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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