The Changing and Creating of Legislation

The Political Process
  • Patrick H. DeLeon


Although a primary objective embedded in the bylaws of the American Psychological Association is to “advance psychology as a science and profession and as a means of promoting human welfare by the encouragement of psychology ... in the broadest and most liberal manner,” (American Psychological Association, 1981, p. xxii), it is only recently that psychologists have, in any organized or systematic sense, begun to ask how we can have a meaningful impact on our nation’s various legislative bodies as they make decisions affecting our profession and society. As professionals, we have developed an extensive body of knowledge regarding the underlying motivations of people. We possess the technical expertise to design comprehensive evaluations as to how various proposed national policies might influence the lives of our citizens. Accordingly, psychology’s potential contribution is a most significant one. Yet, as a profession, psychologists historically have abdicated any societal responsibility that they might have in this area—in a pragmatic sense, to our colleagues in the legal and medical professions; in a more philosophical or theoretical sense, to our colleagues in political science. In addition, as the costs of our nation’s health care programs and of our other social welfare endeavors continue to mount steadily, we must expect that there will be ever increasing pressures on the state and federal legislatures to be active participants in decisions regarding both the delivery of actual services and the administration of the educational institutions that train our nation’s health care and social service providers.


Committee Member Legislative Process Legislative Body Legislative Proposal Committee Chair 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. American Psychological Association. Directory of the American Psychological Association (Rev. ed.). Washington, D.C.: Author, 1981.Google Scholar
  2. DeLeon, P H., & Vanden Bos, G. R. Psychotherapy reimbursement in federal programs: Political factors. In G. R. VandenBos (Ed.), Psychotherapy: Practice, research, policy. Beverley Hills: Sage, 1980.Google Scholar
  3. DeLeon, P. H., O’Keefe, A. M., Vanden Bos, G. R., & Kraut, A. G. How to influence public policy: A blueprint for activism. American Psychologist, 1982, 37, 476–485.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dörken, H. Avenues to legislative success. American Psychologist, 1977, 32, 738–745.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dörken, H. Coming of age legislatively: In 21 steps. American Psychologist, 1981, 36, 165–173.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dörken, H., & Associates. The professional psychologist today: New developments in law, health insurance, and health practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1976.Google Scholar
  7. Kiesler, C. A. Mental hospitals and alternative care: Noninstitutionalization as potential public policy for mental patients. American Psychologist, 1982, 37, 349–360.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Kiesler, C. A., Cummings, N. A., & Vanden Bos, G. R. Psychology and national health insurance: A sourcebook. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association, 1979.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. McGinn, P. Psychologists and the legislative process. SPAA Newsletter, 1978, 9, 1–2.Google Scholar
  10. Metsky, M. Getting our feet wet in national politics. Clinical Psychologist, 1978, 31, 10.Google Scholar
  11. Pallak, M. Psychology in the public forum (Editorial), American Psychologist, 1982, 37, 475.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Saks, M. Social psychological contributions to a legislative subcommittee on organ and tissue transplants. American Psychologist, 1978, 33, 680–690.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick H. DeLeon
    • 1
  1. 1.U.S. Senator Daniel K. InouyeUSA

Personalised recommendations