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Future Meetings

2025 Annual Meeting

Social Determinants of Psychopathology: Bridging Etiologic Research and Implementation Science to Improve the Lives of Patients and Populations

The social causes of psychopathology have been recognized nearly as long as psychopathology itself. Advances in research on the social determinants of psychopathology have enabled us to understand the causal role of social factors on mental health. For nearly all aspects of the mechanistic underpinnings of psychopathology, we are enjoying a greater understanding of how social factors influence mental health. Social factors become embodied through genomic processes, become encoded in the developing brain, and have enduring influences on neurocognitive development in childhood and cognitive decline later in life. Social factors moderate treatment response and treatment outcomes for many psychiatric conditions. And social factors fundamentally shape the ability to seek and receive mental health care. Unfortunately, the tremendous gains in understanding how social factors cause and sustain psychiatric illness have not yet led to comparable gains in preventing psychiatric illness and in reducing disparities in psychiatric illness; nor have they led to comparable gains in the effectiveness of psychiatric care. I propose to organize an APPA conference that would bring together leading scholars on the social determinants of psychopathology across mental health’s disciplines – epidemiology, anthropology, sociology, genomics, neuroscience, biostatistics, psychiatry, and health policy – to present on our current understanding of how social factors cause mental illness, and what stands in the way of this understanding being fully utilized to improve the lives of patients and populations.

Stephen E. Gilman, ScD
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Bethesda, MD


2026 Annual Meeting

The fruits of the “affect revolution” in conceptualizing, understanding, and intervening in psychopathology

The “affect revolution” during the past several decades had focused substantial research efforts on the roles of the experience and regulation of emotion and mood in psychological adjustment and psychopathology. The experience and regulation of affect has now been studied across the entire life-span and in lab and daily-life settings; various biomarkers have been examined; emotion regulation that goes awry has been conceptualized as a transdiagnostic process; dysregulated affect also has been proposed as a risk factor for various psychopathologies and psychiatric disorders; and the vast and continuously expanding literature on emotion-focused interventions speaks to the timeliness of these topics. The 2026 APPA meeting will address the question as to what has been learned as the consequence of the “affect revolution.” What is the current status of affect in our conceptualization of human behavior? Has the research across the past several decades yielded novel findings about the relationship of affect experience and psychopathology? Have the findings advanced our understanding of the course and outcomes of major psychiatric disorders like depression, schizophrenia, or substance-use related conditions? And what is the future of affect-focused research?
Maria Kovacs, PhD
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry


2027 Annual Meeting

For this year’s theme, we will draw inspiration from the great psychologist William James whose
work inspired the creation of APPA and who wrote:
The backache, the long hours, the danger, are patiently endured-for what? To gain a quid
of tobacco, a glass of beer, a cup of coffee, a meal, and a bed, and to begin again the next
day and shirk as much as one can. This really is why we raise no monument to the
laborers in the subway, even though they be out conscripts, and even though after a
fashion our city is indeed based upon their patient hearts and enduring backs and
shoulders. And this is why we do raise monuments to our soldiers, whose outward
conditions were even brutaller still. The soldiers are supposed to have followed an ideal,
and the laborers are supposed to have followed none.
The topic of work and mental health has not been covered in the APPA meetings of the recent
The 2027 conference theme will be “Family/Work Balance and Mental Health in the
Century.” We will cover important advances in patient-centered research and in population
health studies. There will be a specific focus on preventive interventions when we must balance
family care for those who depend upon us to be of help, from the youngest young to the oldest