Past Events


Building Strong Families in a Stressful World


April 16 and 17, 2015

OSLC Conference Schedule

April 16, 2015, 5:30PM
We will kick off the conference with a free public lecture.

Keynote Speaker:  Rick Harrington, Ph.D.  

Dr. Harrington’s research endeavors include publications in the areas of biofeedback, personality, and well-being. He is the author of a Wadsworth/Cengage (2012) textbook that covers the integrated topics of stress, health, and well-being. The instructor’s edition describes the textbook as follows: “Author Rick Harrington, licensed psychologist and professor, presents a thorough investigation of the mind-body connection as it relates to managing stress in this first edition of Stress, Health, & Well-Being: Thriving in the 21st Century. With an empirically grounded approach, the text integrates classical study of stress and health with findings from the burgeoning field of positive psychology. The result is a balanced coverage of the current scientific understanding of stress, enriched by data analysis and practical applications for productive management of this pervasive force in our modern times.”

April 17, 2015, 8:45AM – 4PM
The 2015 Oregon Social Learning Center Conference will focus on practice oriented research on the impact of stress, risk, resilience, and well-being for families. Featured speakers include scientists from the Oregon Social Learning Center. This conference is presented by the Oregon Social Learning Center and OSLC Developments Inc.

Session 1: Substance Use Across the Lifespan and Across Generations: Continuity and Change
Deborah Capaldi, OSLC Research Scientist
Amy McCormick, LCSW, Bethel Health Center

Substance use is a major issue in the 21st Century, affecting families in a number of ways, such as by causing breakdowns in relationships and health. Findings from 30-year Oregon Youth Study and related Couples and Intergenerational studies will be presented regarding risk factors for development of substance use (particularly alcohol and marijuana use), differential patterns of substance use over time, the prevalence of polysubstance use, changes in patterns of substance use in adulthood, and evidence for continuity in substance use from parents to children.

Session 2: Predicting Intimate Partner Violence for Young Adults and Their Romantic Partners
Joann Wu Shortt, OSLC Research Scientist
Krista Chronister, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology, UO

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is increasingly recognized as a complex and major public health problem. A substantial number of romantic relationships involve IPV. IPV adversely impacts physical and mental health, and can be a precursor to future violence. The current OSLC research study takes a novel approach to examining whether family, peer, youth adjustment, and romantic relationship factors predict physical, psychological, and sexual IPV and injuries in young adulthood. Study results will assist in the modification and revision of current theories of IPV, which in turn will inform the development of prevention and intervention programs to decrease IPV and promote healthy romantic relationships.

Session 3: Competing with Teen Drug Use: Effective and Creative Reinforcement Systems and Other Strategies
Ashli Shiedow, OSLC Research Scientist

Parents and clinicians struggle to intervene successfully on adolescents’ use of substances. Research shows it is one of the most difficult teen problems to treat, with low success rates and high relapse rates. Although behavior modification strategies can be effective, finding ways to compete effectively with drug use and peer influences can be quite difficult. This presentation will discuss creative strategies to use in modifying teens’ drug use and other behaviors, with practical take-home tips and information sharing. 

Session 4: Promoting Resilience Following Trauma: Evidence-Informed Strategies for Victims and Helping Professionals
Mike McCart, OSLC Research Scientist
Denise Jessup, LMFT, Private Practice

Youth and adults in the U.S. are exposed to high rates of traumatic life events. Although trauma exposure can increase one’s risk for mental health problems, the vast majority of victims are able to maintain healthy and relatively stable levels of functioning. This presentation will discuss specific coping strategies, identified through clinical and epidemiological research, which might promote such resilience among victims of trauma. In addition, because routine service delivery with trauma victims can take an emotional toll on helping professionals (e.g., child welfare workers, police officers, victim advocates), this presentation also will cover techniques that professionals can use to maintain resilience in the context of their work.

Session 5: The Families Actively Improving Relationships (FAIR) Program: Addressing the Co-Occurring Challenges of Parental Substance Abuse
Lisa Saldana, OSLC Research Scientist
Rebekah Foster, Options Counseling and Family Services

The co-occurrence of parental substance abuse and child neglect represents a disproportionate percentage of referrals to the child welfare system. This presentation will describe the FAIR program, an intensive outpatient program for families referred to child welfare with complications of substance abuse. Specific program components and strategies will be defined and pilot outcomes demonstrating the preliminary success of the program will be provided.

Facilitated Discussion
Kip Leonard, OSLC Board President
Rohanna Buchanan, OSLC Research Scientist


The Right Bank


Rising Above Risk: Creating Positive Outcomes for Families


University of Oregon School of Law
Eugene, Oregon

Join nationally-recognized scientists and research staff from the Oregon Social Learning Center as they share how the latest trends in social-science and developmental research are strengthening families and societies.

Don’t miss this opportunity to meet and network with researchers, policy-makers, and practitioners from your community. Continuing education credits are available for this conference.

Online registration opens in December. Click here to learn more about registration rates and to register. Please note the early registration deadline is on or before April 1, 2011. Continuing education credits are available.

Conference Agenda – Friday, April 22, 2011

8:45–9:00 am Welcome

9-10 am More than Just the ABCs: Promoting School Success for Children and Adolescents
Katherine Pears, PhD; Rohanna Buchanan, PhD; & Cynthia Heywood, PhD
Success in school is vital to children’s academic, social, and psychological adjustment. Presenters will discuss preventive interventions in the schools focusing on early interventions to prepare at-risk children for kindergarten and interventions for adolescents with behavioral difficulties.

10:15-11:15 Biology and families: Nothing Carved in Stone
Jackie Bruce, PhD; Leslie Leve, PhD; & Heather McClure, PhD
Presenters will discuss the role of important biological systems, such as genetic influences and key brain regions, on the outcomes of at-risk children and families. The impact of context and preventive interventions on these biological systems will also be discussed.

11:30–12:30 Title: Girls at Risk: Consequences and Interventions
Deborah Capaldi, PhD; & Dana Smith, PhD; Alan Feingold, PhD, & Hyoun Kim, PhD
This presentation will focus on risk profiles of girls involved in the juvenile justice system. Family background, trauma exposure, and romantic relationships will be discussed, and treatment interventions and outcomes will be presented.

1:45–2:45 Parenting support for the digital age: A new video feedback intervention for high risk families
Phil Fisher, PhD; David DeGarmo, PhD; Angie Relling; Lisa Saldana, PhD; & Laura Rains
Presenters will describe an approach that was originally developed in Europe and that we have adapted for use with American families, particularly those with challenges in parenting such as child welfare system parents, divorced fathers, and parents in substance abuse treatment programs. They will present examples of the approach, and will describe how they plan to evaluate the intervention using research.

3-4 pm Families Under Stress:  Parenting Interventions in the Real World

Lew Bank, PhD; Mark Eddy, PhD; Charles Martinez, Jr., PhD; John B. Reid, PhD; & Joann Wu Shortt, PhD
OSLC scientists have developed a variety of interventions for working with families ­dealing with various life challenges. In this talk, presenters review parenting interventions that have been designed to address specific family needs in various Oregon communities and through a variety of systems of care. Each intervention was developed for delivery within a specific setting: community-based non-profits, school systems, prisons, or community corrections. Each intervention has been studied in a scientifically rigorous way and has been shown to positively impact families.

Conference attendees are welcome to park in the University of Oregon School of Law parking lot (limited space availability).

Born To Be Good: Lessons from the Science of a Meaningful Life


University of Oregon School of Law
Eugene, Oregon

OSLC is proud to welcome Dacher Keltner, PhD, best-selling author, founder of the Greater Good Science Center, and professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley for a FREE public lecture.

Copies of Dr. Keltner’s best-selling book, Born to Be Good, The Science of a Meaningful Life, will be available for purchase and signing after the lecture.

Dacher Keltner, PhD is founder and faculty director of the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley, overseeing the Center’s fellowship program and serving as executive editor of Greater Good magazine. After receiving his PhD from Stanford University, Dr. Keltner has devoted his career to studying the nature of human goodness, conducting ground-breaking research on compassion, awe, laughter, and love. He is also a leading expert on social intelligence, the psychology of power, and the emotional bases of morality. He is currently a full-professor in the Psychology Department at the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Keltner has published more than 120 scientific articles, has written for the New York Times Magazine, the London Times, and Utne Reader, and has received numerous national prizes and grants for his research. He is the author of the best-selling book Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life, and a co-editor of the Greater Good anthology, The Compassionate Instinct.

Dacher’s research focuses on two time-honored questions – one about the biological and evolutionary origins of human emotion, and how emotions shape all kinds of judgments; and the other about the study of power, status and social class, and the nature of moral intuitions.

Dr. Keltner is an outstanding speaker who has received several national research and teaching awards. Wired has rated the podcasts of his “Human Emotion” course as one of the five best academic podcasts in the country. He has twice presented his research to His Holiness the Dalai Lama as part of a continuing dialogue between the Dalai Lama and scientists, and his work is featured regularly in major media outlets, including The New York Times, CNN, the BBC, and NPR. In 2008, the Utne Reader named him as one of 50 visionaries who are changing our world.

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