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. 

Current advocacy Areas

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

What does the research say?

  • 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.


FIPP Publications

FIPP Student Organization Toolkit

Current Psychology Practice Organization Guidelines and Publications

APA Parental Leave Resource & Climate Guide for Students and Psychologists (2018) 

APPIC Guidelines for Parental Leave During Internship and Postdoctoral Training (2015)

Parental Leave During Internship and Postdoctoral Psychology Training: APPIC Guidelines Revisited (TEPP article, 2016)

Federal and State Laws, Regulations, and Protections

US Department of Labor: Family and Medical Leave Act

US Department of Labor: What to Expect When You're Expecting (and After the Birth of Your Child) Work 

US Department of Education: Pregnant or Parenting? Title IX Protects You From Discrimination At School

National Women's Law Center: Title IX Protections for Pregnant and Parenting Students: A Guide for Schools 

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: Enforcement Guidance: Unlawful Disparate Treatment of Workers with Caregiving Responsibilities

US Department of HHS, Office of Women’s Health: Laws Protecting Working Moms

US Department of Labor: Why Parental Leave For Fathers Is So Important For Working Families 

Interactive Maps

US Department of Labor: State-Level Workplace Breastfeeding Rights

US Department of Labor: State-Level Provisions for Pregnancy Accommodation and Pregnancy-Related Disability

US Department of Labor: State-Level Protections Against Pregnancy Discrimination

US Department of Labor: Employment Protections For Workers Who Are Pregnant or Nursing 

Breastfeeding and Lactation

National Conference of State Legislatures: Breastfeeding State Laws 

National Women's Law Center: FAQ: Breastfeeding Students 

Past APA Publications


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

2015, April Not waiting for Congress: Graduate student employees fight for paid leave

Parental Mental Health and Wellness

APA: Postpartum Depression and Anxiety

The Pregnant Therapist: Caring for Yourself While Working With Clients