New Social Media Policy

Dear Listmembers:

As mentioned by SfHP President Justin Nash in the most recent posting of “Update for 38,” the Society’s leadership has been thoughtfully engaged in improving the tone and manner of discourse within Society media (including listservs).

He stated:  “To make sure that members continue to find the listserv to be a meaningful and informative experience, the Executive Council adopted APA’s Civility statement.”  We have since incorporated these expectations into our Social Media Policy.

The newly-updated policy (attached for your review) has been affirmed by the Executive Committee, approved by the APA General Counsel’s Office, and is now in effect.

Please note the following:

Members may post questions, seek advice, or debate professional issues on topics related to health psychology. Messages may be program announcements, job postings, information of professional interest, etc.  Conference or training announcements for events sponsored by 501(c)3 organizations are welcome.

Professional debates can create strong differences of opinion, which may be expressed in a constructive manner; but personal attacks and offensive comments are inappropriate, not in the spirit of the Society, and against the policy of all associated communications tools. SfHP adopts, in total, APA’s Civility Statement (incorporated into SfHP policy attached).

Inappropriate behaviors include, but are not limited to: name-calling and other ad hominem comments; overgeneralizing and offering dispositional character criticisms and attributions;  using language that is perceived as being aggressive, sarcastic, or demeaning;  posting excessively or repeating an established position; or failure to adhere to the directives of the list administrator and/or SfHP Publications Committee.  Use of profanity is explicitly disallowed.

Please observe all copyright laws as they pertain to the Internet.  Do not copy/attach any full-length article or substantive portion thereof, without obtaining and including the copyright holder’s permission to do so.

Please refrain from repetitious requests for the same information; listmembers who initiate a call for resources are charged with compiling and re-posting the assembled content.

SfHP listservs may not be utilized to invite participation in surveys.  Results obtained via the use of listserv surveys may not be deemed representative, generalizable, or defensible.

Federal law providing for the American Psychological Association’s tax exempt status absolutely forbids the use of APA resources or facilities, including SfHP (Division 38) communications tools, in any way that would even appear to support or oppose a political candidate for local, state or national public office.

By embracing these standards, we all contribute to a climate of trust and collegiality that encourages friendly, informed, and spontaneous discourse.

Details about appropriate/inappropriate postings, listserv violation and reinstatement protocols, as well as APA’s listserv rules, are provided in the policy. Please familiarize yourself with them; they are also posted on our website ( and will be re-posted to our listservs on a regular basis.

Thank you for your participation in the Society for Health Psychology. If you have any questions or concerns about the new policies, please feel free to contact the Administrative Office: