2013 Forum

The Center for Children and Families presents our fourth annual Forum "Healthy Connections: Shaping Relationships and Achievement in High School" as a one day event on Friday, October 11, 2013 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Join Sociologists, Neuroscientists and Psychologists in an examination of the connections between adolescents' health, peers and peer culture, psychosocial development and their contributions to educational trajectories. The keynote speaker is Robert Crosnoe, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Crosnoe's work focuses on the connections between youth development, health and education.

This conference is for:

Teachers, parents, school administrators, school counselors, psychologists, and researchers interested in learning about the long term academic outcomes of stigmatized youth and the attendant risks of adolescents with social problems.
Community leaders, child advocates, and policy makers interested in enhancing the quality of life for adolescents and improving their academic trajectories and associated later outcomes as well as developing a greater understanding of current challenges.
Mental health professionals and service providers interested in learning new ways to make a difference in the lives of today's youth.

Why You Want to Attend:

  • Did you know that adolescents at risk for social marginalization (e.g., overweight youth and LGBT youth) have lower odds of going to college?
  • Did you know that social networking and the use of technology may have social benefits for adolescents but also psychosocial risks?
  • Did you know that neural mechanisms and genetic factors in adolescent brains may contribute to the greater likelihood of engaging in risky and addictive behaviors?
  • Did you know the ways in which family environments contribute to marital stability and relationship satisfaction?

The Healthy Connections Forum will explore these topics in a day-long event featuring keynote speaker Rob Crosnoe from the University of Texas at Austin, as well as other experts in adolescent development from the University of Texas at Dallas.

Where is the forum?

The Forum will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Bank of America Hall at The Eisemann Center for Performing Arts in Richardson, Texas.  For directions and more information, see www.eisemanncenter.com.  The 4th Annual Forum for Children and Families is a one-day event, co-sponsored by the Center for Children and Families at UT Dallas and Children's Medical Center of Dallas.  Detailed parking information will be posted at a later date.

What is the cost of the Forum?

Registration is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required.  There is a $10 charge for a boxed lunch and an additional $10 charge for professional CEUs, if desired.

Is there Continuing Education credit (CEU) available?


Invited Speakers

Robert Crosnoe, Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Crosnoe's work as a Sociologist, Social Demographer, and developmentalist includes a multi-method approach examining the unique pressures of children and adolescents in over 70 books and articles.  In his most recent book, "Fitting In, Standing Out:  Navigating the Social Challenges of High School to Get an Education", Dr. Crosnoe focuses on the developmental context of high school.  Integrating epidemiological data with case studies and interviews, Dr. Crosnoe begins a discussion on how to better understand the high stakes of social marginalization, determine which adolescents are at particular risk, uncover sources of resilience, and provides tips for schools, parents, teachers and policy makers on how to improve long-term outcomes.  His research has been supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Development and the William T. Grant Scholars Program.  He has won several notable career awards from the Society for Research in Child Development, the Society for Research on Human Development, and the Child and Youth Section of the American Sociological Association.

Marion Underwood, Ph.D., The University of Texas at Dallas

Dr. Underwood is a Clinical Psychologist with a long research career examining developmental psychopathology, peer relations, emotion regulation and the origins and trajectories of social aggression.  In her longitudinal study of youth development, Dr. Underwood investigates qualities of peer and romantic relationships, self-concept, academic progress, identity formation, externalizing problems, internalizing disorders, personality disorders, and eating disorders with the long-term goal of developing prevention and intervention efforts.  In an innovative method of data collection, Dr. Underwood examines text messaging and social networking to examine how youth use technology to communicate and its positive and negative implications.  Dr. Underwood is an award winning teacher and the author of books and numerous articles on social development and social aggression.  She is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and her research has been supported by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Child Health and Development.

Francesca Filbey, Ph.D., The University of Texas at Dallas

As a Neuropsychologist at the University of Texas at Dallas' Center for BrainHealth, Dr. Filbey uses neuroimaging and genetic techniques to characterize neural mechanisms associated with addictive disorders including marijuana and tobacco use, compulsive eating, and risk-taking.  Dr. Filbey also researches the neurobiological aspects of decision-making, emotional competence and risk assessment in adolescents.  Dr. Filbey is particularly interested in examining how early life factors or early life stress mediate the neural mechanisms associated with disorders.  Her research is supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Robert Ackerman, Ph.D., The University of Texas at Dallas

Dr. Ackerman is a Social and Personality Psychologist in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas.  He holds a special interest in interpersonal relationships and the developmental factors that contribute to the functioning of adult romantic relationships.  His most recent work that he will share with the Forum involves how positive engagement in adolescents' families predicts marital relationship outcomes twenty years later.  His work shows the long-term significance of the family climate in adolescence for long-term interpersonal relationships.

Forum support provided by: