APA 112th annual convention to be held in Honolulu, July 28 August 1, 2004


Importance of social connections to staying healthy, benefits of family friendly policies at work and psychological consequences of a nation under constant alert for terror attacks

HONOLULU -- How social networks and social support influence people's health, the benefits of family friendly policies at work for both the employers and employees and how constant terror alerts increase anxiety levels and promote fear in the American population are some of the themes of the 112th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (APA).

More than 1,200 symposia, invited addresses, paper, poster and other sessions will be devoted to a wide range of psychological issues ranging from Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy (CI ) an innovative technique that improves motor deficits in about 50 percent of stroke victims to genetic influences responsible for developmental disorders to the latest research-based psychotherapy. Asian alternatives to American psychology and what we now know about bullying prevention in a post-Columbine era will also be featured.

Other sessions will feature the trauma women and teenagers experience from life on the streets as prostitutes, whether dolphins are self-aware and how they communicate with each other, interpersonal, cognitive and biological aspects of depression and how parental marital transitions affect the development of children and adolescents.

Other presentations include:

  • Integrating Zen training into sports training: Does believing you're good make you good A look at PGA Tour Golfers
  • Effect of deployment on military families and how active-duty military personnel cope and handle stress
  • Risk factors for suicide in older adults: personality and susceptibility to depression, stressful life events or physical health problems?
  • Infants' temperament and later cognitive development and memory ability
  • Who is more creative: Scientists or Artists?
  • New treatments for child and adolescent anxiety
  • Cognitive ability after bypass surgery
  • Prison Inmates what motivates change and rehabilitation?
  • Terrorists' motivations and the psychology of evil
  • Mental health and academic survival of college students

APA President Diane Halpern, PhD, Director of the Berger Institute for Work, Family and Children at Claremont McKenna College, will discuss how policies friendly to work family integration benefit employers as well as employees (Saturday, July 31, 1:00 PM). Other 2004 presidential program sessions include:

Sheldon Cohen, PhD, Carnegie Mellon University, Social Connectedness and Health

  • Dr. Cohen will shed light on the connection between social relationships and physical health. He describes how social integration (relationship participation through friends, sports teams, clubs and religious organizations), social support (people helping others during adversity job searching, family loan during hard economic times) and less negative social relationships (interactions that cause conflict or feelings of loneliness or isolation) affect people's immune system functioning and susceptibility to disease and depression.

    Philip Zimbardo, PhD, Stanford University, Terrorism and Fear

  • Dr. Zimbardo will describe his theories on how terrorists have manipulated fear to sustain constant panic among Americans. He argues that the current administration has further stressed and panicked Americans by not debriefing them after terror alerts, not providing adequate explanation of why they were warned and often providing no advice on how to protect themselves.

    Albert Bandura, PhD, Stanford University, Social Cognitive Theory and Its Global Effects

  • Dr. Bandura will discuss how the principles derived from the Bobo doll experiments provided a social change model that has had worldwide impact. He will show how a genre of radio and television programs, called entertainment-education, taps his theoretical work by modeling how people can improve their lives. These global applications in Africa, Asia and Latin America are promoting national literacy, raising the status of women in societies where they are subjugated, lowering birth rates to stem population growth and helping to curb the spread of HIV infection.

    Louis M. Herman, PhD, University of Hawaii, Do Dolphins Think the Way We Do?

  • Dr. Herman will show through video clips that dolphins can follow a trainer's instructions to perform complex behaviors in synchrony, including behaviors of their own choosing; that dolphins are aware of their own behavior from experiments showing that dolphins can remember sequential tasks and perform one task after the other; how dolphins' behavior that shows that they know what things are and how they may be used. An example of this behavior is that a dolphin can correctly answer by pressing "yes" and "no" paddles of whether an object is present in his or her pool.

    Pumla Gobodo Madizekala, PhD, South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Post-apartheid healing in South Africa

  • Dr. Madizekala will discuss the commission's first outreach program that allowed victims of human rights violation a chance to speak to their perpetrators. She will examine the psychological consequences of this type of victim perpetrator encounter for both parties and the long-term benefits of publicly acknowledging human rights violations.

    Lois Wladis Hoffman, PhD, Temple University, Stewart Friedman, PhD, University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, Sandra Scarr, PhD, University of Virginia, Lois Wladis Hoffman, PhD, University of Michigan, New Options for Child Care: Home and Daycare

  • Dr. Hoffman and colleagues will discuss the economic necessity for most American parents to work and the problems that go with both parents working so many hours, which diminishes the ability to have healthy families. The researchers will outline some creative alternatives so employees can better integrate work and family and also examine how organizations are developing policies such as working at home and flexible schedules so their employees can be productive and meet their children's needs. The pros and cons of outside- the-home child care will also be discussed.

    Norma Hotaling, PhD, SAGE Project, Inc., Recovering from Prostitution

  • Dr. Hotaling, a former prostitute, will address what women and teenagers experience working as prostitutes and living on the streets. She will also describe how the center's unique approach to trauma recovery through peer education, job training, counseling and health care has helped former prostitutes begin new lives.

    Featured speaker Dr. Paul Pearsall will introduce an "aha mele," or edu-concert, that incorporates the use of chant, music and ancient and modern hula to illustrate his research on success and resilience and a discussion of Hawaiian culture during the convention's opening session. Pearsall, who heads Ho'ala Hou, an international institute in Honolulu for the study and application of ancient Hawaiian principles to modern life, will explain how Hawaiian culture and philosophy--which emphasize strengths and resilience, among other things--are similar to psychology's recent focus on people's strengths.


    The press facilities for the convention will be in Iolani Suite V, Second Floor-Tapa Conference Center, Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort and Spa. The pressroom will open for on-site media registration on Wednesday, July 28, from 7:30 AM to 3:00 PM. During each day of the convention, the pressroom will be open from 7:30 AM to 3:00 PM (except Sunday, August 1, when it will close at noon). Please note change: Convention papers will be available online. We will supply you with CDs or you may email the papers as attachments. We will also have working space, telephones, fax machines, phone lines for data transmission and APA staff resources for you. The press area will also be the site of any news briefings held during the convention.

    The American Psychological Association (APA), in Washington, DC, is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world's largest association of psychologists. APA's membership includes more than 150,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 53 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting human welfare.

    Source: Eurekalert & others

    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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