‘...promotes research on human development all over the world...’
ISSBD - Word from our President

Word from our President

It has been a year since I reported the activities of the Executive Committee (EC) in the 2015 ISSBD Bulletin. During this period, we have been working on conferences and workshops, membership, fellowship and award programs, and some other tasks. In this President’s Note, I will describe the major activities that we have planned and carried out.

Before I provide specific details, I would like to thank the past president, Wolfgang Schneider, and all the members on the previous ISSBD Committees, for their wonderful work for the last several years. I am certain that they will continue to make contributions to the society in different roles in the future. I would also like to thank Livia Melandri from SAGE who has helped with publications, membership, and many other regular activities of ISSBD.

We now have complete information about the ISSBD biennial meeting in Shanghai in 2014. Over 550 delegates from approximately 50 countries and regions attended the meeting. The final Invited Program consisted of 5 keynote presentations, 8 invited presentations, and 7 invited symposia. At the meeting, 67 symposia, 7 poster workshops, and 475 posters were presented. The organizers managed to reach a financial balance for the meeting. Congratulations again to Professor Biao Sang and his team for successfully organizing the meeting.

The preconference workshops were organized by the International Program Committee, chaired by Professors Dan Li, Junsheng Liu, Suman Verma, Marcel van Aken, and Julie Bowker. Five preconference workshops were conducted at Shanghai Normal University. More than 100 early career scholars from many different countries attended the workshops, with the support of grants from the Jacobs Foundation and ISSBD.

The 2016 biennial meeting was held in Vilnius, Lithuania. The conference chair, Rita Zukauskiene, and her organizing team put together a strong scientific program including 5 keynote and 5 invited talks, and 7 invited symposia. In addition to regular symposium and poster sessions, the scientific program included several special sessions for early career scholars and symposia jointly organized by ISSBD and other societies (the European Association for Developmental Psychology, the Association for Psychological Science). The organizer also arranged a very interesting social program including an opening ceremony, receptions, and a banquet. We will receive a full report from the organizer later, but my own experiences and the feedback I received from many delegates clearly indicated that the meeting was a great success. Thank you, Rita and the team, for your hard and effective work!

As was done for previous meetings, several preconference workshops were organized in Vilnius by the preconference workshop committee, chaired by Marcel van Aken. The workshop topics included longitudinal methods (Elisabetta Crocetti); adapting tests for use in other cultures (Fons van de Vijver); publishing (Robert Kail); policy, and translating science for the public (Ariel Kalil); and new and needed directions for the study and development of emotion regulation (Pamela Cole). The Jacobs foundation has provided funds to support early career scholars from different countries to attend the workshops. Julie Bowker and the travel grant committee have handled the application, review, and communications regarding financial support. Many thanks to Marcel and Julie and their committees for the huge amount of work they have put in on workshops! Also, thanks to the Jacobs Foundation for its generous support for the events.

The 2018 meeting in Gold Coast, Australia, is in very good shape. Melanie Zimmer-Gembeck and her colleagues at Griffith University have been working hard and have been quite successful in securing grants from the local organizations and promoting the meeting. They are currently working on the invited program. We will have more information about the progress later.

Thomas Kindermann, Ellen Skinner, and Lew Bank at Portland State University submitted a proposal for the 2020 biennial meeting. The Executive Committee discussed and approved the proposal. Thomas and his colleagues are currently exploring various practical issues that may be involved in the meeting. It has been over 20 years since the biennial meeting was last held in the United States (Minneapolis, 1991). The location should be attractive to scholars in many other countries. More importantly, it would be helpful for ISSBD to connect with young scholars in the United States.

We had two regional workshops in 2015. One of them was on ‘‘Behavioral Development: A Lifespan Perspective’’ in Geneva in September, co-sponsored by the Jacobs Foundation with a grant to cover the expenses for 10 JF/ISSBD fellows, and other aspects of the workshop. Another workshop, ‘‘Advancing Research on Vulnerable Populations by Early- to Mid-Career Scholars in Africa’’ (Developmental Research on Vulnerable Populations), was held in Nairobi, Kenya in November.

We have approved two workshops, one in Thailand in 2017, hosted by Prince of Songkla University, on school safety and school climate, and the other in Bandung, Indonesia, hosted by Padjadjaran University, on Values and the Development of Southeast Asian Youth, in 2017. We are expecting a couple of additional proposals for regional workshops in the next few years. I believe these workshops will be helpful in promoting ISSBD, especially its membership, in these regions.

The Jacobs Foundation Board of Trustees approved the support for the new cohort of ISSBD-Jacobs Fellows and grants for ISSBD regional workshops in 2015 and 2017 and travel grants for young scholars’ travel to the 2016 ISSBD meeting. The fellowship committee, chaired by Toni Antonucci, reviewed the applications and selected 10 JF/ISSBD fellows from different countries. In addition, Peter Smith and his committee reviewed applications for the ISSBD Developing Country Fellowship (DCF). Three new fellows were selected from Kenya, Panama, and Romania. Many thanks to Toni and Peter and their committees for their help with these programs.

ISSBD recently established a new award, titled ISSBD Fellows. The Fellow status is awarded to ISSBD Members who have made sustained outstanding contributions to the field of lifespan human development in the areas of research and/or application. ISSBD Fellows are viewed as representatives of international scholars and international contributions to the advancement of the field. The first cohort of the Fellows received the award at the Award Ceremony in Vilius.

The Association for Psychological Science (APS) and the European Association for Developmental Psychology (EADP) contacted us for potential collaboration between the societies. We discussed a variety of possible activities such as helping each other on membership, and holding joint meetings and workshops. As a first step, we agreed to hold joint sessions at the meetings of our societies. As a result, we arranged two special symposia at the Vilnius meeting, co-organized by ISSBD and each of these societies. There will be similar sessions at the APS meetings and EADP meetings in the future. We will see how these sessions go and consider means to expand our collaboration with these and other societies.

We agreed to participate in the International Consortiumof Developmental Sciences Societies (ICDSS). Marcel van Aken and I attended a couple of the meetings for this consortium. The first major task was to jointly write a position paper on the to implications of migration, climate change, and disaster for human development. Marcel organized this activity for ISSBD, and several members, including Suman Verma and Catherine Cooper (Optimizing Development Following Disasters and Traumatic Experiences among Children, Adolescents, and Adults: Useful Frameworks and Promising Research Directions), Jeanette Lawrence, Colette Daiute, and Marilza De Souza (A Developmental Science Approach To Migration), and Ann Sanson (Developmental science’s role in responding to the climate crisis) took the lead in preparing the submissions for ISSBD. Thank you all very much for your participation and help. ICDSS will hold a Consensus Conference in February 2017 in Utrecht, Netherlands, hosted by Marcel van Aken. We will receive information about this conference in the near future.

As always, I encourage all of you to actively participate in ISSBD activities, which will make a difference in ISSBD and perhaps beyond. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Xinyin Chen
September, 2016



Most Read
Most Cited