One of our greatest strengths as an association is our diversity. Our membership comprises researchers and practitioners, not to mention our strong student membership. We work across a range of domains – academia, business, education, and healthcare, to name a few – on an even wider range of topics, including well-being, strengths, character, motivation, and many others. And we do this work from the more than 70 countries represented in our current membership!
That diversity makes for an endlessly exciting menu of ideas we can choose from in our newsletters, leader calls, and conferences. It also presents an opportunity for us not just to create a broad association that spans the globe and an endless range of topics, but also to create an infrastructure for members interested in organizing around a common theme to create a micro-community of passionate colleagues within our larger association. That is exactly the aim of our IPPA divisions.
Open only to IPPA members (including associates, affiliates, and students), these divisions will elect their own officers to work with the association board and directorate to create new programs and activities that bring together members with similar interests. Our first division, SIPPA, has been leading the way in this effort by building a thriving community for students of positive psychology. (You can read more about their activities here.) We now offer six additional divisions organized around the following professional domains. There are no formal eligibility requirements for these divisions, other than that you be a current IPPA member with an interest in these topics.
- Basic Research – The Basic Research Division will be home to those IPPA members whose passions center on the advancement of positive psychology research. Common interests might include topical research areas – such as the study of flow, positivity, flourishing, strengths, etc. – and/or issues of research practice (e.g., research design, measurement of well-being and related constructs, cross-cultural research, and lab studies).
- Clinical – The Clinical Division aims to bring together IPPA members interested in the use of positive psychology in therapeutic contexts. The activities of this Division will explore opportinities to advance research and application on matters of positive psychology and mental health.
- Coaching – The Coaching Division aims to promote the development and use of evidence-based coaching methods, as well as the application of positive psychology to facilitate purposeful change in a wide range of coaching contexts, including leadership, workplace and personal and professsional development. The division also aims to foster dialogue between coaching practitioners and coaching researchers to further develop a scientific foundation for coaching practice.
- Education – The Education Division will explore the research and application of positive psychology in both formal and informal educational settings. The Education Division will emphasize activities that explore topics in curriculum, pedagogy, administration, and support services that improve the well-being and academic success of students, particularly in the context of schools and other educational institutions.
- Health – The goal of the Health Division is to promote collaborative research and the dissemination and use of evidence-based interventions at the intersection of physical and mental health and well-being. Topics of interest include the identification of health assets (resilience factors), the exploration of the neurobiological underpinnings of positive affect, the effects of positive health interventions such as exercise on medical and well-being outcomes, and many others.
- Organizations – The Organizations Division will bring together researchers and practitioners exploring the connections between positive psychology and organizational health and effectiveness. This includes applications to business, as well as non-profit and governmental organizations.
More information about how to get involved with IPPA Divisions will be forthcoming in the first quarter of 2013.
Current IPPA members can update their division membership by logging into their member profiles. If you are not yet an association member but are interested in joining one of these divisions, please consider joining today.