Society for Behavior Medicine (SBM)/Society for Pediatric Psychology partnership (SPP) update

Both the SPP and SBM will be meeting in Philadelphia this spring.

By Danielle Wischenka, Bernard Fuemmeler, PhD, MPH, and Ann M. Davis, PhD

Aristotle helped to explain the nature of love; and among the different natures was philia , or the type of love and affection one has for one’s friend, business partner or political ally. This was inspiration for the name of William Penn’s new city Philadelphia, which was the result of a peaceful treaty with the Lenape. It is therefore fitting that Philadelphia will be the location of both the APA Div. 54 Society for Pediatric Psychology (SPP) meeting in March and Child and Family Health (CFH) SIG activities at the next Society for Behavior Medicine in April. SPP and CFH share an ongoing friendship and we hope to strengthen this intersociety networking over the coming years. The purpose of this informational article is to share with you some of the activities to look forward to at the upcoming SBM and SPP meetings.

There will be several presentations at SBM that have a CFH focus, and we hope you will visit each of them. We’d like to highlight the following in particular:

  • “Case studies in strategic science to inform childhood obesity policy interventions.”
  • “Behavioral medicine interventions and outcomes in pediatric cancer survivors.”
  • “Adolescent, alcohol and STI/HIV risk: exploring the influence of alcohol use on sexual behavior across context, population, and level of analysis.”
  • “ A life course perspective on stigma and discrimination: Patterns of change and consequences for mental and physical health.”

Also, be sure to check out the featured panel discussion: “Using health policy to successfully reduce childhood obesity rates: The Philadelphia story.” These talks, along with the numerous posters presentations, promise to be informative opportunities to learn about cutting-edge research in our field.

In addition, please join us for our SIG’s Breakfast Roundtable business meeting and social event on Thursday, April 24 from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. The CFH SIG Student Award and the Award for Outstanding Research in Child and Family Health will be presented, highlighting examples of excellence in research conducted by those in our field. We thank all our advisory board (Drs. Ken Tercyak, Pam Behrman, Nataliya Zelikovsky, and Ms. Danielle Wischenka) who helped to review the numerous excellent submissions. At the meeting, our SIG will host Dr. Sean Phipps from St. Jude who will receive our annual award for outstanding achievements in the field of pediatric behavioral medicine and deliver our annual invited address. The C&FH morning meeting promises to be an exciting opportunity to network and catch up on the latest happenings of the SIG. We welcome all who are interested, so please join us!

As you may know, the Society for Pediatric Psychology now has annual national meetings (called the Society for Pediatric Psychology Annual Conference, or SPPAC). The entire conference program will soon be available on the SPP website. The conference will be on March 27-29, and as mentioned above, takes place in Philadelphia this year. The conference theme is “Pediatric Psychology: From Infancy to Young Adulthood.” Much of the programming will be of interest to this group, but to highlight a few symposia, Monaghan et al will present Readiness for Transition to Adult Medical Care and Simons et al. will present Resilience Within Reach: Promoting Positive Adaptation to Pain and Pain-Related Stress in Children and Adolescents . Notably, a keynote address will be given by Captain Steven Hirschfeld, MD, PhD of the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) who is currently director of the National Children’s Study regarding his project which includes over 100,000 children.

The CFH SIG is growing fast and we welcome input from SBM members about ideas and opportunities that could advance our mission. If you are interested in becoming a member of the SIG, please contact Ben Stumpf, Program Manager for the Society of Behavioral Medicine at SIG members are also welcome to submit ideas and suggestions for SIG-related activities through our email list. For more information, check us out online. Also, please feel free to contact our Chair, Dr. Bernard Fuemmeler for additional information and if you are interested in becoming more involved in the SIG.

The Society of Pediatric Psychology continues to grow as well. We are especially strong in our commitment to serving students and early career professionals. We have seen especially strong growth in our Special Interest Group program, and now have over 13 SIGs in SPP! If you are not already a member of SPP, we would love for you to join. And, in case you didn’t know this, you can join SPP without becoming a member of APA. To join SPP, simply apply online. Also, be sure to check out our SIGs, and join up in one or two of those – they’re a great way to get involved in the Division, and there is no additional cost for joining a SIG. A list of Division 54 SIGs can be found on the website. For any membership related questions, feel free to contact the current Member at Large for Membership, Dr. Ann M. Davis for additional information.

See you in the city of brotherly love.