InCHIP Announces HIV Research Interest Group Programming

We are pleased to announce InCHIP’s HIV Research Interest Group Programming for 2018!
Please check back frequently, additional events and programs may be forthcoming

 

Lisa Eaton, PhD
Date: Thursday, January 25, 2018
Time: 2:00 – 3:00pm

RSVP for this Discussion
“Roundtable Discussion: Ideas for Stigma Intervention Development”
Although it is acknowledged that stigma serves as a barrier to beneficial health outcomes, there are few developed and available interventions to address stigma. At this roundtable discussion, we will review different intervention points for stigma (e.g., individual, group, community, structural) and different intervention models for delivering stigma focused content.

 

Christopher Gordon, PhD
Date: Monday, February 12, 2018
Time: 9:00 – 10:15am

RSVP for this Webinar
“Spring Webinar to Discuss NIH Funding Priorities in HIV Prevention Science”
In this webinar, Christopher Gordon, Branch Chief of the Division of AIDS Research at the National Institute of Mental Health, will outline NIH’s funding priorities in HIV Prevention Science. This will include a review of current and future funding opportunities as well as identifying future trends in the world of HIV Research. The format will be composed of a 45-minute presentation with a 15-20 minute interactive Q&A session to follow.

 

David Fiellin, M.D.
Date: Tuesday, March 27, 2018
Time: 12:00pm – 1:30pm

RSVP for this Lecture
“Is It Harder to Change Patient or Provider Behavior?: Lessons for Addiction and HIV Research from Implementation Science”
This talk will provide an overview and introduction to Implementation Science. This will be followed by a discussion of examples of ongoing Implementation Science research studies addressing substance use in HIV clinics and untreated opioid use disorder in Emergency Departments. Finally, the talk will discuss opportunities for training, partnership and research collaboration through the New England HIV Implementation Science Network.   

 

William Darrow, PhD
Date: Thursday, March 29, 2018
Time: 2:00 – 3:30pm

RSVP for this Discussion
“From Patient 0 to Getting to Zero — A Brief History of the AIDS Epidemic”
With the announcement of “highly active” anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) in 1996, the focus of HIV prevention efforts and federal funding in the United States shifted from the promotion of “safer sex” and ABC (Abstinence, Be faithful, and use a Condom) messaging for behavior change to programs predicated on conceptualizations of “treatment as prevention,” “high-impact [biomedical] interventions,” and “pre-” and “post-exposure prophylaxis.” Policies and programs turned away from the community mobilization model of a “new public health” as outlined in the Ottawa Charter (1986) and implemented through “community planning” by state and local health departments in the mid-1990s towards a narrowly defined but politically more practical—and palatable—biomedical model for the 21st century. This roundtable discussion is meant to be provocative by reviewing the post-HAART history of the AIDS epidemic in the United States, plausible explanations for the more recent turn of events, and the effectiveness of HIV-prevention programs.

                       

InCHIP Lecture and Roundtable Discussion: Lisa Eaton 1/25/18

Please join us for two special events on Thursday January 25, 2018!

Lisa Eaton, PhD
University of Connecticut
Thursday January 25, 2018

Lecture: 12:30 – 1:30pm
RSVP for this lecture
“Unpacking and Addressing Stigma: Interventions for HIV/STI Prevention among Black Gay/Bisexual Men”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that “if current HIV diagnoses rates persist, about 1 in 2 Black gay men will be diagnosed with HIV their lifetime”. In our work, we have consistently found that 35%-40% of Black gay/bisexual men are living with HIV. These findings demonstrate that the US HIV epidemic demands urgent attention. Stigma remains a strong barrier to accessing effective HIV treatment and prevention options, and therefore, contributes to the further spread of HIV. Understanding how stigma works and developing interventions that impact stigma must be prioritized. In my presentation, I will discuss how stigma unfolds and interferes with medical systems, and I will provide information on the development and testing of programs aimed at reducing stigma and improving health outcomes for Black gay men.
Roundtable discussion: 2:00 – 3:00pm
“Ideas for stigma intervention development”
RSVP for this roundtable discussion
Although it is acknowledged that stigma serves as a barrier to beneficial health outcomes, there are few developed and available interventions to address stigma. At this roundtable discussion, we will review different intervention points for stigma (e.g., individual, group, community, structural) and different intervention models for delivering stigma focused content.

Lecture Co-Sponsored By:

  • UConn Allied Health Sciences
  • UConn Center for Environmental Health and Health Promotion
  • UConn College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • UConn Department of Communication
  • UConn Department of Human Development and Family Studies
  • UConn School of Business
  • UConn School of Medicine

Location
For directions and maps, see directions to InCHIP.  Accessibility: elevator available in the building lobby on the ground floor.

Livestream Access
View the live stream of the lecture via the InCHIP website, or view it later in our archives.

Questions:  lectureseries@chip.uconn.edu.

About the InCHIP Lecture Series
The InCHIP Lecture Series provides an invaluable forum for researchers – at InCHIP, throughout the UConn community and beyond – to learn about new work in development by leading figures in health behavior change. The InCHIP Lecture Series also provides a venue for researchers to share late-breaking findings and identify emerging trends in health behavior research. For the current semester schedule, visit InCHIP 2017 – 2018 Lecture Series.

 

InCHIP Lecture Series: Jeffrey Bratberg 2/1/18

Please join us for our next event in the Spring 2018 InCHIP Lecture Series!

 “Opioids, Addiction, and Medication Safety: Balancing Solutions at the Intersection of Public Health, Pharmacy, and Policy”

Jeffrey Bratberg, Pharm.D.
University of Rhode Island
Thursday, February 1, 2018
12:30 – 1:30pm

To attend this lecture, please RSVP

Pharmacists are public health providers who implement solutions for ensuring safe and effective opioid use, recognition and prevention of opioid misuse, education and response to opioid overdose with naloxone, and treatment of opioid use disorder. In addition to opioid use disorder prevention and treatment, pharmacists provide harm reduction through nonprescription syringe sales, syringe and drug disposal. However, even as pharmacists have gained the authority to recommend and dispense naloxone, implementation has lagged, stigma remains a concern, and education and training are not integrated into curricula nor are taught interprofessionally. Financial, insurance, and other policy barriers to naloxone, harm reduction, and medications for addiction treatment in pharmacies are also concerns.  This presentation will describe data on different interventions that increase patient engagement with pharmacy staff about naloxone, identify current strategies for naloxone-based trainings for pharmacists and patients, and outline the behavioral and psychological barriers and facilitators to pharmacy-based naloxone distribution.

Co-Sponsored By:

  • UConn Allied Health Sciences
  • UConn Center for Environmental Health and Health Promotion
  • UConn College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • UConn Department of Communication
  • UConn Department of Human Development and Family Studies
  • UConn School of Business
  • UConn School of Medicine
  • UConn School of Pharmacy
  • UConn School of Social Work

Location
For directions and maps, see directions to InCHIP.  Accessibility: elevator available in the building lobby on the ground floor.

Livestream Access
View the live stream of the lecture via the InCHIP website, or view it later in our archives.

Questions: lectureseries@chip.uconn.edu.

About the InCHIP Lecture Series
The InCHIP Lecture Series provides an invaluable forum for researchers – at InCHIP, throughout the UConn community and beyond – to learn about new work in development by leading figures in health behavior change. The InCHIP Lecture Series also provides a venue for researchers to share late-breaking findings and identify emerging trends in health behavior research. For the current semester schedule, visit InCHIP 2017 – 2018 Lecture Series.

 

InCHIP Lecture and Workshop: David Sherman 2/15/18

Join us for two special events on February 15th, 2018!

David Sherman, PhD
University of California, Santa Barbara
Thursday, February 15, 2018

Lecture: 12:30-1:30 pm 
RSVP for this Lecture
“Reducing Stress and Facilitating Adaptive Health Behaviors: A Self-Affirmation Perspective”
Experiences, events, and information that threaten a valued self-image can lead to defensiveness, stress, and underperformance. Self-affirmation theory proposes that individuals possess a flexible self-system such that they can respond to threats in one part of life by affirming self-worth in other domains. In social psychology research, this has been examined in studies where people affirm important values in the context of self-threatening events or information. I will review research on self-affirmation and health across a number of domains. Self-affirmation has been explored as a means to facilitate the acceptance of threatening health information, to reduce the physiological costs of stress for those experiencing chronic and naturalistic stressors, and as a potential coping strategy for people with disease. These studies utilize laboratory, on-line, and field methodologies across a range of populations. Discussion will center on the potential for affirmations to be integrated into existing efforts and with other psychological approaches to reduce stress and facilitate adaptive health behaviors.

Workshop: 2:30-3:30pm 
RSVP for the workshop
“Using Affirmation to Improve the Efficacy of Health Promotion Interventions”
In this workshop, I will review self-affirmation theory and discuss conditions where self-affirming activities, such as writing about values, can promote positive health outcomes. Key outcomes include increased acceptance of health-relevant information, more healthful intentions and behaviors, and stress reduction (for reviews see Cohen & Sherman, 2014; Epton & Harris, 2009, 2010; for meta-analyses see Sweeney & Moyer, 2015; Epton, Harris, Kane, van Koningsbruggen, & Sheeran, 2015). I will describe a variety of self-affirmation implementations that have been used in different lab and field settings. Self-affirmation studies have been conducted in contexts such as hospitals and medical clinics, on cigarette labels and as part of health brochures, via the internet, and while undergoing fMRI. Key issues to be addressed include how to determine whether affirmation is appropriate to incorporate as part of a health intervention program and how to tailor an affirmation for different research contexts and samples.

Lecture Co-Sponsored By:

  • UConn Allied Health Sciences
  • UConn Center for Environmental Health and Health Promotion
  • UConn College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • UConn Department of Communication
  • UConn Department of Human Development and Family Studies
  • UConn School of Business
  • UConn School of Medicine

Location
For directions and maps, see directions to InCHIP.  Accessibility: elevator available in the building lobby on the ground floor.

Livestream
View the livestream of the lecture via the InCHIP website, or view it later in our archives.

Questions: lectureseries@chip.uconn.edu.

About the InCHIP Lecture Series
The InCHIP Lecture Series provides an invaluable forum for researchers – at InCHIP, throughout the UConn community and beyond – to learn about new work in development by leading figures in health behavior change. The InCHIP Lecture Series also provides a venue for researchers to share late-breaking findings and identify emerging trends in health behavior research. For the current semester schedule, visit InCHIP 2017 – 2018 Lecture Series.

InCHIP Lecture Series: Tamara Afifi 3/1/18

Please join us for our next event in the Spring 2018 InCHIP Lecture Series!

 “The Theory of Resilience and Relational Load: Implications for Families and Health”

Tamara Afifi, PhD
University of California, Santa Barbara
Thursday March 1, 2018
12:30 – 1:30pm

To attend this lecture, please RSVP

 

Tamara Afifi is a Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of California-Santa Barbara.  Her research focuses on communication patterns that foster risk and resiliency in families and other interpersonal relationships, with particular emphasis on:  (1) how people communicate when they are stressed and the impact of these communication patterns on personal and relational health and (2) information regulation (privacy, secrets, disclosure, avoidance, stress contagion).  Her latest research focuses on testing her new theory called the Theory of Resilience and Relational Load (TRRL) in a variety of contexts (e.g., chronic illness, financial hardship, fast-paced families, long-term marriage and cancer, long-term dating relationships, virtual reality as a form of relationship maintenance for older adults in assisted living centers).  Professor Afifi is the editor of Communication Monographs.  She has received numerous research awards, including the Young Scholar Award from the International Communication Association in 2006 and the Brommel Award for a distinguished career of research in family communication from the National Communication Association in 2011.  Her research has appeared in numerous news outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, Men’s Health, the Huffington Post, Psychology Today, OptionB.org, Oprah Magazine and Family Circle.

Co-Sponsored By:

  • UConn Allied Health Sciences
  • UConn Center for the Study of Culture, Health and Human Development
  • UConn Center for Environmental Health and Health Promotion
  • UConn College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • UConn Department of Communication
  • UConn Department of Human Development and Family Studies
  • UConn School of Business
  • UConn School of Medicine
  • UConn School of Social Work

Location
For directions and maps, see directions to InCHIP.  Accessibility: elevator available in the building lobby on the ground floor.

Livestream Access
View the live stream of the lecture via the InCHIP website, or view it later in our archives.

Questions: lectureseries@chip.uconn.edu.

About the InCHIP Lecture Series
The InCHIP Lecture Series provides an invaluable forum for researchers – at InCHIP, throughout the UConn community and beyond – to learn about new work in development by leading figures in health behavior change. The InCHIP Lecture Series also provides a venue for researchers to share late-breaking findings and identify emerging trends in health behavior research. For the current semester schedule, visit InCHIP 2017 – 2018 Lecture Series.

InCHIP Lecture and Roundtable Discussion: William Darrow 3/29/18

Please join us for two special events Thursday March 29, 2018!

William Darrow, PhD
Florida International University
Thursday March 29, 2018

Lecture: 12:30 – 1:30pm
RSVP for this lecture
“A Stitch in Time Saves Nine—Tuskegee, Patient 0, and Evidence-Based Public Health”
Most Americans are probably familiar with—and have formed strong opinions about— “The Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male,” the villainous “Patient 0” who intentionally spreads an infectious disease to innocent victims, and “Obamacare” (a synonym for the current state and costs of medical services), but how many Americans have explored in depth the background and context of these historical events?  The recent publication of Richard McKay’s “myth-smashing revisionist history at its best” book, “Patient Zero and the Making of the AIDS Epidemic,” provides an opportunity for public health professionals and others who might be interested to revisit the past and sort out popular perceptions from documented facts.  The purpose of this presentation is to re-examine some of the scientific and ethical aspects of the “Tuskegee Study,” the characterizations of “Patient 0,” and the similarities and differences of evidence-based medicine and evidence-based public health.

Roundtable Discussion: 2:00 – 3:30pm, Colloquium Room
RSVP for this roundtable discussion
“From Patient 0 to Getting to Zero—A Brief History of the AIDS Epidemic”
With the announcement of “highly active” anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) in 1996, the focus of HIV prevention efforts and federal funding in the United States shifted from the promotion of “safer sex” and ABC (Abstinence, Be faithful, and use a Condom) messaging for behavior change to programs predicated on conceptualizations of “treatment as prevention,” “high-impact [biomedical] interventions,” and “pre-” and “post-exposure prophylaxis.” Policies and programs turned away from the community mobilization model of a “new public health” as outlined in the Ottawa Charter (1986) and implemented through “community planning” by state and local health departments in the mid-1990s towards a narrowly defined but politically more practical—and palatable—biomedical model for the 21st century. This round table discussion is meant to be provocative by reviewing the post-HAART history of the AIDS epidemic in the United States, plausible explanations for the more recent turn of events, and the effectiveness of HIV-prevention programs.

Lecture Co-Sponsored By:

  • UConn Allied Health Sciences
  • UConn Center for Environmental Health and Health Promotion
  • UConn College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • UConn Department of Communication
  • UConn Department of Economics
  • UConn School of Business
  • UConn School of Medicine

Location
For directions and maps, see directions to InCHIP.  Accessibility: elevator available in the building lobby on the ground floor.

Livestream Access
View the live stream of the lecture via the InCHIP website, or view it later in our archives.

Questions:  lectureseries@chip.uconn.edu.

About the InCHIP Lecture Series
The InCHIP Lecture Series provides an invaluable forum for researchers – at InCHIP, throughout the UConn community and beyond – to learn about new work in development by leading figures in health behavior change. The InCHIP Lecture Series also provides a venue for researchers to share late-breaking findings and identify emerging trends in health behavior research. For the current semester schedule, visit InCHIP 2017 – 2018 Lecture Series.

 

InCHIP Lecture Series: Brian Hainline 4/5/18

Please join us for our next event in the Spring 2018 InCHIP Lecture Series!

“Concussion, Mental Health, and the Future of College Sport”

Brian Hainline, MD
The National Collegiate Athletic Association
Thursday, April 5, 2018
Lecture/Q&A: 12:30 – 1:45pm 

Location/Directions: UConn, Doris and Simon Konover Auditorium, Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, 405 Babbidge Road, Storrs, CT

To attend this lecture, please RSVP  

Brian Hainline, M.D., is Chief Medical Officer of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).  As the NCAA’s first Chief Medical Officer, Brian oversees the NCAA Sport Science Institute, a national center of excellence whose mission is to promote and develop safety, excellence, and wellness in college student-athletes, and to foster life-long physical and mental development.  The NCAA Sport Science Institute works collaboratively with member institutions and Centers of Excellence across the United States.  For over 25 years, Brian has been actively involved in sports medicine.  He co-authored Drugs and the Athlete, and played a pivotal role in the development of drug testing and education protocols worldwide.  He has served on the New York State Athletic Commission, the USOC Sports Medicine Committee, and was a founding member of the Executive Committee of the American Academy of Neurology Sports Neurology Section, where he serves as vice-chair.  Brian has been instrumental in the development of health and safety standards in tennis, both nationally and internationally.  He was Chief Medical Officer of the US Open Tennis Championships for 16 years, and then served as Chief Medical Officer of the United States Tennis Association before moving to the NCAA.  He is chair of the International Tennis Federation Sport Science & Medicine Commission, and oversaw the rollout of international wheelchair tennis competition, a sport for which he wrote the rules of eligibility for both para- and quad-tennis.  Brian is Clinical Professor of Neurology at New York University School of Medicine and Indiana University School of Medicine.  He is author of several peer-reviewed journal articles and medical textbook chapters.  In addition to Drugs and the Athlete, he is co-editor of Neurological Complications of Pregnancy (1st and 2nd edition), and he is author of USTA Drug Education Handbook, Back Pain Understood, and Positioning Youth Tennis for Success.

Co-Sponsored By:

  • The Connecticut Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences
  • Allied Health Sciences
  • UConn Center for Environmental Health and Health Promotion
  • UConn College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • UConn Department of Communication
  • UConn Department of Human Development and Family Studies
  • UConn School of Business
  • UConn School of Medicine
  • UConn Department of Kinesiology

Questions: lectureseries@chip.uconn.edu

About the InCHIP Lecture Series
The InCHIP Lecture Series provides an invaluable forum for researchers – at InCHIP, throughout the UConn community and beyond – to learn about new work in development by leading figures in health behavior change. The InCHIP Lecture Series also provides a venue for researchers to share late-breaking findings and identify emerging trends in health behavior research. For the current semester schedule, visit InCHIP 2017 – 2018 Lecture Series.

 

InCHIP Lecture Series: Claude Mellins 4/19/18

Please join us for our next event in the Spring 2018 InCHIP Lecture Series!

The Sexual Health Initiative to Foster Transformation (SHIFT): Findings, Policy Implications, and Key Directions for Future Research

 Claude Mellins, PhD
Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
Thursday April 19, 2018
12:30 – 1:30pm

Location: UConn Alumni Center Great Hall, 2384 Alumni Drive, Storrs, CT

To attend this lecture, please RSVP  

The Sexual Health Initiative to Foster Transformation (SHIFT) is an innovative and comprehensive research project that examines the individual, interpersonal, and structural factors that shape sexual health and sexual violence for undergraduates at Columbia University. SHIFT benefits from a mixed-method approach employing ethnographic and quantitative data collection techniques, as well as a robust policy component. SHIFT primary aims are: (1) To estimate the prevalence of different types of sexual assault on campus; (2) To understand the ecology of sexual assault by examining key individual, interpersonal/social, and contextual and institutional risk and protective factors, and (3) To work with stakeholders to translate findings into interventions and policy. Using an ecological model, SHIFT’s research explores how factors beyond the individual level impact student wellbeing. This event provides an opportunity to learn more about SHIFT’s research and explore findings from the survey and ethnography related to mental health, substance use and sexual assault on campus.

Co-Sponsored By:

  • UConn Allied Health Sciences
  • UConn Center for Environmental Health and Health Promotion
  • UConn College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • UConn Department of Communication
  • UConn Department of Human Development and Family Studies
  • UConn School of Business
  • UConn School of Medicine

Questions:  lectureseries@chip.uconn.edu.

About the InCHIP Lecture Series
The InCHIP Lecture Series provides an invaluable forum for researchers – at InCHIP, throughout the UConn community and beyond – to learn about new work in development by leading figures in health behavior change. The InCHIP Lecture Series also provides a venue for researchers to share late-breaking findings and identify emerging trends in health behavior research. For the current semester schedule, visit InCHIP 2017 – 2018 Lecture Series.

InCHIP Lecture and Workshop: William A. Fisher 4/26/18

Please join us for two special events on Thursday April 26, 2018!

William A. Fisher, PhD
Western University
Thursday April 26, 2018

Workshop: 10:00 – 11:30am
RSVP for this workshop
“What’s a Nice Scientist Like You Doing in a Place Like This? Social Psychology and the Design of Clinical Trials in Sexual Medicine”
This workshop will discuss, with participants, two decades of clinical trial design and interpretation in the area of sexual psychopharmacology, including the development of sexual performance enhancing drugs such as Levitra (PDE5 inhibitors) and Addyi (flibanserin).

Lecture: 12:30 – 1:30pm
RSVP for this lecture
“Do Good Values Make Bad Science? Research Case Studies in HIV/AIDS, Pornography, and Sexuality”
The current analysis contrasts two approaches to research on socially significant issues. The “Social Scientist as Social Engineer” may seek to apply social science in the service of achieving valued social objectives, and to conduct research with the aim of identifying and supporting valued social policy. The “Social Scientist as Curious Explorer” may view social science as objective, may believe that research operations and findings are not affected by researcher values, and may assert that the social impact of research results is not researcher’s responsibility. Our analysis suggests that both of these perspectives are delusional, we illustrate the distorting and biasing effect of such strongly held values on research in the areas of HIV/AIDS prevention, studies of the effects of pornography on behavior, and models of sex differences in sexual response.

Lecture Co-Sponsored By:

  • UConn Allied Health Sciences
  • UConn Biomedical Engineering Department
  • UConn Center for Environmental Health and Health Promotion
  • UConn College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • UConn Department of Communication
  • UConn Human Development and Family Studies    
  • UConn School of Business
  • UConn School of Medicine

Location
For directions and maps, see directions to InCHIP.  Accessibility: elevator available in the building lobby on the ground floor.
Livestream Access
View the live stream of the lecture via the InCHIP website, or view it later in our archives.
Questions: lectureseries@chip.uconn.edu.
About the InCHIP Lecture Series
The InCHIP Lecture Series provides an invaluable forum for researchers – at InCHIP, throughout the UConn community and beyond – to learn about new work in development by leading figures in health behavior change. The InCHIP Lecture Series also provides a venue for researchers to share late-breaking findings and identify emerging trends in health behavior research. For the current semester schedule, visit InCHIP 2017 – 2018 Lecture Series.

Collaboratory on School and Child Health Helping to Develop CT Model for Trauma-Informed Schools By Beth Krane

Sandra Chafouleas, PhD Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor, Department of Educational Psychology
Sandra Chafouleas, PhD Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor, Department of Educational Psychology

A growing awareness of the prevalence of childhood exposure to trauma and an increased understanding of its corrosive, potentially lifelong impacts on health and behavior together are fueling a national movement to create trauma-informed schools, says InCHIP Principal Investigator (PI) Sandra Chafouleas. Such schools foster environments that are responsive to the needs of trauma-exposed students using systematic approaches and implementation of effective practices, the Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Educational Psychology explains.

Chafouleas co-authored an introduction to a special issue of the journal School Mental Health devoted to the topic and also wrote an article for the issue offering a blueprint for trauma-informed schools in spring of 2016. Since then, UConn’s Collaboratory on School and Child Health (CSCH), which Chafouleas co-directs, has been working to coalesce efforts to build a state model for trauma-informed schools in Connecticut. Steps taken include hosting a documentary screening and panel discussion, co-sponsoring a well-attended conference, helping to form a monthly working group comprised of relevant state and local stakeholders, and taking part in a series of professional development opportunities offered for educators across the state this fall.

Its initiative in this area is an example of CSCH doing precisely what it was formed to do two years ago. CSCH, which represents a partnership between the University’s Neag School of Education, Office of Public Engagement and InCHIP, brings researchers, policy makers, and practitioners together to promote the health, safety, and well-being of the whole child.

“We don’t always ask the right questions when we see a student struggling academically, missing school, or getting into trouble repeatedly,” Chafouleas said. “Once educators look at student behavior through a trauma-informed lens, it is easier to reframe their questions from blaming the child to asking what happened to the child and how can we help.”

In reframing, schools then can respond by teaching students needed coping and self-regulation skills instead of possibly re-traumatizing students with harsh discipline policies that don’t address the underlying problems, she said.

In the special journal issue, Chafouleas highlighted the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)’s four key assumptions underlying trauma-informed approaches: (1) a realization of the widespread prevalence and impact of trauma, (2) a recognition of the signs of traumatic exposure, and (3) a response grounded in evidence-based practices that (4) resists retraumatization of individuals.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA, 2014)
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA, 2014)

The blueprint she wrote with colleagues shared some of the best evidence-based interventions that schools could adopt, described using a familiar framework for multi-tiered service delivery within schools – the School-wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS) framework developed by her Neag School of Education colleague, Professor George Sugai. That framework focuses on planning, implementation, and evaluation of services across different levels of student need.

Using a multi-tiered service delivery approach, a school system might adopt a curriculum for social-emotional learning to teach all students coping and resilience, provide a smaller portion of the student body exposed to traumatic events access to in-school counseling resources, and identify an even smaller group of students exhibiting negative effects of trauma exposure and assess whether they need a combination of in- and out-of-school services. For example, in New Haven, the Clifford Beers Clinic partnered with the New Haven Public Schools and other agencies to lead trauma-informed school services. Led by the Clifford Beers Clinic, all school personnel received what Chafouleas refers to as “Trauma 101” training, students with moderate need have been offered access to an evidence-based intervention delivered in schools, and care coordinators intervene with those students and families experiencing the most toxic effects of trauma.

“Schools form a great space for addressing childhood trauma and its lasting effects,” Chafouleas said. “The kids are already there. Prevalence research estimates that two out of three children will be exposed to trauma by the age of 17. We want to facilitate the early identification of children affected by trauma, and to create ease of access to the most appropriate services to facilitate child wellbeing.”

“There are a lot of people and groups around the state who are committed to this kind of work,” Chafouleas said. “The question at the outset was, how do we bring them together to do the work more efficiently and effectively?”

Last fall, CSCH hosted one of the first screenings of the documentary Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope followed by a panel discussion with the film’s director James Redford; Alice Forrester, Clifford Beers Clinic Chief Executive Officer and CSCH Steering Committee Member; and Paul Diego-Holzer, Executive Director from Achieve Hartford!. The documentary chronicles the work of the researchers who discovered the long-term biological, psychological, and social effects of abuse and neglect in childhood, and highlights the efforts of pediatricians, therapists, and educators using the best evidence-based interventions to help children exposed to chronic stress. New Haven Public Schools and Clifford Beers Clinic are among those featured in the film.

Then, in the spring, CSCH co-sponsored a symposium on trauma-informed schools attended by more than 100 education, mental health, and community leaders, including an introduction by Connecticut Department of Education (CT DOE) Commissioner Dianna Wentzell. The Neag School of Education, Capitol Region Education Council (CREC), CT DOE, Ana Grace Project, Clifford Beers Clinic and the Child Health Development Institute (CHDI) collaborated with CSCH on the conference.

Throughout this fall, Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS) and Clifford Beers Clinic have sponsored five additional screenings of Resilience, coupled with panel discussions across the state, in response to educators’ overwhelming interest in learning about trauma-informed approaches. The professional development opportunities have been offered in Hampton, New London, Cheshire, Norwalk, and Torrington. Chafouleas and Forrester have each participated on many of the panels.

And a working group consisting of the symposium collaborators and additional organizations continues to meet monthly to discuss what a state model for trauma-informed schools should look like in Connecticut and to create an action plan for developing it. Chafouleas said the working group is using a multi-tiered service delivery framework such as the one presented in her blueprint as a guide, but each partner also brings its own experiences and expertise to the process.

Chafouleas said a number of CSCH’s partners have indicated they are pleased to have UConn at the table committed to working with them, from helping to identify the best-evidence based policies and practices to eventually guiding effective implementation of the model and evaluating how it is working.