Dr Michael Ungar

Dr. Michael Ungar is the founder and Director of the Resilience Research Centre and Canada Research Chair in Child, Family and Community Resilience at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. Over the last decade, he has held over $10,000,000 in research funding in support of an international series of studies spanning six continents. That research has changed the way resilience is understood, shifting the focus from individual traits to the interactions between people and their families, schools, workplaces, and communities. He is the author of 14 books that have been translated into five languages, numerous manuals for parents, educators, and employers, as well as more than 150 scientific papers and book chapters. Dr. Ungar has adapted findings from his research and lessons learned from his clinical practice into best-selling works for professionals and researchers, including The Social Ecology of Resilience, an edited volume for researchers, Working with Children and Youth with Complex Needs, a training manual for mental health professionals, and books for parents such as Too Safe For Their Own Good: How Risk and Responsibility Help Teens Thrive and I Still Love You: Nine Things Troubled Kids Need from their Parents. His blog Nurturing Resilience appears on Psychology Today’s website.

Title: Nurturing Resilience Among Children, Youth and Families with Complex Needs
When working with children, youth and families who experience the multiple challenges of mental health problems and social marginalization (e.g., poverty, family violence, racism, and other factors), educators, therapists and other helping professionals can be very effective when they focus less on problems and more on the factors that promote resilience. In this presentation, Dr. Michael Ungar will show that resilience is a process that is nurtured through collaboration
between educators, families, communities and service providers who make their supports and services both available and accessible in ways that young people experience as culturally relevant. Dr. Ungar will present a social ecological approach to nurturing resilience that emphasizes a strengths-focused and resistance-proof way of building the capacity of a child and the child’s support system at school and at home. Nine factors associated with resilience will be
highlighted: structure; consequences; strong attachment to a care provider; a network of supportive relationships; a powerful identity; a sense of personal control, agency and power; a sense of belonging; fair treatment by others; and psychological and physical safety. Dr. Ungar will share both his research and stories from his clinical practice that illustrate what effective, ecologically complex services look like.

Professor Ilaria Grazzani

Professor Ilaria Grazzani has been Associate Professor of Developmental and Educational Psychology at the University of Milano-Bicocca since October 2005. She obtained her PhD in Psychology in 1996. During her PhD training, she was Visiting Researcher at OISE, University of Toronto, where she worked with Professor Keith Oatley and his research team at the Centre for Applied Cognitive Science. She is currently Deputy-coordinator of the Doctoral Program in Education in Contemporary Society at the Department of Human Sciences (University of Milano-Bicocca. She heads the Department’s
Committee for Monitoring Research Quality. She is also Head of the Laboratory for Developmental and Educational Psychology (https://www.labpse.it/en/). She is an Associate Editor of Frontiers in Developmental Psychology and ‘International Journal of Emotional Education’. She is a member of the European Association for Developmental Psychology (EAPD), the European Network for Studies on Emotional Competence (ENSEC), and the International Society for Research on
Emotions (ISRE).

Title: Promoting social and emotional competence in early years education: the impact on prosocial behavior in early childhood

Past research on early childhood has underscored the impact of the first years of child’s life on his/her social and emotional development. In this paper, we review recent research regarding interventions aimed at fostering socio-emotional competence in early years education. In relation to the work of my own research group, I focus on freshly obtained outcomes demonstrating the impact of social and emotional conversational interventions on toddlers’ prosocial behavior.