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Counseling Psychology News

Quintana (Counseling Psych) Appointed to Lead Presidential Task Force

June 07, 2011

Counseling Psychology Professor Stephen Quintana will lead a presidential task force of distinguished scholars who will examine the psychological aspects of educational disparities.

American Psychological Association (APA) President Melba Vasquez recently appointed Quintana as chair of the six-member Presidential Task Force on Educational Disparities.

According to the APA, the task force is tasked with addressing questions such as: What does psychology have to say and offer about addressing the impact of educational disparities, especially on poor and racial/ethnic minority students? What are the sources of the educational gaps?

"We will examine what psychological theory and research has to say to inform policy and practice in schools to reduce the achievement and discipline gap across ethnic and racial groups," Quintana said. "In addition to policy and professional practice, I hope we can identify strategies that parents can use to play their part in reducing these gaps in education."

Quintana's interest in child development focuses on strategies that children of color need to use to navigate their way through the educational system, he said.

"They face a 'triple quandary' in that they receive socializing message from their culture of origin, dominant cultures, but also stigmatizing messages about their ethnic, racial and cultural origins," he said. "Understanding the resilience and resources that young children employ to navigate complex sociocultural environments starting at a very early age and throughout their lives."

The biggest challenge facing the group is that racial and ethnic disparities are caused by a plethora of factors that make it difficult to identify psychological processes that reflect larger sociocultural factors," Quintana said.

For more information on the task force, please visit

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