Characterizing your Program’s Clinical Child & Pediatric Psychology Training Approach:
The Education & Training Taxonomy of the Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology Specialty
Overview & Purpose of the Education and Training Taxonomy of the Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology Specialty
The Education and Training Taxonomy of the Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology Specialty offers nomenclature intended to help training programs at the doctoral, internship, postdoctoral, and post licensure levels improve consistency in communication about their program offerings and to aid in the conceptualization of training experiences within clinical child and adolescent psychology. Training programs at doctoral, internship, postdoctoral, and post-licensure levels are encouraged to apply the Clinical Child & Adolescent taxonomy to describe the training opportunities they offer. Aspiring trainees and professionals considering specialty training in clinical child and adolescent psychology, inclusive of pediatric psychology, are expected to find it useful in understanding the nature of the training provided by a given program and how depth of training may compare to other programs.
Background & Taxonomy Development
As the field of health service psychology developed, various terms and definitions to describe education and training opportunities have been adopted, resulting in a multiplicity of descriptors, lack of consistency in how terms are applied across training programs, and attendant confusion. Recognizing the potential benefit of more commonly applied language to describe training opportunities, in 2007 the APA Board of Directors supported development of a task force to create a taxonomy to delineate consistent terms and definitions for education and training in health service psychology specialties recognized the APA. APA’s Commission for the Recognition of Specialties and Proficiencies in Professional Psychology (CRSPPP) built upon the results of this task force and conversations with other constituent groups to construct such a taxonomy, which was subsequently revised in 2020 and is now titled APA Guidelines: A Taxonomy for Education and Training in Professional Psychology Health Service Specialties and Subspecialties (APA, 2020). While not specialty-specific, this taxonomy provided information about the type and depth of training opportunities at the doctoral, doctoral internship, postdoctoral, and post-licensure stages.
More recently, recognized specialties have undertaken a structured process to apply the established structure and language of the taxonomy to their specialty. Specifically, each specialty used the CoS Taxonomy Template Grid to describe the type and intensity of opportunities within each stage of the education and training sequence (e.g. doctoral, internship, postdoctoral) within their specialty. The CoS Executive Council (EC) then reviews and ultimately considers for approval each specialty taxonomy.
The currently approved taxonomies of the different specialties in health service psychology are presented on the Council of Specialties (COS) website with additional description of the rationale and process. Organizations in health service psychology collaborated to produce this terminology consistent with well-articulated definitions.
The purpose of establishing taxonomies for recognized specialties is to facilitate clear and consistent communication in the use of terminology for training programs, students, professional organizations, and members of the public. Thus, these CoS-approved taxonomies provide clarification about the type and intensity of specialized training opportunities offered by individual education and training programs at the doctoral, doctoral internship, postdoctoral, and post-licensure stages for each recognized specialty.
To develop the Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology specialty taxonomy, the constituent organizations in the Clinical Child Psychology Specialty Council formed a task force with two representatives from each organization to develop the taxonomy and respond to recommendations for revision. These organizations are: (a) the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (SCCAP: Division 53); (b) the Society of Pediatric Psychology (SPP: Division 54), (c) the American Board of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (ABCCAP), and (d) the Clinical Child and Pediatric Psychology Training Council (CCaPPTC). Over a two- year period, the specialty taxonomy was developed, reviewed, refined, and finalized by the task force. The specialty taxonomy was then submitted to the Council of Specialties in Professional Psychology’s (CoS) for review and approval, consistent with the process for taxonomies for each of the health service psychology specialties recognized by the American Psychological Association (APA) vis-à-vis the APA Commission for the Recognition of Specialties and Subspecialties in Professional Psychology (CRSSPP).
The contributions of the writing task force members are acknowledged: Sunny Bai, Anna Egan, Elizabeth Gosch, Omar Gudino, Jarrod Leffler, Melissa Santos, Cathy Stough, Jason Van Allen, and Michael Roberts (chair). The constituent organizations in Clinical Child Psychology Specialty Council: (2020-2021) included:
Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (SCCAP: Division 53): Tara Peris
Society of Pediatric Psychology (SPP: Division 54): Melissa Santos
American Board of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (ABCCAP): Jarrod Leffler
Clinical Child and Pediatric Psychology Training Council (CCAPTC): Anna Egan
The finalized version of the Education and Training Taxonomy of the Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology Specialty was approved by the Task Force for Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology Taxonomy on 10-6-2021. It was then approved by CoS Board of Directors on 10-29-2021 and posted to its website. The specialty taxonomy may be found here.
The Clinical Child and Pediatric Psychology Training Council (CCAPTC) is disseminating our specialty’s taxonomy for its member programs and to the public and encourages training programs to use the taxonomy structure and language in public materials about training opportunities offered.