APS Articles on Juvenile Recidivism, the Gender/Sex Binary Win SPSP Awards

Two APS journal articles—one published in Psychological Science and the other in Perspectives in Psychological Science—have been singled out for awards from The Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) for demonstrating the relevance of the discipline to outside groups and for theoretical innovation. 

Researchers Gregory M. Walton, Kathleen Remington Cunningham, Daniel Hurst, Elizabeth Weitz, APS Past-President (2021–2022) Jennifer L. Eberhardt, 2022 APS Spence Awardee Jason A. Okonofua, Andres Pinedo, Juan P. Ospina, and Hattie Tate received The Robert B. Cialdini Prize for their 2021 Psychological Science article, “Lifting the Bar: A Relationship-Orienting Intervention Reduces Recidivism Among Children Reentering School From Juvenile Detention.” The prize recognizes authors of a publication that demonstrates the relevance of the discipline to groups outside of academic social psychology. 

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In their study, Walton and colleagues developed a procedure to curb bias and stigma against students returning from juvenile detention. In it, educators and returning students work as “positive relationship partners” beginning with the students’ reentering period. The researchers found that the relationship-orienting procedures reduced the students’ recidivism to juvenile detention and led educators to “express greater commitment to, anticipate more success for, and feel more love and respect” for students during this period. 

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Researchers Thekla Morgenroth and Michelle K. Ryan received The Daniel M. Wegner Theoretical Innovation Prize for their 2020 Perspectives on Psychological Science article, “The Effects of Gender Trouble: An Integrative Theoretical Framework of the Perpetuation and Disruption of the Gender/Sex Binary.” The prize “recognizes theoretical articles that are especially likely to generate the discovery of new hypotheses, new phenomena, or new ways of thinking about the discipline of social/personality psychology,” according to the SPSP website. 

In their article, Morgenroth and Ryan presented a framework to explain the perpetuation and disruption of the gender/sex binary. They propose that “gender trouble” and binary disruptions are caused by misalignment of character, appearance, and behaviors, which can potentially induce personal and system threats. These threats often lead to efforts to alleviate them through reinforcement of the gender/sex binary, an approach that the proposed framework challenges.

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“We’re thrilled to see the innovative and influential work published in APS journals being recognized with these two prestigious awards, which highlight research that moves the field forward and has real-word impact—two values that are at the core of APS’s mission,” said APS Director of Publications Amy Drew. 

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