2013-2014 Child Study Center Speaker Series
The Child Study Center is proud to present a series of distinguished speakers on topics related to child and adolescent development. Each annual series begins with the Child Study Center's Lois Bloom lecture, featuring a nationally recognized scholar. For additional co-sponsored events, please see News and Events: http://csc.psych.psu.edu/speaker-series/about-us/news. Please check back periodically for updated information.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
4:15 p.m., Nittany Lion Inn, Alumni Lounge
Dr. Nancy Gonzales
Women and Philanthropy Dean's Distinguished Professor, Department of Psychology (Clinical)
Director, Prevention Research Center
Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
Co-Sponsored with the Prevention Research Center
"Promoting School Engagement to Reduce Disparities for Mexican American Youth"
Abstract: The future well-being of our nation will be heavily influenced by the economic success, educational attainment, and health of the rapidly expanding U.S. Latino population, particularly young Latinos of Mexican origin. However, Mexican American youth face many barriers to success and integration within the U.S. In this talk, I propose that school engagement and the attainment of a high school degree are key targets for social policies and programs to reduce disparities for Mexican American youth. To illustrate, I will present findings from a randomized controlled trial of the Bridges to High School Program, a preventive intervention designed for middle school students in low-income communities, which demonstrated multiple long-term benefits for Mexican American adolescents. I will highlight key family and youth competencies that were targeted, the central role of school engagement, and evidence of differential program response based on acculturation.
Dr. Gonzales is also presenting the BENNETT LECTURE
Thursday, December 12, 2013
4:00 p.m., The Bennett Pierce Living Center, 110 Henderson Building
"The Role of Culture in Prevention Science: Past Progress and Future Challenges"
Thursday, January 16, 2014
2013-2014 Child Study Center's Lois Bloom Lecture
4:15 p.m., Nittany Lion Inn, Ballroom A&B
Dr. Nathan A. Fox
Distinguished University Professor and Chair
Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology
University of Maryland
"Are There Sensitive Periods for the Effects of Early Experience on Cognitive and Social Competence? Lessons from the Bucharest Early Intervention Project"
Abstract: Developmental psychologists and educators assume that early experiences shape the brain and neural circuitry for emerging cognitive and social behaviors over the first years of life. Most of the evidence for these assumptions is based on rodent and non human primate animal research. Far less has been published on the effects of early experience that is not correlational in nature. The Bucharest Early Intervention Project (BEIP) is the first randomized trial of a family intervention for children who experienced significant psychosocial neglect early in their lives. A group of infants living in institutions in Romania were recruited and randomized to be taken out of the institution and placed into family/foster care homes or to remain in the institution. Follow up of these children occurred at 42 and 54 months of age and at 8 years of age. Multiple domains, including cognitive, socio-emotional, psychiatric, and brain imaging were assessed at each age. Three questions are posed in this study and this talk: first, are there lasting effects of early psychosocial deprivation as children develop over the school years. Second, is intervention successful in ameliorating deficits as a result of institutionalization. And third, are there sensitive periods in delivering the intervention that explain both success and failure to improve cognitive and socio-emotional behavior.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
4:15 p.m., 127 Moore Building
Dr. Craig Ferris
Professor of Psychology
Director, Center for Translational NeuroImaging
Northeastern University, Boston, MA
"Processing Aggression, Fear and Reward: Effects of Development, Learning and Memory"
Abstract: Early psychosocial or environmental insult combined with genetic vulnerability can have long lasting consequences on development. Using an animal model of social subjugation and ethanol exposure, data will be presented showing childhood and early adolescence to be both vulnerable and resilient periods of development altering brain chemistry, neuroendocrinology and future behavior. As behavior is context dependent, perception of the environment plays a key role in approach and avoidance. Functional imaging data in awake animals will be presented on aggressive motivation and the non-genomic effects of stress hormone. The talk will close on the discussion of Fragile X Syndrome and dysfunction in reward processing as gleaned from imaging awake transgenic rats exposed to multiple environmental stimuli.