You belong here. The theme of the APA 2023 Annual Convention resonated over three enthralling days of learning, sharing, and advancements in the field of psychology. APA is a large conference, with over 1000 sessions and close to 8000 attendees – and in the midst of such an expansive program, it was clear that Division 54 – Society of Pediatric Psychology certainly belongs!
Fondly referred to as SPPAC Part 2, Division 54’s scientific program at APA 2023 comprised 16 symposia, critical conversations, and skills-building sessions, as well as 41 poster presentations. Our outstanding members showcased their innovative work across a wide range of topics, including incorporation of qualitative and quantitative methodologies to highlight diverse experiences in pediatric health care, equitable implementation of digital health interventions, and expanding conceptualizations of chronic pain and somatic symptoms. We were especially impressed by the strong representation of students and trainees on the program. To cap off our SPP Business Meeting, we had three fabulous lightning talks presented by learners, ranging from undergrad to post-doc. The future of Division 54 is bright!
There was a strong theme of collaboration across the program, particularly around addressing and dismantling oppressive structures that perpetuate barriers to equity and inclusion in pediatric psychology. A major takeaway was that 50 minutes is simply not enough time to engage in critical conversation. Nevertheless, we are enthused and inspired at the start of these important conversations and look forward to continued dialogue in other venues such as SPP town halls, SPPAC, and our flagship publications, JPP and CPPP.
In addition to an amazing scientific program, APA 2023 offered an opportunity to network, celebrate, and reflect. Division 54 joined forces with other child- and family-focused divisions for a social hour themed, Networking Together to Advance Children’s Mental Health and Well-Being. During this fun-filled gathering, members Ariana C. Hoet, PhD and Idia B. Thurston, PhD were recognized for their outstanding contributions that benefit children, youth, and families. Also of note, Cookie Monster was in attendance at APA 2023; he shared joy and photos but alas, no cookies.
We are so proud and grateful for the incredible showing of Division 54 at APA 2023 and look forward to seeing many of you in Seattle for APA 2024!
-Thomaseo Burton (APA Program Chair) and Colleen Stiles-Shields (APA Program Co-Chair)