Members Area

Ethics Committee History

In 1987, AASP established an Ethics Committee. After considerable deliberation, this committee recommended that the association temporarily adopt the American Psychological Association's (APA) 1981 Ethics Standards for Psychologists. One reason for this recommendation was the APA tradition for maintaining high standards for practice, research, and teaching. Another reason was that this code addressed many issues that AASP members appeared to face.

After certification passed, however, the idea of an ethics code specific to the AASP membership was discussed. In 1990 the chairman of the Ethics Committee, Al Petitpas, addressed this issue with a study of AASP members' experiences and attitudes about various ethical problems. The results of this survey revealed the advantages and disadvantages of the continued reliance on the APA Ethics code. These results were published in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology in 1994.

With these results in hand, the 1993 Ethics Committee co-chairs, Andy Meyers and Dan Gould, were asked to develop a new code of ethics written specifically for the association. This charge was completed in two steps. The first was the development of a set of ethics principles, or statements of ethical aspirations that should guide members’ decision making. These principles were discussed and adopted by the association at the 1994 convention. The second step was to articulate a set of specific ethics guidelines that could be use as rules for specific professional situations. After being approved by the AASP board, these guidelines were discussed and adopted by the AASP during the 1996 convention.