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Lois Bloom Lecture

The Child Study Center's Lois Bloom Lecture is made possible by a gift from Dr. Lois Masket Bloom, '56 Arts and Letters and a Distinguished Alumna of Penn State, and Edward Lee Thorndike Professor Emeritus, Teachers College, Columbia University. This lectureship fund supports lectures by outstanding experts in the field of child studies with a special emphasis on early child development.

Suniya Luthar

"Youth and Families in High-Achievement Settings: Understanding Risks and Pathways to Resilience"

Abstract: With a basis in over 30 years of scientific research on resilience, Dr. Luthar will describe the culture-specific risk and protective factors that affect student well-being in high-achieving schools. She will discuss critical aspects of students' relationships with parents and with peers, as well as salient aspects of school climate, with an emphasis on factors that are amenable to change by stakeholders at schools. Based on cutting-edge data across multiple schools, she will summarize specific directions for educators and parents about how to foster the well-being of “the whole child” in high achievement settings. Of critical importance is the need to ensure the well-being of adult caregivers -- parents and educators -- who themselves are at risk for depletion and burnout; Dr. Luthar will describe evidence-based interventions involving supportive groups in people's own communities.

Thursday, April 23, 2020
The 2019-20 Child Study Center's Lois Bloom Lecture
4:15 p.m., Nittany Lion Inn, Assembly Room

Mary Dozier

"Early Adversity and Intervention: Effects Over Time"

Abstract: Dr. Dozier will consider the effects of different types of early adversity on children’s functioning, and factors that affect children’s ability to recover behaviorally and biologically following adversity. The types of adversity considered will include parental neglect, maternal opioid dependence, foster care, and orphanage care. An intervention, Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC), has been developed and adapted for parents of young children who have experienced these various forms of adversity.  Recent findings from our randomized clinical studies will be presented, highlighting brain and behavioral outcomes from middle childhood.

Thursday, September 20, 2018
The 2018 Child Study Center's Lois Bloom Lecture
4:15 p.m., Nittany Lion Inn, Assembly Room

Early Stress and Psychological Development

"Early Stress and Psychological Development: What do the theories propose and what do the findings mean?"

Abstract: There is now a great deal of clinical and theoretical regard for the role that early stress may play in long-term behavioral and physical health outcomes. This area of research encompasses many broad and substantial models of human development (e.g., “developmental programming”), engages several competing and complementary biological mechanisms (e.g., stress physiology, [neuro]inflammation), and requires an impressive array of research techniques (e.g., neuroimaging, behavioral manipulations).  In the course of this presentation, we will consider some of these, and focus particularly on the goodness of fit between alternative models and available evidence. We will also consider how a trans-disciplinary approach, which is needed for this kind of study, presents practical challenges for research and training.

Thursday, September 21, 2017 
The Child Study Center's 2017 Lois Bloom Lecture
4:15 p.m., The Nittany Lion Inn

Scaling up Evidence-Based Programs in Community Settings: Opportunities and Challenges

"Scaling up Evidence-Based Programs in Community Settings: Opportunities and Challenges"

Abstract: A plethora of empirically supported preventive interventions have been shown to avert and improve outcomes for children, youth, and families. Yet, evidence-based programs and practices (EBPs) often do not lead to large-scale and successful program implementation in real world settings. Advancing the impact of effective prevention programs requires addressing fundamental questions about novel ways that communities can adopt, adapt to their own cultural values, and subsequently own and deliver an EBP intervention with fidelity and sustainability. This presentation will address challenges and opportunities for scaling up EBP in community settings, demonstrating the potential widespread implementation and sustainability of technology as an effective program delivery platform.

Thursday, September 22, 2016 
The Child Study Center's 2016 Lois Bloom Lecture
4:15 p.m., The Nittany Lion Inn, Assembly Room

Age of Opportunity: Lessons From the New Science of Adolescence

"Age of Opportunity: Lessons From the New Science of Adolescence"

Abstract: Adolescence now lasts longer than ever, and the adolescent brain is surprisingly malleable. These new discoveries make this time of life crucial in determining a person’s ultimate success and happiness. In this lecture, Laurence Steinberg will discuss the teenage brain’s potential for change, the links between brain development and risk-taking in adolescence, the elongation of adolescence as a developmental stage, and the implications of each for how we parent, educate, and understand young people.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015
The Child Study Center's 2015 Lois Bloom Lecture
4:15 p.m., The Nittany Lion Inn, Assembly Room

Easy to Remember, Difficult to Forget: The Development of Fear Regulation

"Easy to Remember, Difficult to Forget: The Development of Fear Regulation"

Abstract: Fear extinction learning is a highly adaptive process that involves the integrity of frontolimbic circuitry. Its disruption has been associated with emotional dysregulation in stress and anxiety disorders. This presentation will examine how age, genetics and experiences shape our capacity to regulate fear in cross-species studies. Evidence for adolescent-specific diminished fear extinction learning will be presented in the context of immature frontolimbic circuitry. Evidence for less neural plasticity in fear regulation as a function of early life stress and genotype also will be presented. Finally, this work will be discussed in the context of exposure-based behavioral therapies for the treatment of anxiety and stress disorders, speculating on how such therapies may be optimized for the individual based on the patient’s age, genetic profile and personal history to move from standard treatment of care to personalized and precision medicine.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014
The Child Study Center's 2014 Lois Bloom Lecture
4:15 p.m., The Nittany Lion Inn, Boardroom

Are There Sensitive Periods for the Effects of Early Experience on Cognitive and Social Competence

"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, January 16, 2014
The Child Study Center's 2013 Lois Bloom Lecture
4:15 p.m., Nittany Lion Inn, Ballroom A&B

Early Learning and the Emotional Brain

Seth Pollak, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor of Psychology
University of Wisconsin at Madison

September 13, 2012
The Child Study Center's 2012 Lois Bloom Lecture

Early Life Stress and Development

Megan Gunnar, Ph.D.

Professor of Child Development and Principal Investigator for The International Adoption Project
Co-Principal Investigator of The Early Experience, Stress Neurobiology, and Prevention Science Network
University of Minnesota

November 10, 2011

The Child Study Center's 2011 Lois Bloom Lecture

The Biology of Misfortune

W. Thomas Boyce, M.D.

Professor, Sunny Hill Health Centre/BC Leadership Chair in Child Development
College for Interdisciplinary Studies and Faculty of Medicine
University of British Columbia

September 23, 2010

The Child Study Center's 2010 Lois Bloom Lecture

ADHD: Endophenotypes, environmental risk factors, and causal models

Joel T. Nigg, Ph.D.

Professor, Departments of Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Behavioral Neuroscience & Genetics
Director, Division of Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, Oregon Health & Science University

October 8, 2009

The Child Study Center's 2009 Lois Bloom Lecture

Pediatric Anxiety: Current and Future Approaches to Therapeutics

Daniel S. Pine, M.D.

Chief, Section on Developmental and Affective Neuroscience
Chief, Child and Adolescent Research in the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program
National Institute of Mental Health, Division of Intramural Research Programs

September 18, 2008

The Child Study Center's 2008 Lois Bloom Lecture

Childhood Behavior Problems: Where Do They Reside and What Do They Reflect?

Robert Marvin, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, University of Virginia Health System
Department of Psychiatric Medicine, Child and Family Psychiatry

September 20, 2007

The Child Study Center's 2007 Lois Bloom Lecture

Order and Disorder in the Emotional Brain

Richard Davidson, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology
University of Wisconsin, Waisman Center

September 21, 2006

The Child Study Center's 2006 Lois Bloom Lecture

Explaining Developmental Transition in Infancy

Joseph Campos, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology
University of California, Berkeley

September 22, 2005
The Child Study Center's 2005 Lois Bloom Lecture

Advances in Understanding the Nature and Causes of ADHD

Russell A. Barkley, Ph.D.

Professor, College of Health Professions
Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)

April 8, 2004
The Child Study Center's 2004 Lois Bloom Lecture

Psychological and Neurobiological Functioning in Maltreated Children

Dante Cicchetti, Ph.D.

Director, Mount Hope Family Center
University of Rochester

May 8, 2003
The Child Study Center's 2003 Lois Bloom Lecture

Views of Parenting Across Cultures

Marc Bornstein, Ph.D.

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

May 2, 2002
The Child Study Center's 2002 Lois Bloom Lecture

Schooling and Identity Processes: Challenges to the Acting White Assumption about Urban Youth

Margaret Beale Spencer, Ph.D.

Department of Psychology
University of Pennsylvania

Margaret Beale Spencer, Ph.D.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Pennsylvania

May 9, 2001
The Child Study Center's 2001 Lois Bloom Lecture

Becoming Symbol Minded

Judy DeLoache, Ph.D.

University of Illinois

April 27,2000
The Child Study Center's 2000 Lois Bloom Lecture