SPOKANE, Wash. – A three-part lecture series about human development across the lifespan will be Feb. 16, March 23 and April 13, hosted by Washington State University Extension’s child and family research unit and human development department.

“Our Community, Our Health, Our Future” will feature engaging researchers discussing emerging issues facing the community in order to promote healthy development in children, adolescents and adults. Lectures will be at 5:30 p.m. Thursdays in the Walgreen’s Auditorium, Room 101 of the WSU Health Sciences Spokane Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences Building, 205 E. Spokane Falls Blvd.

Seating is limited. Please RSVP at the links provided for each talk at http://ext100.wsu.edu/cafru/our-community-our-health-our-future/.

Feb. 16: The role of stress, touch and attachment in making early, effective parent-infant connections will be examined by Sara Waters, assistant professor of human development at WSU Vancouver.

“I want people to recognize that stress is normal,” she said. “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 research findings, Waters will suggest ideas for dealing with stressors and for ways members of the community can come together to address the impact of stress on the community.

March 23: A discussion of the implications of marijuana legalization will be led by Bruce Wright, associate professor of psychology and medical director and psychiatrist for Palouse Psychiatry and Behavioral Health in Pullman.

In an era of increased legalization of cannabis, Wright is concerned with the gaps that remain in our collective knowledge: “Legalization of cannabis is political and economic; it is not based on science or substance at this time,” he said.

He will present what we do know about the psychological benefits and harms of both recreational and medicinal cannabis use, including examples from his preliminary research at WSU.

April 13: The topic of reducing adverse childhood experiences as a pathway to community success will be presented by Chris Blodgett, director of the WSU Extension child and family research unit at WSU Spokane.

“We know that significant struggles occur for as many as one-in-four children in our communities,” he said. “Unaddressed, these struggles can put brain development at risk and contribute to a lifetime of social, employment and health problems.

“I want to focus on what we know can help reduce this risk and cost to our communities,” he said, including findings from his research and ways communities can address and mitigate the impacts of childhood adversity.

 

News media contacts:
Chris Blodgett, WSU child and family research unit, 509-358-7679, blodgett@wsu.edu
Caitlin Suginaka, WSU child and family research unit, 509-358-7606, caitlin.suginaka@wsu.edu