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Inaugural Meeting of the JCCAP Future Directions Forum (FDF)[edit | edit source]

The conference included four keynote themes. Each had a speaker who delivered a talk focused on a topic from a recent Future Directions featured article in the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. After each talk, the audience broke into small groups for facilitated discussion led by other content experts. An innovation at the meeting was to build Wikiversity pages to gather together ideas and links from the talks and discussions.

The four themes in 2017 were:

  • Evidence Based Assessment
  • Suicide
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Conduct Problems

Addresses[edit | edit source]

Future Directions Address 1: Future Directions of Assessment[edit | edit source]

Presented by Eric Youngstrom, Ph.D.

Description[edit | edit source]

Eric Youngstrom did the keynote, using the vignette of Lea as an example to illustrate steps and principles in applying evidence-based assessment.

The talk lays out a way of reorganizing the sequence of assessment to maximize efficiency and reduce costs. The choice of when to assess and what tool to use is guided by focusing on three different phases of the clinical encounter: a Prediction phase (focused on risk assessment, screening, and integrating the results to produce a dashboard of probable hypotheses), a Prescription phase (where assessment finalizes diagnoses and case formulation and guides treatment selection) and a Process phase (where the emphasis shifts to measuring progress, process measures such as session attendance, homework, or mediational mechanisms, as well as outcome evaluation). By optimizing the order of assessments and using the best of the free measures whenever available, the approach can yield large improvements in accuracy, and may also improve satisfaction and outcome, while adding little time or expense to the evaluation process.

The barriers to implementation include a lack of familiarity with the model, and difficulty finding the tools and the supporting information.

Recent initiatives that are addressing these barriers include:

  1. Multiple societies contributing small grant support to build Wikipedia pages that describe the best free assessment resources for common presenting problems and diagnoses (a list is available here). These pages provide information for the general public, and they have been developed using small teams mixing students and content experts. They are working to include links to PDFs of the measure, or sometimes even online scoring tools that automate the process.
  2. A second initiative, with support from SCCAP, has also built out a set of sister pages on Wikiversity that are intended for an audience of clinicians and trainees. They include more information about scoring, norms, psychometrics, and examples of interpretation.
  3. A new student service organization, Helping Give Away Psychological Science (HGAPS) has been founded with the purpose of helping undergraduate and graduate students learn the editing skills, etiquette, and critical thinking needed to make successful edits on Wikipedia and Wikiversity pages. HGAPS will work in partnership with SCCAP and other professional societies to help extend the quantity and quality of information about psychology that reaches the public.

Future Directions Address 2: Future Directions of Suicide and Self-Injury[edit | edit source]

Presented by Matthew Nock, Ph.D.

Description[edit | edit source]

In this talk Dr. Matt Nock discusses the future directions in suicide research and how we can use technology to understand, predict, and prevent suicidal behavior. He begins by mentioning the slow progress made in the field when it comes to studying suicidal behaviors and then goes into predictors of these behaviors. However, there are big gaps in the understanding, prediction, and prevention of suicidal behaviors. These gaps include needing methods to combine known risk factors, needing objective markers of suicide risk, and needing data on imminent risk. Dr. Nock discusses how machine learning (ML) can be applied to medical data in order to create "risk scores". ML can also be used to discover new risk factors. The next part of his talk was to discuss the need for objective markers (i.e., not self-report) of suicide risk. In doing so, he studied using an implicit association test (IAT) as an objective measure and found that IAT did incrementally add to the prediction of self-harm. IAT can also be delivered via technology such as a phone or computer, which makes using this method easy to administer. Lastly, he covered the need for data on imminent risk. To address this, Dr. Nock talks about "digital phenotyping" which is defined as "moment-by-moment quantification of the individual-level phenotype in situ using data from personal digital devices". Using a smartphone app, this technique can be utilized to monitor suicidal ideation in real time and decreases the amount of recall bias while predicting the behavior in context. Overall, Dr. Nock provides logic for using technology (especially smartphones) as a way of providing real-time interventions for those with suicidal behaviors/ideation.

Future Directions Address 3: Future Directions of Bipolar Spectrum Disorders[edit | edit source]

Presented by Mary Fristad, Ph.D.

Description[edit | edit source]

Dr. Fristad presented on the future directions of research on youth with bipolar spectrum disorders. She began by giving a brief history and overview of bipolar disorder in youth including influential studies in the field such as the Course of Bipolar Youth (COBY) Study[1] and the Bipolar Offspring Study (BIOS)[2]. She also provided statistics on the prevalence of bipolar in youth as well as the developmental course of the disorder. Dr. Fristad discusses the current treatments of bipolar in youth. Additionally, she talks about how many of the known prognoses and courses no longer fit what researchers are seeing. There are new findings that bipolar may be a progressive disease with increased cortical volume as well as two early variants: one with a poor prognosis and the other that is developmentally limited with a good prognosis. Using smartphones we can asses individuals by using ecological momentary assessment and treat by using intervention prompts. She also discusses the promising literature surrounding nutritional interventions including broad-spectrum nutrients, Omega 3, whole food diets, and Vitamin D. The possible mechanisms surrounding these interventions are inflammation, microbiome imbalance-gut dysbiosis, oxidative stress, and impaired mitochondrial output. Dr. Fristad finishes by discussing the questions around the treatment of bipolar disorder that still need to be looked at as well as future directions in assessment of bipolar disorder in youth.

Future Directions Address 4: Future Directions of Conduct Problems[edit | edit source]

Presented by Daniel Shaw, Ph.D.

Description[edit | edit source]

Dr. Shaw was the keynote speaker who focused on the development and prevention of early conduct problems. He discussed the developmental course of conduct problems (CP) and the need to begin intervention in early childhood; even as early as age 2. He spoke on the malleable nature of conduct problems before the age of 5. Dr. Shaw also discussed risk factors for conduct problems including negative emotionality, inhibitory control, fearlessness, deceitful-callous/unemotional behavior. He also mentioned that parenting factors and attachment style can influence the development of CP. Lastly he discussed future directions in research on the development of conduct problems. Some areas for research include child sex as there is little research done on conduct problems in girls and poverty as there are many risk factors that are associated with living in poverty that need to be explored. In highlighting interventions for conduct problems, Dr. Shaw discussed how most new interventions focus on promoting positive parent-child relationships and general child outcomes rather than CP per se, using the attachment theory as a basis, The biggest challenge with this he says is that interventions emphasizing similar types of parenting would not be relevant for all kinds of parents of children with CP, despite the strong evidence that a diverse number of children benefit from this.

Workshops[edit | edit source]

Strategies for Improving Writing Clarity[edit | edit source]

Presented by Andres De Los Reyes, Ph.D.

Description[edit | edit source]

People tend to be drawn to and understand information best when it is communicated to them in the form of a narrative or “story” rather than a list of facts. However, researchers rarely receive formal training on leveraging narrative tools when writing about their academic work. In this workshop, Dr. Andres De Los Reyes describes evidence-based strategies for consistently applying narrative structure to academic work, with a focus on preparing manuscripts for submission to peer-reviewed academic journals.

Strategies for Writing Training Grants[edit | edit source]

Presented by Andres De Los Reyes, Ph.D.

Description[edit | edit source]

This workshop serves as a companion to our workshop on writing clarity (“Strategies for Improving Writing Clarity”). In this workshop, Dr. Andres De Los Reyes describes narrative tools for writing clear and successful training grant applications for submission to funding agencies. The examples used during the workshop refer to applications submitted to the National Institutes of Health. However, the principles covered in this workshop apply generally to how one uses narrative tools to construct funding applications. He begins with discussing steps one should take when writing a training grant such as determining the "big picture" of your research and why it is important, what is known in the field, and how will your research contribute the field.

Strategies for Boosting Writing Productivity[edit | edit source]

Presented by Andres De Los Reyes, Ph.D.

Description[edit | edit source]

In this workshop Dr. De Los Reyes offered evidence-based strategies to boost writing productivity.  He made an argument on the importance for those in academia to be excellent writers. However, being an excellent writer comes with challenges. He offered strategies of overcoming dreaded writers’ block, while discussing five strategies based on research for becoming a successful writer. Dr. De Los Reyes offered various strategies to transform ideas and thoughts into action before ending the workshop.

Strategies for the Peer-Review Process[edit | edit source]

Presented by Andres De Los Reyes, Ph.D.

Description[edit | edit source]

Publishing academic work often involves submitting scholarly manuscripts to peer-reviewed journals. A key component of the publishing process involves receiving commentary about your work from peers in your field, and satisfactorily responding to such commentary. Despite it being a core feature of the publishing process, researchers rarely receive formal training on responding to peer review commentary. In this workshop, Dr. Andres De Los Reyes describes evidence-based strategies for responding to peer review commentary, including strategies for how to compose cover letters for responding to such commentary.

Ceremony for the Future Directions Launch Award[edit | edit source]

Sunhye (Sunny) Bai, Ph.D.[edit | edit source]

  • Award Recipient in the area of child and adolescent assessment
  • Received Ph.D. from University of California, Los Angeles

About the award recipient[edit | edit source]

Sunhye (Sunny) received the 2017 Future Directions Launch Award in Assessment. After receiving her Ph.D. in Clinical and Health Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2018, she currently holds a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at the Pennsylvania State University. Her lab focuses on daily family processes that shape adolescent development, with a focus on family-based risk and protective factors for youth internalizing problems. Learn more about Sunny's lab here: bai-lab.weebly.com

Watch the YouTube recording of the remarks here.

Taylor A. Burke, Ph.D.[edit | edit source]

  • Award Recipient in the area of suicide and self-injury among children and adolescents
  • Received Ph.D. from Temple University

About the award recipient[edit | edit source]

Taylor is a recipient of the 2017 Future Directions Launch Award in Suicide and Self- Injury. Taylor is a clinical psychologist and Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. She specializes in the prediction and prevention of self-injurious thoughts and behaviors (SITBs) among adolescents and young adults. Dr. Burke uses novel methodologies and computational approaches to improve the identification of individuals at risk to better intervene and prevent SITBs. Dr. Burke earned her BA in psychology at Duke University and her PhD in clinical psychology at Temple University. She subsequently completed a pre-doctoral clinical psychology internship and an NIMH-funded T32 post-doctoral fellowship in child mental health at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Dr. Burke holds a five-year NIMH career development award that focuses on using passive mobile sensing, adolescent sleep and physical activity assessment, and advanced computational approaches to idiographic modeling to develop proximal risk models for increases in suicidal ideation. She also has other ongoing research supported by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the NIMH focused on leveraging computer vision to enhance suicide risk screening in pediatric health care settings. Learn more about Taylor's work here: https://connects.catalyst.harvard.edu/Profiles/display/Person/200999

Watch the YouTube recording of the remarks here.

Tess K. Drazdowski, Ph.D.[edit | edit source]

  • Award Recipient in the area of conduct problems among children and adolescents
  • Received Ph.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University

About the award recipient[edit | edit source]

Tess received the 2017 Future Directions Launch Award in Conduct Problems.  After receiving her Ph.D. in Clinical and Developmental Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2016, she currently holds a position as Research Scientist and Licensed Psychologist at the Oregon Social Learning Center. She is interested in investigating how to improve access to evidence-based practices for youth and young adults with substance use and mental health symptoms, particularly for those with justice system involvement. Most recently, her research has concentrated on the prevention and intervention for the misuse of prescription drugs, cannabis use, and polysubstance use in primarily young adults. Learn more about her work here: www.researchgate.net/profile/Tess_Drazdowski

Watch the YouTube recording of the remarks here.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Birmaher, Boris; Axelson, David; Goldstein, Benjamin; Strober, Michael; Gill,, Mary Kay; Hunt, Jeffrey; Houck, Patricia; Ha, Wonho et al. (2009-07). "Four-Year Longitudinal Course of Children and Adolescents With Bipolar Spectrum Disorders: The Course and Outcome of Bipolar Youth (COBY) Study". American Journal of Psychiatry 166 (7): 795–804. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2009.08101569. ISSN 0002-953X. http://psychiatryonline.org/doi/abs/10.1176/appi.ajp.2009.08101569. 
  2. "BIOS Family Study | CABS | University of Pittsburgh". www.pediatricbipolar.pitt.edu. Retrieved 2022-06-22.