Talk Archive

In addition to our Works in Progress Talks and National Conferences, each semester we invite scholars from outside the Curry School to discuss their research and scholarship. The following is an archive of talks.

Spring 2018

Carola Suárez-Orozco, Ph.D. - "A Developmental Perspective on Undocumented and Mixed-Family Status Children and Youth" (Invited Presentation) – Jan. 26
Co-sponsored by the UVA Department of Psychology

In the United States, 5.3 million children and adolescents are growing up either with unauthorized status or with at least one parent who has that status. Until recently, little research has provided a developmental lens on the implications of these statuses for youth development. Suárez-Orozco provided an overview of research evidence on multiple domains of development that may be affected by the child or parent’s unauthorized status. Further, she described the contextual and psychological mechanisms that may link these statuses to developmental outcomes. She concluded with recommendations for policy, practice, and research that are based on the evidence reviewed.

Fall 2017

Stephen T. Russell, Ph.D. – "LGBTQ Youth Health & Resilience" – Sept 22
Co-sponsors: UVA’s Department of Women, Gender & Sexuality; and UVA Engaged Youth Initiative. Curry Research Lectureship Series.

LGBTQ issues and rights have emerged as a major public and political focus over the last decades. Most attention – both in public discourse and in scholarship – has been on the urgent vulnerabilities that characterize the lives of many LGBTQ youth and adults. Yet, in the context of important disparities that demand our attention, most LGBTQ youth grow up to be happy, contributing members of their communities. In this presentation Russell presented a collection of new studies that identifies and documents the role of structural, interpersonal, and personal resources that create and support resilience in the lives of LGBTQ young people. He considered the implications of these findings for efforts to create social change for social justice.
FREE and open to the public. No registration is required. Parking is available at the Central Grounds Parking Garage. Bagels and Coffee will be served.

Jonathan Zimmerman, Ph.D. — "You Can't Say That: Teachers and Controversial Issues in American Schools" – Sept 28 
Zimmerman is Professor of History of Education, University of Pennsylvania. 
In 2003, during a fifth-grade current-events lesson about the United States’ newly begun war in Iraq, a student asked Indiana teacher Deborah Mayer if she had ever attended an anti-war protest. Mayer told the class that she had driven by such a protest a few days earlier, and had honked her horn in support. Her school board declined to renew Mayer's contract, noting that she had deviated from the board's approved curriculum. And four years later, a federal appeals court upheld the board's decision on similar grounds. Across the country, Mayer's defenders decried the apparent assault on her "academic freedom." But K-12 teachers in America have never enjoyed such freedom in a manner that university academicians would recognize. During wartime especially, school boards and courts have discouraged or blocked teachers from engaging their students in an open, critical dialogue about controversial ethical and political issues. Zimmerman’s talk explored these restrictions, the fate of the teachers who broached them, and the implications of this history for contemporary democracy.

John R. Weisz, Ph.D., ABPP - "Personalizing Youth Psychotherapy"  – Oct 13
Weisz is Professor of Psychology at Harvard University.
Five decades of research have produced scores of empirically tested treatments for youth mental health problems and disorders. These evidence-based treatments (EBTs), most focused on single disorders or problem domains (e.g., depressive disorders), have shown respectable effects in randomized controlled efficacy trials in which treatment conditions are optimized for research. However, the EBTs do not fare as well when compared to usual clinical care with clinically referred youths treated in everyday practice. One reason may be that referred youths are often more complex than the treatments designed to help them. Most young people referred for treatment have multiple problems and disorders, and their treatment needs may shift over time. This challenge may be addressed by flexible, personalizable, transdiagnostic intervention approaches. One example, the Child STEPs Model, uses a modular treatment protocol derived from the psychotherapy evidence base and guided by decision flowcharts. Navigation through treatment is informed by a web-based system that monitors each youth’s treatment response week-by-week. Multisite randomized trials of this system, applied to youths with anxiety, depression, and conduct problems, have shown STEPs outperforming both usual clinical care and standard EBTs, on measures of youth clinical symptoms and diagnosis. STEPs and related approaches may provide a bridge linking the rich evidence base of clinical science to the complexity of referred youths in everyday clinical care. Curry Research Lectureship Series.

2017 Conference & Workshop
Oct 26 & 27 - Youth Act: Social Justice, Civic and Political Engagement (VIDEO). By invitation. Workshop Added (Separate registration required): Facilitated by The Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi) Student Circle.  "What Now? A Critical Conversation about Community Healing, Black Youth Engagement, Sociopolitical Context, and Policy
This workshop will offer a healing space for all, yet will focus on the importance of an afrocentric approach, amplifying voices of Black students. So while also thinking about allies and collaboration (Jewish, LGBTQ, among others) we will focus on the roles of Black college students in activism on their campus and in their communities. We will also discuss strategies to engage in activism on campus, strategies to balance academic demands with social engagement, and we will emphasize the importance of engaging in self-care. We will provide a healing space centered on undoing the residual psychological effects of white terrorism and internalized oppression in Black communities; and provide recommendations to turn the feelings, thoughts, and insights into policy and action steps(Separate registration required which can be found on the main conference registration form. For invite information, contact:

Jessika Bottiani, Ph.D., Amanda Nguyen, Ph.D., Elizabeth Bistrong, Catherine Bradshaw, Ph.D. — "Getting Under the Skin: Exploring Physiological Indicators of Program Engagement in the Early Adolescent Coping Power Program" – Nov 16
Advances in wearable technologies highlight the potential of physiological measures as an emerging, objective approach to assess youth engagement in preventive interventions; however, limited research has examined how discrete indicators of physiological arousal, such as heart rate variability and galvanic skin response, correspond to engagement. In this Youth-Nex Works-in-Progress talk, we will present initial study findings on how physiological measures of arousal corresponded with traditional measures of youth and clinician rated engagement across 10 sessions of Coping Power (Lochman & Wells, 2004), a school-based, indicated preventive intervention that targets youth with aggressive behavior problems using a clinician-facilitated, weekly small group format. Implications for the utility of physiological measures to assess youth engagement in preventive interventions, as well as challenges that arose in the preparation of these data for analysis, will be discussed. YN Works in Progress 


Jenny Roe, Ph.D. – Friday September 2, 2016  VIDEO
"Natural Solutions To Tackling Behavior and Performance in Urban Schools" 
The talk highlights the benefits of green space access in school settings for behavioral and performance outcomes. It presents two studies both carried out in deprived schools in Central Scotland; the first compares the effect of indoor versus outdoor education (delivered in a forest setting) on a range of well-being outcomes in teenagers; the second study explores the benefits to memory recall in early years pupils from curriculum tasks carried out indoors versus outdoors in a range of playground settings.




Roger P. Weissberg, Ph.D. – Friday December 2, 2016  VIDEO  SLIDES
"Enhancing the Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning of Preschool to High School Students Across the United States" 

 During the last decade, there have been significant advances in social and emotional learning (SEL) research, practice, and policy. This talk will highlight key areas of progress and challenges as we broadly implement school-family-community partnerships to foster positive behavioral, academic, and life outcomes for preschool to high school students. My goal for this presentation is to provide a foundation to foster group discussion about future priorities for the next decade.

Roger P. Weissberg is University/LAS Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Education and NoVo Foundation Endowed Chair in Social and Emotional Learning and at the University of Illinois at Chicago. For the past 35 years, he has trained scholars and practitioners about innovative ways to design, implement and evaluate family, school and community interventions. He is also Chief Knowledge Officer of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), an organization committed to making evidence-based social and emotional academic learning an essential part of education. Weissberg has authored 250 publications focusing on preventive interventions with children. He has received several awards including: the American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Contribution Award for Applications of Psychology to Education and Training, the Society for Community Research and Action’s Distinguished Contribution to Theory and Research Award, and the "Daring Dozen" award from the George Lucas Educational Foundation for being 1 of 12 people who are reshaping the future of education. He is also a member of the National Academy of Education for contributions to education research and policy. More on Weissberg.

View slides larger here: Roger Weissberg Slides


Valerie Maholmes, Ph.D., CAS - Friday February 24, 2017
"The Science of Hope and Why it Matters for Children and Families in Poverty"

This talk is part of the Curry Research Lectureship Series. Bavaro Hall. 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Bavaro Hall, Holloway Hall, (Room 116). Lecture ;is free and open to the public. No registration is required. Parking is available at the Central Grounds Parking Garage. Bagels and Coffee will be served.
Maholmes will review the factors that promote hope and resilience in poor children and families and will explore the focal question: "Are We Wired to Hope?" Case studies will be presented of individuals who experienced adverse events in childhood, but seem to fare well despite their circumstances. The session will conclude with a discussion on the "cost of resilience" and evidence-based strategies that help families manage the day-to-day complexities of their lives and achieve their most fundamental goal of providing a better life themselves and for their children.

Valerie Maholmes, Ph.D., CAS has devoted her career to addressing the challenges of low-income and minority children and families. From her early work as an educator to her current role supporting biomedical and behavioral sciences research, Maholmes calls attention to the short and long term psychological and health consequences of experiencing adversity early in life. She was awarded the prestigious Science Policy Fellowship sponsored by the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) and the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS). She has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, lectured and through her work at the NIH has funded research and programs on factors that influence the health and development of low-income, minority children. Notably, Dr. Maholmes co-authored a text on applied child development research published by Taylor and Francis, Psychology Press in 2010 and a comprehensive volume about the intergenerational effects of poverty titled Child Development and Poverty published by Oxford University Press in 2012. This work was followed by a text titled Fostering Resilience and Well-being in Children and Families in Poverty: Why Hope Still Matters, published in February 2014 also by Oxford Press.  With her most recent book titled Post Dramatic Relationship Syndrome: How to Find Your Drama-Free Zone, Maholmes' joins the global network of independent book authors and uses her platform to call attention to the ways in which relationship dynamics have an impact on women's emotional well-being and overall health.

Noelle Hurd, Ph.D. - Friday March 3, 2017
"Natural Mentoring Relationships: Why They Matter and What We Can Do To Encourage Their Formation"

This talk is part of the Curry Research Lectureship Series. Bavaro Hall. 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Bavaro Hall, Holloway Hall, (Room 116). Lecture is free and open to the public. No registration is required. Parking is available at the Central Grounds Parking Garage. Bagels and Coffee will be served.
Hurd has a primary appointment in the University of Virginia (UVA) Psychology Department. She also has an appointment in the Curry School of Education and is a faculty affiliate in Youth-Nex and the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African American and African Studies at UVA.

Talk Abstract: Using a resilience framework, my research to date has demonstrated the potential of natural mentoring relationships (i.e., naturally-occurring, supportive, intergenerational relationships between youth and nonparental adults) to influence positively the psychosocial outcomes of adolescents and emerging adults. This presentation will focus on current and future directions of my research. These directions are guided by the following primary research questions: 1) What are key moderating and mediating factors that determine the success of these relationships in promoting more positive developmental outcomes? 2) How do the broader contexts within which youth are situated influence the formation of natural mentoring relationships? and 3) How can we intervene to encourage the onset of natural mentoring relationships among youth who are lacking these supportive ties? 

Hurd's research agenda has primarily focused on the promotion of healthy adolescent development among marginalized youth. Specifically, her work has focused on identifying opportunities to build on pre-existing strengths in youths’ lives, such as supportive intergenerational relationships. Using a resilience framework, she has assessed the potential of nonparental adults to serve as resources to marginalized youth, and she has investigated the processes through which these relationships affect a variety of youth outcomes (e.g., psychological distress, health-risk behaviors, academic achievement). She runs the Promoting Healthy Adolescent Development (PHAD) Lab at the University of Virginia. Hurd is a current William T. Grant Scholar and a Spencer/National Academy of Education Postdoctoral Fellow.  


Erin Murphy-Graham, Ph.D. – November 5, 2015 - AUDIO
"No Longer Bogged Down: Examining the Effects of a Youth Sports-Based Job Training Program from a Capabilities Perspective"
Murphy-Graham will discuss findings from a mixed-methods randomized control study of the A Ganar program in Honduras, a country plagued by gang-related violence and one of the highest homicide rates in the world. The overall goal of A Ganar is to change the lives youth called ninis (because they neither work nor study, ni trabajan ni estudian) through their re-enrollment in the formal education system or by helping them to gain stable employment. A Ganar (which means “to win” or “to earn” in Spanish) is a youth workforce development program “wrapped up in a soccer ball.” In using the metaphor of sports, the program hopes to reach out to young men and women and instill a number of character skills including conscientiousness, sociability, and perseverance. Drawing upon the capability approach (Nussbaum, 2011) Murphy-Graham will explores the ways in which the program fosters central human capabilities, particularly affiliation, emotions, and play, and thereby enables program participants to feel that they are no longer “bogged down” (estancado). In light of new research stressing the connections between character skills and personal and social prosperity, this study hopes to contribute a deeper understanding of their importance. Biography.

Candice L. Odgers, Ph.D. – January 23, 2015
VIDEO. Slides. Read the Charlottesville Tomorrow article about the talk.
"Seven Fears and Countless Opportunities for Adolescents in the Digital World"

Many adults fear that adolescents’ seemingly constant interactions with their mobile devices are interfering with their ability to communicate, develop close friendships, and even sleep. Adolescents are indeed spending a great deal of time on their devices; 80% now own a mobile phone and send, on average, 50 text messages per day.  But are mobile devices really ruining our kids?  This lecture will evaluate the fears and opportunities surrounding adolescents’ use of new technologies and share findings from our research using mobile phones to track the daily experiences, emotions and behaviors of adolescents. The opportunities and challenges that mobile technologies present for youths, researchers, educators and parents will be discussed.

Candice Odgers is an Associate Professor of Public Policy, Psychology and Neuroscience and Associate Director of the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia and completed her postdoctoral training at the Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre in London, England. Her research focuses on how social inequalities and early adversity influence children’s future health and well-being, with an emphasis on how new technologies, including mobile phones and web-based tools, can be used to understand and improve the lives of young people. Odgers is a William T. Grant Scholar and the recipient of early career awards from the American Psychological Association and the Society for Research in Child Development. Most recently, she received the Janet Taylor Spence Award from the Association for Psychological Science for transformative early career contributions to psychological science. Before joining the Sanford faculty in 2012, Odgers was an Associate Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior at the University of California-Irvine.

Maureen R. Weiss, Ph.D. – February 27, 2015
"Youth Development in Physical Activity Contexts: Promoting Social, Psychological, and Physical Assets" - 
Millions of children and adolescents participate in a variety of structured (organized sport, school physical education, motor development programs) and unstructured physical activities (play, recess, recreation). In my presentation I will summarize the knowledge base and share my line of research on physical activity as a context for promoting social, psychological, and physical assets and healthy outcomes. Using a positive youth development approach, I first discuss robust findings on social assets, including social relationships and moral development. Second, I review the evidence base on psychological assets, including self-perceptions, emotions, and motivational orientations. Third, I discuss the unique set of physical assets that can result from engaging in youth development programs, such as movement literacy, lifetime sport skills, physically active lifestyle, physical fitness, and physical health. Throughout, I translate research to offer evidence-based best practices for promoting positive youth development through physical activity. Finally I identify areas for future research that might provide more definitive evidence of the potential for sport and physical activity to promote positive youth development.

Maureen R. Weiss is a Professor in the School of Kinesiology, and Adjunct Professor in the Institute of Child Development, at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Her research is focused on the psychological, social, and physical development of children and adolescents through participation in sport and physical activity, with interests in self-perceptions, motivation, moral development, and social relationships. Previously she was a faculty member at the University of Virginia (1997-2007), where she held an endowed professorship, and at the University of Oregon (1981-1997), where research and its applications were implemented through her role as Director of the Children's Summer Sports Program, a developmental skills program serving youth 5 to 13 years of age.

Professor Weiss received her Bachelor of Arts degrees in Kinesiology and Psychology, and a Master of Arts degree in Kinesiology, from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She received her Ph.D. in Kinesiology from Michigan State University. She has published over 140 refereed journal articles and book chapters in her areas of expertise. She has also edited or co-edited 4 books on youth sport and physical activity: Competitive Sport for Children and Youths (Weiss & Gould, 1986), Advances in Pediatric Sport Sciences: Behavioral Issues (Gould & Weiss, 1987), Worldwide Trends in Youth Sport (De Knop, Engstrom, Skirstad, & Weiss, 1996), and Developmental Sport and Exercise Psychology: A Lifespan Perspective (Weiss, 2004). Weiss is a Fellow of the National Academy of Kinesiology (#360) and served as President in 2010-2011. Weiss is currently Editor of Kinesiology Review, the official journal of the National Academy of Kinesiology and the American Kinesiology Association.

Annette Lareau, Ph.D. –  April 9, 2015
"Unequal Childhoods, Unequal Adulthoods: Small Moments and Large Consequences" – Bavaro Hall, Holloway Hall - 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Reception to Follow. - VIDEO    SLIDES

Lareau is the Stanley I. Sheerr Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. She conducts qualitative research on social class difference in family life, parent involvement in education, and language use. She is the author of Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life, which won a distinguished publication award from the Sociology of Family, Sociology of Childhood, and Sociology of Culture sections of the American Sociological Association. She conducted two follow-up studies of the children; the latest when they were thirty years old. She is also the co-editor (with Kimberly Goyette) of the 2014 book Choosing Homes, Choosing Schools, which examines the factors that influence parents' decisions where to live and where to send their children to school. Lareau is past president of the American Sociological Association. Her visit is sponsored by the U.Va. Field Methods Workshop, The Department of Sociology, the Curry School of Education, and Youth-Nex: The U.Va. Center to Promote Effective Youth Development. 

The U.Va. Field Methods Workshop is an interdisciplinary community of faculty and advanced graduate students dedicated to "deep data," the exploration of ethnographic methods. More details at

SLIDES :   ⤵︎


Past Sponsored Talks
"Punishment and the Adolescent Brain — The Role of Developmental Science in Recent U.S. Supreme Court Decisions About Juvenile Offenders"

Laurence Steinberg delivered the P. Browning Hoffman Memorial Lecture, "Punishment and the Adolescent Brain — The Role of Developmental Science in Recent U.S. Supreme Court Decisions About Juvenile Offenders," in Caplin Pavilion, at the U.Va. School of Law. A reception will followed.

In the past eight years, the United States Supreme Court has issued landmark opinions in three cases that involved the imposition of harsh sentences on juveniles convicted of serious crimes. In these cases, the Court drew on scientific studies of adolescent brain and behavioral development in concluding that adolescents, by virtue of their inherent immaturity, are not as responsible for their behavior as adults. This lecture will discuss the Court’s rationale in these cases and the role that scientific evidence about adolescent development played in its decisions.

October 18 - Private Colloquium. LISTEN TO AUDIO. Youth-Nex and the Law School sponsored a private colloquium where Steinberg presented material based on his new book, "Our Last Best Chance: Why Adolescence Starts Earlier, Ends Later, and Matters More than Ever.”

Some points covered: The extension of adolescence and the implications of neuroscience on policy decisions and the law— how does longer adolescence impact legal responsibility and age-related prohibitions? How should we think of the concept of “adulthood” for policy purposes? The plasticity of the adolescent brain.

Laurence Steinberg is the Distinguished University Professor and Laura H. Carnell Professor of Psychology at Temple University. He is one of the world’s leading authorities on psychological development during adolescence. Steinberg's research has focused on a range of topics, including adolescent brain development, risk-taking and decision-making, mental health, family relationships, after-school employment, school achievement, and juvenile justice.


EDWARD MULVEY - "Outcomes in Early Adulthood for Serious Adolescent Offenders" - WATCH VIDEO - Youth-Nex is sponsoring this talk, as part of the Curry Research Lectureship Series. 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Alumni Hall The lecture is FREE and open to the public. No registration is required. Bagels and coffee will be served. Parking is available at the Central Grounds Parking Garage.

Mulvey discussed findings from the Pathways to Desistance study, a longitudinal project following 1,354 serious adolescent offenders for seven years after their appearance in court. We know that many adolescents greatly reduce their criminal offending as they make the transition into early adulthood. Yet we know very little about what developmental processes or system interventions promote more positive outcomes in this group during this time. The influence of a variety of factors was discussed such as findings about the role of institutional placement and service provision, employment, and perceptions of the legal system. Policy implications of the study findings to date were also discussed.

Mulvey is a Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Law and Psychiatry Program at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. His research has investigated how clinicians make judgments regarding the type of risk posed by adult mental patients and juvenile offenders, and what treatment might be appropriate for such cases.


ANDREW MONDSCHEIN – "Learning the City: Early Experiences with Travel and the Development of the Cognitive Map" - 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Holloway Hall, Bavaro Hall. Bagels and coffee will be served. Parking is available at the Central Grounds Parking Garage. This lecture is FREE and open to the public.

Information about opportunities in the city – jobs, services, recreation, etc. – is acquired through everyday travel, yet we understand relatively little about cognitive maps are shaped by factors such as transit and auto use, walkability, and neighborhood character. Spatial learning is likely to be particularly important as children and adolescents build persistent relationships to different environments and types of travel. Early urban engagement and exploration could facilitate improved access to a range of opportunities over the long term, particularly for populations impeded by limited auto access and sparse nearby opportunities.

Andrew Mondschein, PhD, AICP is Assistant Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning at the University of Virginia School of Architecture. He focuses on transportation and seeks to increase access to opportunities and foster community building and economic development through more sustainable forms of mobility. Mondschein's research emphasizes the experiential component of everyday travel, and includes topics such as the impacts of different travel modes on wayfinding and the cognitive map, how people cope with congestion, the role of information technologies in travel behavior, and the demographics of walking.


Archive of Past Events