The Families in Psychology Project (FIPP) seeks to connect professionals in psychology with information and resources to promote individual, interpersonal, and institutional advocacy about issues related to work and family. Much of our current work focuses on the unique needs and perspectives of those with families in the earlier stages of their professional development and training. Over time we hope to develop a broad network of resources to encompass work-family dynamics associated with all stages of professional development within the field of psychology.
FIPP seeks to promote increased availability and accessibility of the following resources for families within psychology training institutions:
On-site and/or subsidized child care
Affordable health care including health insurance for individuals and their dependents
Affordable tuition, informed financial aid, educational debt planning and management
Fair and equitable pay and working conditions for trainees including clinical, academic, research, and administrative positions
Public statements and policies which specifically support individuals with families or those who are considering starting a family
Public acknowledgment of legal protections and supports for trainees with families
Flexibility and reasonable accommodations within program requirements
Targeted psychosocial support and mentorship opportunities
More people are pursuing professional psychology than ever before. Following the Great Recession, the number of active psychologists increased by 10%, and the number of students enrolled in psychology programs increased across all educational levels (20.9%, 12.7%, and 18.8% at the bachelors, masters, and doctoral levels, respectively; National Center for Education Statistics, 2016).
The majority of the psychology workforce identifies as female and the gender gap continues to widen, especially so for those identifying as ethnic minorities (APA Center for Workforce Studies, 2015).
Norcross, Sayette, and Pomerantz (2017) reported that as of 2013, women make up an average of 75.41% of the students in APA-accredited Ph.D. and Psy.D. clinical psychology programs.
The average age of APPIC internship match participants in 2016 (mean=30, median=28) was within five years of the average age of child-bearing mothers in the United States (26.2 years; CDC, 2016).
The most recent APA Survey of Psychology Health Service Providers (2016) identified 53.4% of respondents reported having dependents and 77.4% reported they were married or partnered.
Doran, Kraha, Reid, Marks, Ameen, & El-Ghoroury (2016) found that 49.3% of graduate students and 40% of early career psychologists reported delaying having children or getting married due to educational debt.
Graduate students with at least one dependent are likely to have higher overall educational debt (Belasco, Trivette, & Webber, 2014).
In a study on psychology’s internship imbalance, Parent, Bradstreet, Wood, Ameen, and Callahan (2016) found that family factors were a prevalent concern and that not matching to internship was associated with negative impact on family support systems, inability to plan for a family’s future, the need to delay starting a family, and potential difficulty with fertility.
Rummell (2015) found that psychology trainees identified balancing work and family as the second most stressful aspect of graduate school next to dissertation, thesis, and research work.
Current Psychology Practice Organization Guidelines and Publications
Federal and State Laws, Regulations, and Protections
Breastfeeding and Lactation
2014, January 'Is it time to start a family?'
2012, January Dissertations vs. diapers
2005, March A family affair
2005, March Find a family-friendly internship
2005, March Help for busy parents
APA Monitor on Psychology
2018, June The consequences of stress during pregnancy
2014, March Having a baby?
Psychological Science Agenda
2016, April So you want to have a baby?
In the Public Interest