University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Conference 2011

NEW WORLDS OF ADOPTION: Research Based Interventions Promoting Attachment

April 2011

Conference Keynote
Mary Dozier, Ph.D. Amy E. DuPont Chair of Child Development and Professor of Psychology, University of Delaware.
"Attachment & Biobehavioral Catch-up: An Intervention For Parents Of Young Children Who Have Experienced Adversity"

Keynote Description
Children who have experienced early adversity, such as foster care, neglect, and institutional care, often have difficulties regulating behavior and physiology.  We have designed an intervention that targets these issues. The intervention, Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up, helps caregivers behave in nurturing ways to enhance children’s attachment organization, and provide a responsive, engaged interpersonal environment so as to enhance children’s attention and self-regulatory capabilities. Evidence regarding the effectiveness of the intervention will be presented along with description of the intervention, and videotaped vignettes.

Poster Presentation
Attendees learned about current adoption research projects and programs following lunch.

Panel Discussion
Panel and audience discussion of clinical and research implications of keynote address.
Confirmed panelist include:

  • UnJa Hayes, Assistant Professor, Psychology, UMass Amherst.

  • Joyce Maguire Pavao, Founder & CEO of Center for Family Connections.

  • Jennifer McDermott, Assistant Professor, Psychology, UMass Amherst.

  • Christopher Overtree, Director, Psychological Services Center, UMass Amherst.

  • Sally Powers, Professor, Psychology, UMass Amherst.

Concurrent Sessions
Topics included:

  • Adoption Mentoring Partnership with Jen Dolan, Quade French, Hal Grotevant, Renee Moss & Jessica Robbins.

  • Adoption-Specific Psychotherapy: A Manualized Approach For Children Adopted From Foster Care with Debbie Riley and Jill Waterman.

  • Attachment in Adoption and Foster Care: Current Research with Alana Curewitz, Colette Duciaume-Wright, Jessica Matthews, Elizabeth Schilling and Chair: Ruth McRoy.

  • Going To The Source: Adoptive Parents Discuss Attachment Trauma with Debra Abel, Margo Chapski, Maura Lessard and Chair: Nancy Solow.

  • How Many Families Does It Take To Make An Adoption? with Joyce Maguire Pavao.

  • Reactive Attachment Disorder with Anna Smyke.

The conference was sponsored by the Rudd Adoption Research Program, Center for Research on Families, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, College of Natural Sciences and College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the Donaldson Adoption Institute, and Boston College School of Social Work.