Division 53 | Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

Special Interest Groups (SIGs)
On this page, you will learn about Division 53 Special Interest Group Procedures.


The purpose of special interest groups is to facilitate national networking of Division 53 members in an identified subspecialty, mental health disorder, or interest area. SIGs are a structural unit of the society and a reflection of the needs and activities of the members. Any member can participate in these groups.


Any group of 10 or more Division 53 members may apply for the formation of a special interest group. The letter of application (max. two pages) should include the name of the proposed SIG, the description of the proposed activities of the SIG, as well as the names and email addresses of the founding members and leadership.

The proposed SIG Chair(s) should email the letter of application to the MAL for Membership (member-at-large) for subsequent approval by the Division 53 Board of Directors. The MAL for membership will provide email notification of the decision to the proposed SIG chair(s).


Every SIG has a responsibility to uphold the image and advance the mission of Division 53 through the advancement of clinical child and adolescent psychology-related research, education, treatment and professional practice. SIGs should serve as a forum for communication within the interest area and be a resource in the dissemination of knowledge and information related to clinical child and adolescent psychology.

To maintain SIG status in Division 53, SIGs must: (1) maintain a minimum of 10 Division 53 members; (2) elect (or re-elect) a chair(s) on one- to three-year terms; and (3) submit an annual report to the board of directors (roughly in July). The Division 53 central office will send a request for SIG status reports (PDF, 8KB) to the SIG chairs in advance and reports should be submitted to the central office.


Each SIG should have a chair(s) who will submit an annual report on the SIG activities and a list of current SIG members to the Division 53 Board as requested by the president. These individuals will also serve as liaisons with the board on topics of relevance to the SIG.

SIGs are encouraged to provide updates regarding their activities on the Division 53 listserv and newsletter (In Balance).

Information about SIGs will be made available on the Division 53 website.

Membership in SIGs will be included in annual dues. Any Division 53 member can join one or more SIGs.

Requests to join SIGs should be sent to the Member-At-Large for Membership & Public Interest who can confirm whether the individual is indeed a Division 53 member and then provide approval to the SIG chair that the individual is eligible to join.


Every SIG should have a chair or co-chairs that are elected for two-year terms by the SIG. Each SIG should have a succession plan in place, which may include a term limit as well as methods for electing a new chair (either due to term expiring or chair opting to step down). The membership of each individual SIG should decide on these policies and the membership be known to the Division 53 Board of Directors.

The Division president with approval from the board of directors has the power to divest any chair of his/her position should that individual consistently fail to fulfill his/her chair responsibilities.

Resources Provided

SIGs are encouraged to provide updates regarding their activities on the Division 53 listserv and the In Balance Newsletter (as per the editor's discretion). Division 53 will check that members of all SIGs are Division 53 members upon initiation of the SIG, upon an individual joining the SIG, and in the following years following membership renewal deadlines. Division 53 will also allow SIGS to place information on the Division 53 website as well as to have time at Division 53-sponsored conferences (see related sections of this document). Other requests from SIGs for support from Division 53 should be forwarded to the MAL for Membership who can forward them to the board for consideration.


Information about SIGs will be made available on the Division 53 website. Each SIG will have a dedicated webpage where they can include basic information regarding their group. A SIG web template form (PDF, 12KB) should be completed and updated annually and submitted to the Division 53 website manager.


SIGs are encouraged to hold annual meetings in conjunction with the National or APA conferences. As available, Division 53 will provide space and time for SIGs to hold these meetings.

SIGs are encouraged to plan activities in conjunction with their meetings. Ideas include: SIG poster awards, sponsoring speakers, hosting a research symposium, and other SIG-related social activities (runs, breakfasts, etc.). During the programming time allotted to SIGS, CEU programming may also be possible if presentations are given with learning objectives. SIGs may, for example, invite or ask members to submit ideas for such presentations. SIGs should develop their own processes for selecting presentations and other programming content. Once each SIG determines their agenda for the meeting, it should be shared in advance of the meeting with the conference program chair, who can insert the information into the program brochure or help advertise as appropriate. This will also allow the SIG presentation(s) to be eligible for CEU credit, if appropriate.

Board Reports

Twice per year, the leader of each SIG will be required to supply the membership member-at-large with a report of their activities over the previous six months. These reports will be requested and compiled by the Division 53 administrative officer.

Listserv Presence

It is recommended that SIGs have an active presence on the Division 53 listserv. It may also be possible for SIGs to have their own listservs independent of the Division 53 listserv. If a SIG does maintain a separate email list it would be their responsibility to check the list twice per year to make sure that anyone who is not an active member of Division 53 is removed from the email list.

Logo Use

SIGs may request to use the Division 53 logo on their brochures, posters, or other materials. This is acceptable to the Board as long as the materials are professional in nature, and does not require pre-approval of the Board. The Board would like to track the use of the logo on such materials, so please send electronic copies to the Division 53 administrative officer for presentation to the board (for example, at the time of submission of the SIG report).


SIGs are encouraged to work on research projects together which may (hopefully) result in presentation and publication. The board recommends that SIGs follow the APA guidelines for authorship in all presentations and publications. SIGs may also use the logo on presentations and publications where appropriate, and are also welcome to identify themselves as a "Special Interest Group of Division 53" if appropriate.

How to Join

Requests to join an existing SIGs should be sent to the Division 53 administrative officer by email who can confirm whether the individual is indeed a current Division 53 member (i.e., any active status, student, affiliate, etc.) and then provide approval to the SIG chair that the individual is eligible to join.