WASHINGTON—The American Psychological Association has beefed up its commitment to its scientific members as part of an internal realignment that intended to better serve the needs of an unusually diverse membership.

A steady rise since the 1950s in the number of practitioners—those who provide health care directly to the public—has slowly tipped the balance against the academics and researchers who once dominated the 95-year-old association. As a result, that group has grown increasingly restive within the 80,000-member association. A recent membership pail found them to be the most unhappy with the status quo.

Last June APA Executive official Leonard Goodstein won approval for a staff restructuring that would more clearly demonstrate what the association was doing for each of its major constituencies. The Office of Legislative and Public Affairs, the focal point for Washington lobbying efforts, was parceled out among offices handling the needs of scientists, practitioners and those concerned...

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