The 2013 National Conference in Pediatric Psychology was a success in New Orleans.
By Ric G. Steele and Michael C. Roberts, PhD
The 2013 National Conference in Pediatric Psychology was held in New Orleans on April 11-13. With 584 participants, plenary addresses, concurrent sessions, and poster sessions provided a wealth of information and multiple opportunities for earning continuing education (CE) credits. The conference buzzed from the interactions, connections, and collaborations of the attendees, which included undergraduate and graduate students, interns, postdocs, and seasoned professionals.
Three preconference CE workshops were held on topics of conducting clinical research with children (by Kristin Riekert and Michelle Eakin), acceptance and values-based behavioral treatment (by Lindsey Cohen and Kevin Vowels), ethical challenges in research studies when youth report self-injurious and health-risk behavior (by Mitchell Prinstein and Sarah Helms).
The conference opened with a plenary session on sleep that included an overview presentation and symposium chaired by Lisa Meltzer followed by a plenary presentation on health care reform policy and training implications for pediatric psychology by David Janicke. The afternoon was highlighted by an overview presentation and symposium chaired by Jennifer Verrill Schurman. The next morning plenary presentations included the Lizette Peterson Homer Memorial Lecture on issues of dichotomizing research and practice in pediatric psychology by Jennifer Shroff Pendley and Celia Lescano’s diversity plenary on research and practice by changing measures. The afternoon allowed participants to select one of three concurrent symposia selected by the review committee from submissions on the topics of parent and family factors in pediatric psychology (with pediatric pain as an example) chaired by Christine Chambers; clinical service development in pediatric subspecialty clinics chaired by Meghan McGrady and Dennis Drotar, and reducing global and U.S. health disparities chaired by Eve Puffer.
Five poster sessions presented 346 posters that helped many attendees get to the conference. Organizational meetings of 14 Special Interest Groups (SIGs) took place with eight SIGs provided continuing education presentations for their members. The Student Advisory Board hosted a mentoring lunch for trainees where leaders in the field provided their perspectives on career development, clinical practice, and research issues. Early morning sessions provided forums for the new SPP journal, Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology, and the Journal of Pediatric Psychology as well as the American Board of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.
Conference evaluations indicated high satisfaction and value for the venue, the conference, and the speakers. The 2013 conference co-managers, Ric Steele and Michael Roberts thank those who assisted in making the 2013 conference such a valued activity and professional resource including the many outstanding presenters, the Scientific Review Committee (SRC), the Conference Advisory Committee, the SPP Board of Directors, the Kansas University Division of Continuing Education and multiple students.
The SRC deserves special recognition for their careful review of more than 600 poster, paper and symposium abstracts. Committee members include: Lamia Barakat, Lisa Buckloh, Lindsey Cohen, Mark Connelly, Christopher Cushing, Ann Davis, Meredith Dreyer, Christina Duncan, Emily Fredericks, Kurt Freeman, Chris Houck, Carolyn Ievers-Landis, David Janicke, Elissa Jelalian, Bryan Karazsia, Larry Mullins, Anna Maria Patino-Fernandez, Tim Nelson, Jean Phipps, Jennifer Schurman and Kathy Zebracki.
After not having a pediatric psychology conference for lack of support and organizers, the two-conference experiment (2011, 2013) have proven to be a successful model for SPP to sponsor a national conference on its own, without a local institutional sponsor. Starting this year, the conference will become an annual event. The next conference will be held in Philadelphia on March 27-29, 2014.