What’s needed now, Adler suggests, is more research to fully
explore whether and how those natural experiments in wage
reform are improving outcomes for workers and families in
those cities. “We need better research to look at the mental
health impacts,” she says.
Yet while more data are always welcome, Smith adds that
it’s also time psychologists moved their expertise beyond the
research lab and into public discourse. “I think that sometimes
we need to become spokespeople with regard to what our
research currently shows. In addition to doing another study,
we need to be in the business of helping to promote that
Deborah Belle, EdD, a professor of psychology who studies
poverty and mental health at Boston University, agrees with
Smith. She suggests speaking out to the public, writing
to legislators, getting involved in civic organizations and
advocating for policies at the local level. Psychologists can also
get involved with APA’s Federal Advocacy Network, which
delivers federal updates and action alerts to help individuals
become effective advocates for psychology. “We do have some
movements in this country that are heading in the right
direction,” says Belle. “I think we should climb onboard and
discuss ways our research supports these efforts.”
Psychology is about helping people, Belle says, and she
believes influencing policy is the most effective way to do so.
“To provide clinical services for even a fraction of people in
poverty is a monumental undertaking. The far more efficient
and cost-effective way to improve mental health is through
mechanisms like laws to raise wages,” she says. “We need to see it
as part of our central mission.” n
• Smith, L. (2010). Psychology, poverty, and the end of
social exclusion: Putting our practice to work. New York,
NY: Teachers College Press.
• Smith, L. (2015). Reforming the minimum
wage: Toward a psychological perspective. American
Psychologist, 70, 557–565.
• Yoshikawa, H., Aber, J. L., & Beardslee, W. R. (2012).
The effects of poverty on the mental, emotional, and
behavioral health of children and youth: Implications for
prevention. American Psychologist, 67, 272–284.
Goldstein & Naglieri
Excellence In Assessments Ex el enc n s s e t
Learn more at MHS.com/RSI
® PRE-ORDER ANY RSI KIT BY
APRIL 1, 2016 AND SAVE 10%
Domestic Family Mobility Self-Care Social School/Work
WITH OR WITHOUT A DIAGNOSIS, THE RSITMHELPS YOU
ASSESS FUNCTIONAL IMPAIRMENT ACROSS
6 IMPORTANT LIFE AREAS.
• Assess impairment more clearly by identifying functional limitations from symptoms
• Inform intervention strategies by identifying areas of impairment to focus on
• Inform your diagnoses and determine service eligibility with the RSI as it is compatible
with impairment criteria in the DSM- 5 and IDEA/ADA
• Obtain age specific information with separate RSI Forms to assess children and youth
•Align with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) functional impairment framework
with scales that represent domains identified in the WHO’s International Classification
of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF)