due on April 15th, with an interview day for those selected sometime in May. If you know of anyone interested in applying please share this information.

    Here is a link providing more information:

    https://psychology.unt.edu/argosy-closure-response

    For information regarding the program, please send any questions to Alana Fondren (alanalharrison@gmail.com) or Dr. Jennifer Callahan (jennifer.callahan@unt.edu).

  • March 11, 2019 10:54 AM | Anonymous

    Frequently Asked Questions Received By APA About Argosy University

    APA is deeply concerned about the unfolding situation at Argosy and its impact on students, faculty and staff. We developed this page in response to the most frequent questions we are receiving and in an earnest attempt to support members of our community within our powers.

    This page was last updated on March 8, 2019 at 3 p.m. ET.

    Given what is being reported in the media regarding Argosy University, is APA taking any action?

    APA is taking this matter very seriously. It is affecting the well-being of students, faculty and staff across Argosy's campuses, many of whom are our peers, colleagues, APA members and governance leaders within APA. Argosy is also training a significant portion of the next generation of psychology's providers, educators and others in the workforce, which has impact on the nation's access to healthcare. A team of experts across the organization is meeting regularly, devoting significant resources to supporting our members and stakeholders, and mobilizing our Advocacy team.

    Rosie Phillips Davis, PhD, ABPP, APA's president, and Beth Rom-Rhymer, PhD, chair of the Council Leadership Team, said in part on March 7: “Our principal charge is to protect students and the public by promoting consistent quality in the teaching of psychology … We are developing a nimble advocacy strategy … Moreover, we are in constant contact with relevant agencies and other affected accreditors, so that we stay apprised of the rapidly changing terrain … APA does not have authority over the decisions of the psychology programs, the institution, the Department of Education, and the Argosy receiver. We must be careful to maintain our role as an evaluator and policy guide. If Argosy closes, the next step will be to work with Argosy and any programs or institutions, arranging teach-out or transfer plans …. APA is committed to continuing to do all within its scope as an accreditor to facilitate these transitions."

    Here is some of what APA has been doing:

    • Our APA Advocacy office, in consultation with our Education Directorate and Communications Office, sent a letter on March 1 to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos,urging her to immediately establish a real-time response center to address concerns from affected Argosy students and to provide timely, helpful updates and guidance.
    • APA Advocacy staff have contacted key congressional offices seeking to enlist their assistance.
    • APA is facilitating members of the Argosy community to take their concerns directly to their elected officials via this online action alert.
    • APA is responding to calls and emails from affected students, faculty, and other concerned parties. We established the Psychology Student Action Centerand (202) 336-6014 to listen to members of the Argosy community and direct them to appropriate resources.
    • At the direction of a senior Argosy administrator on Feb. 8, access for applicants applying to Argosy University through PSYCAS, APA's centralized application system, was closed. APA requires that schools participating in PSYCAS have institutional accreditation.
    • APA is also monitoring the actions taken by the Western Senior College and University Commission (WASC) that Argosy submit detailed teach out plans in compliance with WASC policy and guidelines. WASC maintains a page about Argosy. Also see the ‘terms' section below.

    I did not receive my expected federal student loan funds from Argosy. What can I do?

    Students who are still waiting on financial aid can make inquiries to their institution, to the agency that regionally accredits Argosy (Western Senior College and University Commission) and/or to the US Department of Education.

    What happens with my federal student loans when a school closes before I graduate from it?

    There is a process for this called Federal Loan Discharge. Read about general criteria and eligibility and information specific to Dream Center/Argosy. Federal Direct Loans, Perkins Loans, and Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) are eligible for discharge. It is important to note that the government says, “If you completed or are in the process of completing a comparable program of study at another school through a teach-out, by transferring academic credits or hours from the closed school, or by any other comparable means, you are not eligible for a closed school discharge.” Also, note that private loans are not eligible; you would have to check with your private loan servicer, or possibly the higher education office

    in the state where your closed school was located, to see if there are any closed-school discharge options. APA members are entitled to free support with student loans via IonTuition. We recommend using this service after you contact your federal and private loan servicers, as they are likely to have more information.

    Can you explain some of the terms I keep hearing?

    • Teach-out plan: According to the Department of Education, this is “a written course of action a school that is closing will take to ensure its students are treated fairly with regard to finishing their programs of study. Some plans include written agreements between the closed school and other schools that are still open for teaching.” (Read more about the institutional accreditor's Teach-Out Plans and Agreements Policy.)
    • Receiver: A receiver is someone appointed by a government body to take possession and charge of designated assets or property and to administer them in accordance with government or court directives . In this case the receiver was court-appointed.
    • Institutional accreditor or regional accreditor: Western Senior College and University Commission accredits Argosy and its campuses as an institution.
    • Programmatic accreditor: The APA Commission on Accreditation accredits 10 doctoral programs in psychology at Argosy University. APA does not accredit master's programs.
    • Surety bond: An agreement between three parties, in which one (the surety or guarantor) agrees to pay a certain amount to a second (obligee), if and when a third party (principal) does not meet an obligation.

    I am a student at an Argosy program. What should I be doing?

    Many students and faculty are rightfully distressed by the lack of clarity about what is happening, and what will be the state of enrollment as a student of Argosy in the very near future.

    Based on the emails and calls we have received, we understand that some students are finding support in one another via online forums they have created through social media. Some students have told us they are reaching out to local universities about their abilities to transfer credits. Some students are reaching out to members of Congress to start a case file, share their concerns about financial aid and other matters and demand action by the government.

    APA set up a response team to hear from concerned students, faculty and other stakeholders. Reach the Psychology Student Action Center via email or by phone at (202) 336-6014, where we will listen to your concerns and direct you to appropriate resources.

    APA is also eager to put your message into action. Complete this APA action alert to your member of Congress and ask that they start a case file to assist you.

    What should I know about transcripts?

    According to WASC Senior College and University Commission, on March 7 “Argosy has indicated that it plans to arrange for student transcripts and records to be made available to students through a third-party service.” Students affected by the possible closure of Argosy may want to contact WSCUC as to how they can obtain copies of their transcripts in the future. The federal government advises that inquiries may also be made to the agency in a particular state that licensed a closed school.

    I am worried about my doctoral internship. What can you tell me?

    If you are a student already on, or about to go on, a doctoral internship in psychology, and you used the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers to help you find/match to an internship, APPIC released the following information on March 7: “...[W]hile recommendations may change when more information is available, APPIC would like to provide the following general guidance at present: 

    1. "All Argosy students who are currently on internship should continue to move forward toward the successful completion of their internship year. 
    2. "All Argosy students who recently matched in Phase I, and those who will match in Phase II or get placed via the APPIC Post-Match Vacancy Service, should continue to move forward with plans for attending and successfully completing their internships.
    3. "Internship programs who currently have Argosy students on site, or those who have or will soon be matched to Argosy students, should prepare for those students to attend their internships as planned.
    4. "Argosy students who experience a closure of their doctoral program (and a resulting period of uncertainty while a new program is found), a "teach out" situation, a change to a different graduate program, or similar situation are not expected to have their internship placements affected by such a change.
    5. "APPIC understands that there will be hardships and unanticipated circumstances that are created by the current situation, and will consider alternative guidance or exceptions to the above on a case-by-case basis, or as needed as the situation evolves. Should any individual affected by these difficult circumstances wish to consult about their specific situation pertaining to the internship Match, please contact  Greg Keilin, APPIC Match Coordinator. Concerned parties or individuals with information about relevant developments are also welcome to contact me [Dr. Mariella Self, Chair, APPIC Board of Directors].” 

    What should I know about credentials banking?

    APA is hearing from organizations in the psychology community that wish to help doctoral students at Argosy schools “bank” their credentials in the event Argosy closes. According to an article in the APA Monitor on Psychology"Should you bank your credentials?" credentials banking involves “submitting documentation about your internship, doctoral degree, postdoc and other credentials to a central repository for verification and storage,” and “can offer peace of mind as well as convenience.” There are two organizations offering banking to Argosy students and alums, and both have stepped in to offer assistance at no cost. This service is only available to students in programs that develop students who could later be become licensed psychologists; it is not available to any master’s student, or to any doctoral students outside of clinical, counseling and school psychology. Please visit the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards and the National Register of Health Service Psychologists for more information.

    Where can I get some general information about what is happening at Argosy?

    A number of media outlets have covered this story. If you would like to read some of the coverage, use the following links:

    What should I make of this situation and those involved?

    There has been and undoubtedly will be more coverage in the media about this situation and the various parties involved. It is important that members of the psychology community do all we can to recognize the significant ways that Argosy students and faculty have been affected by the actions and circumstances surrounding their education at Argosy University. Students and faculty are the innocent bystanders to what has been happening. We know that students enrolled in APA-accredited programs at Argosy are being trained by faculty who are preparing them for careers to address critical societal needs for behavioral health services. Accredited programs have been judged to meet standards associated with quality education and training.

    Questions about APA Accreditation

    What would happen to the program's accreditation status if what we are hearing from many people about Argosy's potential closure is true?

    APA accreditation of a doctoral program in clinical, counseling or school psychology rests on the program being open for business and having institutional accreditation. Were one or both of those pieces to disappear, a program would no longer meet the requirements of accreditation by APA. The current accreditation status for all accredited programs is provided by the Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation. Its web page contains an online directory of programs it accredits. Changes in accreditation status, when made, are posted in this directory as soon as possible.

    What comes next for a student who is attending a school that is closed or is about to close?

    When situations arise that affect an APA-accredited program’s ability to operate, the APA Commission on Accreditation considers the circumstances and works with appropriate regulatory, institutional and other authorities managing the situation in an effort to facilitate the provision of quality education and training in health service psychology for those concerned.

    What new information can you tell me about APA's role in teach-out and transfer plans?

    The ability to transfer courses is not decided by the American Psychological Association. When an institution closes, the parties involved in approving plans for students to transfer to a new university may include the closing university, the university accepting students, institutional accrediting bodies, relevant state boards of higher education, specialized programmatic accrediting agencies and the U.S. Department of Education. The APA Commission on Accreditation, in collaboration with involved parties, is working to help facilitate high quality transfer arrangements.

    What can I do if I think Argosy is not following requirements of the Standards of Accreditation?

    The APA Commission on Accreditation has a process by which members of the public may file a complaint if it is believed that an APA-accredited program is not in compliance with accreditation standards (PDF, 58KB). You can download the complaint form (DOC, 24KB). The procedures for handling complaints against accredited programs are intended to deal only with complaints based on purported lack of program consistency with the Standards of Accreditation for Health Service Psychology (SoA). It is not a mechanism for adjudication of disputes between individuals and programs.

    Who can I speak with at APA if I have more questions?

    Staff in the APA offices on Early Career and Graduate Student Affairs are available to respond to questions during standard business hours. You can reach them via phone at (202) 336-6014 or via email.

    Click here to view the APA article.

  • February 22, 2019 10:52 AM | Anonymous

    IMPACT OF PHYSICAL DISCIPLINE OF CHILDREN MAY BE HARMFUL IN THE LONG TERM, ACCORDING TO APA RESOLUTION

    Association adopts policy calling for use of alternatives that foster supportive family environment

    WASHINGTON - Scientific evidence demonstrates that physical discipline of children by parents and other caregivers can harm children's mental health and possibly increase their propensity toward aggressive behavior, according to a resolution adopted by the American Psychological Association. Instead, alternative forms of discipline that are associated with more positive outcomes for children - such as reasoning, time out, taking away privileges, warnings and ignoring misbehavior - are recommended. 

    "Research indicates that physical discipline is not effective in achieving parents' long-term goals of decreasing aggressive and defiant behavior in children or of promoting regulated and socially competent behavior in children," states the Resolution on Physical Discipline of Children By parents. "The research on the adverse outcomes associated with physical discipline indicates that any perceived short-term benefits of physical discipline do not outweigh the detriments of this form of discipline."

    The resolution notes that children learn from the behavior modeled by their parents, "and therefore physical discipline may teach undesirable conflict resolution practices," according to research. There is also evidence that physical discipline by caregivers can escalate into physical abuse.

    The resolution was adopted by APA's governing Council of Representatives at its meeting Feb. 15. The resolution was drafted by APA's Committee on Children, Youth and Families, whose members relied on an extensive review of the scientific literature. It was reviewed by relevant APA boards and committees before being put to a council vote.

    The resolution commits APA to raise public awareness and increase education surrounding the impact of physical discipline on children and the effectiveness of other methods. It calls on APA to promote culturally responsive training and continuing education regarding alternative discipline strategies and their effectiveness. And it directs APA to support funding for research in the United States and other countries on the factors that underlie why some parents support and rely on physical discipline.

    "The use of physical punishment on children has been declining in the United States over the past 50 years," said APA President Rosie Phillips Davis, PhD. "We hope that this resolution will make more parents and caregivers aware that other forms of discipline are effective and even more likely to result in the behaviors they want to see in their children."

    The resolution was accompanied by a supporting statement citing extensive research into the use and outcomes of physical punishment on children.

    "Despite beliefs that physical discipline is an effective way to eliminate undesirable child behavior or to induce child compliance with parents' requests, there is no consistent scientific evidence that physical discipline makes children more or less likely to cease undesirable behavior or engage in desirable behavior in the short term," according to the supporting statement. "Research instead suggests that physical discipline is not better than other discipline methods, nor does it serve to enhance the positive outcomes parents seek, such as conscience development or positive behavior and affect."

    Rather, using physical discipline predicts increases in children's behavior problems, even after controlling for race, gender and family socioeconomic status, the supporting statement says.  While cultural and religious differences in attitudes toward and beliefs about physical discipline may contribute to its use, the harmful outcomes are the same, according to the research.

    Positive parenting skills - such a modeling orderly, predictable behavior, respectful communication and collaborative conflict resolution - "are more likely to yield desirable behaviors and to foster a more positive and supportive family environment," according to the supporting statement.

    The supporting statement noted the limitation surrounding research into physical discipline, noting that it is unethical "to randomly assign children to a condition in which they do or do not receive physical discipline from the moment they are born." However, recent work has used strong research designs using multiple methods and has examined diverse samples. "Thus, findings from these methodologically rigorous studies show that parental physical discipline use can be detrimental, and conversely that other forms of discipline promote positive child behavior over time," it says.

    With this resolution, APA joins numerous professional and public health organizations in recommending that parents avoid using physical discipline, including: the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Emergency Physicians, American Medical Association, American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Association for Child and Adolescent Counseling, National Association of Counsel for Children, National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, and National Foster Parent Association. In addition, international agreement about the ineffectiveness of physical discipline has resulted in many countries banning the practice in all settings.

    The American Psychological Association, In Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA's membership includes nearly 115,700 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people's lives.

  • November 26, 2018 10:50 AM | Anonymous

    Although President Trump signed an Executive Order today terminating the separation of children from families when families have entered the United States illegally, it is important to recognize the harm that such a policy can have on children and their families. It is also important to recognize that more than 2000 children were reportedly separated from their families over the past six weeks and that issuing an Executive Order to terminate the program today does not alleviate the harm that has already occurred.

    "The Arizona Psychology Association strongly opposes the separating of immigrant families. The negative long-term and societal costs of separating children from their primary care givers is well documented in psychological science. We admonish the federal government to find a better solution to keep immigrant children with their families. We call upon our membership to continue to heal, educate, and advocate for AZ communities in response to such atrocities. We invite our local policy makers and leaders to consult with us regarding the consequences of unjust practices and policies on the wellbeing of ALL Arizona communities. We encourage citizens of Arizona to join us in urging our leaders to respect and protect the wellbeing of children and families from needless suffering."

    Statement of APA President Regarding the Traumatic Effects of Separating Immigrant Families

    WASHINGTON - Following is the statement of APA President Jessica Henderson Daniel, Ph.D., regarding the deleterious impact on the health and well-being of children and families who are separated as they seek to enter the United States without proper documentation: 

    “The administration’s policy of separating children from their families as they attempt to cross into the United States without documentation is not only needless and cruel, it threatens the mental and physical health of both the children and their caregivers. Psychological research shows that immigrants experience unique stressors related to the conditions that led them to flee their home countries in the first place. The longer that children and parents are separated, the greater the reported symptoms of anxiety and depression for the children. Negative outcomes for children include psychological distress, academic difficulties and disruptions in their development.

    “The American Psychological Association calls on the administration to rescind this policy and keep immigrant families intact. We support practical, humane immigration policies that consider the needs of immigrants, and particularly immigrant families. We must adopt policies that take into account what we know about the harmful, long-term psychological effects of separation on children and their families. This is not an acceptable policy to counter unlawful immigration.”

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