In 2005, at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association in Washington D.C., the Italian American Psychology Assembly (IAPA) was co-founded by Drs. Elizabeth Messina and Anthony Marsella. The first meeting consisted of a small group of a dozen or so psychologists and students. A mission statement was formulated. Elizabeth Messina, Ph.D. served as the first president. A tradition was established whereby an IAPA dinner would be held each year on the night before the annual APA conference. In 2007 the IAPA also began to honor Italian American Psychologists who have made a significant contribution to the science of psychology.
Membership grew rapidly between the years of 2009 and 2013. A more concerted effort to include colleagues from Italy and other countries also took place during this period, with the IAPA co-sponsoring conferences in Palermo (2009) and Padua (2013).
In 2014 after much deliberation, the name of the organization was changed to the Italian American Psychological Society (IAPS). A more formal set of bylaws was created and additional members were added to the Board of Directors. A new group of officers were elected.
Today the IAPS represents more than 200 professional from around the globe. Our membership includes some of the most prominent psychologists in the world, including four former presidents of the American Psychological Association and faculty from the Universities of Bari, Padua, Palermo, and Rome as well as Puerto Rico and Guatemala. In less than a decade, the IAPS has become the premier organization for Italian American psychology.
LaRIOS’s Reseachers are members of this association.