What's killing our kids? Experts discuss behavior that ends young lives

November 14, 2003

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Behavioral misadventures harm more young people every day in this country than all diseases combined. Brown University's two-day symposium What's Killing Our Kids? will explore a number of those destructive behaviors, including suicide, substance abuse, self-mutilation and bullying. The event, Nov. 21 and 22, 2003, is free and open to the public.

Keynote speaker Peter Salovey, professor of psychology and dean of the Graduate School at Yale University, will deliver the first address of the symposium, Friday, Nov. 21, from 5 to 6:30 p.m., in the Starr Auditorium, MacMillan Hall, 167 Thayer St. Salovey will discuss "The vagaries of emotional intelligence: How and why otherwise bright people behavior stupidly."

The following day, leaders in the fields of psychiatry and human behavior will offer eight lectures that explore behaviors devastating the nation's youth.

"To understand and prevent conditions that place humans in harm's way, we must discard old impressions that behavior is random, unpredictable and uncontrollable," said Lewis P. Lipsitt, professor emeritus of psychology, medical science and human development, for whom the lecture is named. "We must fire up the engines that will create a science of human behavior, including behavioral misadventure, as powerful as physics and chemistry and biology combined. ... The cause is urgent."

The event is sponsored by the Lipsitt-Duchin Annual Lecture Program, the Brown Medical School, the Brown University Lectureships Committee, the Wayland Collegium, and the Charles O. Cooke, M.D., Distinguished Visiting Lectureship.

The following presentations are scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 22, 2003. All sessions will be held in the Starr Auditorium of MacMillan Hall, 167 Thayer St. in Providence.

* 8:30 a.m.
Risk-taking and thrill-seeking:
The psychobiological roots of behavioral misadventures
Ronald Dahl, professor of psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

* 9:30 a.m.
Young people thinking of suicide, and some doing it
David B. Goldston, associate professor of medical psychology, Duke University School of Medicine Duke Child and Family Study Center

* 10:30 a.m.
Choices: To Drink or not to drink, or not to drink too much
David C. Lewis, professor of medicine and community health and Donald G. Millar Distinguished Professor of Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University

* 1 p.m.
Who makes smoking fun?
The conspiracy of psychobiological traits and institutions that capitalize on them David Abrams, professor of psychiatry and human behavior and director of the Brown University/Lifespan Center for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine

* 2 p.m.
Risk-taking behavior in non-human and human primates:
Comparisons are not odious
Stephen J. Suomi, director of the Laboratory of Comparative Ethology, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

* 3:30 p.m.
How young people become criminals:
Their developmental trajectories before and after
Joseph V. Penn, clinical assistant professor in the Brown Medical School, director of child and adolescent forensic psychiatry at Rhode Island Hospital, and director of psychiatric services at the Rhode Island Training School

* 4:30 p.m.
Peer abuse: Serious consequences of bullying among children and youth
Susan P. Limber, associate director of the Institute on Family and Neighborhood Life, Clemson University

* 5:30 p.m.
What are we to make of this?
Young people kill and maim themselves and others for reasons having little to do with illness Raymond P. Lorion, professor of psychology in education in the Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania

Brown University

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