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The Child and Family Research Unit (CAFRU) and Washington State University Extension’s Department of Human Development (HD) worked together to develop a three-part lecture series on the nature of human development across the lifespan. The lecture series featured dynamic, engaging speakers to unpack and discuss emerging issues facing our community, supporting HD’s mission to inspire a difference by promoting healthy development in the lives of children, adolescents, and adults.

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LECTURE 1
The role of attachment and making real parent-infant connections
Dr. Sara Waters
Thursday, February 16, 2017

“I want people to recognize that stress is normal,” Waters explained. “Who you are was laid down from early experiences and is deeply entrenched, but at the same time we humans are malleable and can re-write those experiences with a little effort.”
In addition to presenting findings of her groundbreaking research in parenting, stress, and attachment, Dr. Waters presented ideas for ways members of the community can come together to address the impact of stress on our community.

 

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LECTURE 2: CANCELED
Marijuana legalization and its impact on youth and communities
Dr. Bruce Wright

This lecture was canceled. We hope to reschedule the event and will update this page with more information as it becomes available.

In an era of increased legalization of cannabis, Wright is concerned with the gaps that still remain in our collective knowledge. “Legalization of cannabis is a political and economic thing,” he said. “It is not based on science or substance at this time.” Wright argues, “There is a lot of misinformation out there in addition to lack of information because the federal government has restricted research in this area.” Wright will present what we do know about the psychological benefits and harms of both recreational and medicinal cannabis use. He will provide an understanding of the significant gaps that remain in the research and he will present examples from his own preliminary research at WSU.

 

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LECTURE 3
Reducing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) is a pathway to community success
Dr. Chris Blodgett
Thursday, April 13, 2017

“For many, childhood is not easy,” says Blodgett. “We know that significant struggles occur for as many as on-in-four children in our communities. Unaddressed, these struggles can put brain development at risk and contribute to a lifetime of social, employment, and health problems.”
But for Blodgett, understanding adversity is not the end of the story. “I want to focus on what we know can help reduce this risk and cost to our communities.” In his talk, Blodgett outlined findings from his research on the community impact of adverse childhood experiences and explored ways in which communities can respond to address and mitigate the impact of adversity.