Announcing the 2014 Society of Pediatric Psychology Annual Conference (SPPAC) in Philadelphia

Share in the history of the new SPPAC in the birthplace of America.

By Emily Fredericks and Lisa Schwartz, PhD

The Society of Pediatric Psychology is hosting and sponsoring its annual conference in 2014.

The conference includes three days of programming consisting of one day of preconference workshops and special interest group meetings and two days of invited speakers, concurrent symposia and poster sessions. We have an open call for poster, paper, symposia and workshop submissions. We hope the open call will generate innovative and exciting ideas for programming, and we encourage submissions from individuals representing diverse disciplines within healthcare and psychology.

The conference theme is “P ediatric Psychology: From Infancy to Young Adulthood.” The theme is intended to highlight the vast reach of pediatric psychology via attention to youth of all ages and innovative research. Abstracts that include a lifespan approach or include samples in early childhood or adolescence/young adulthood are encouraged. In addition, we hope to see abstracts that demonstrate the maturation of the field in team science, advanced methods, use of technology, new research paradigms or translational research. We have identified five specific areas of interest but encourage quality submissions on all topics.

  • New Insights Into the Brain: Neuroscience and Neuroimaging

Seeking submissions on topics such as brain development (normal or abnormal) and impact of environment, injury and disease. Inclusion of brain imaging and a focus on (or inclusion of) infants or adolescents/young adults is of particular interest.

  • Back to Basics: Early Childhood Problems

Seeking submissions that enhance understanding of or study the use of new, updated or innovative approaches to treatment of common pediatric problems such as feeding, sleeping, toileting, behavioral and developmental problems.

  • Coming of Age: Transition to Adulthood and Adult Care

Seeking submissions that highlight research on transitioning youth with chronic health conditions. Topics may include transition readiness and outcomes of transfer of care, disease self-management, transition program development and evaluation and pursuit of or preparation for young adult developmental tasks.

  • Expanding our Tools and our Reach: Use of Technology

Seeking submissions that use technology to enhance innovation of research or clinical care; enhance acceptability, impact, or efficacy/effectiveness of interventions; and expand reach to participants or providers. These may include studies incorporating or developing apps or devices, and those using simulation, texting or web-based interventions.

  • Coming Full Circle to Clinical Care: Translational Science

Seeking submissions that focus on the application of research in clinical settings, highlighting “bench to bedside,” with the dissemination of evidence-based practice into “real world” settings.

In response to positive feedback and suggestions following the 2013 conference, we plan to hold multiple concurrent sessions and workshops. Other features include an international speaker, a lunch with a panel of distinguished guests discussing a range of diverse positions and activities as pediatric psychologists, an expanded mentorship luncheon to include students and early career faculty and several social gatherings. As always, the conference will provide several opportunities to gain CE credits.

Our keynote speaker is Steven Hirschfeld, MD, PhD. He is director of The National Children’s Study, which is examining the effects of environmental influences on the health and development of more than 100,000 children across the United States, from before birth to age 21. Hirschfeld is the associate director for clinical research for the National Institute of Child Health and Development and serves as NIH co-coordinator of the Child Health Oversight Committee for the National Center for Research Resources Clinical and Translational Science Awards Consortium.

Our international speaker is Christopher Eccleston, PhD.  Eccleston is professor of psychology at The University of Bath in the United Kingdom where he directs the Centre for Pain Research. He has a particular interest in evidence-based psychology, the development of novel interventions, treatment process and knowledge transfer.

Our diversity speaker is Lori Crosby, PsyD. Crosby is a professor of clinical pediatrics in the Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. Crosby has emerged as a leader in conducting research to transform the health care system for adolescents and young adults with sickle cell disease.

SPPAC will take place at the Loews Hotel in Center City (downtown) Philadelphia, within walking distance to major historical sights, shopping and amazing restaurants.

Important Dates

  • Nov. 4: Abstract submission deadline
  • Jan. 15: Notification of acceptance or rejection of submissions
  • March 27 to 29: SPPAC (Preconference workshops and SIG meetings on March 27)

See more information on SPPAC and the call for papers .