Distinguished professor to address children’s emotional health

Contact: Kim Reid

Writer: Christina Hansen

Education and physical well-being are often the topics of concern when it comes to young children. However, another important topic is often overlooked: the emotional health of children.

Ross A. Thompson, a professor of psychology and director of the Social and Emotional Development Lab at the University of California, Davis, will be speaking about this issue at the seventh annual Marjorie Pay Hinckley Endowed Chair in Social Work and the Social Sciences lecture. The title of the lecture is, “The Emotionate Child: Building Emotional Health and Compassion in Young Children” and will be delivered February 10, 2011, at 7 p.m. at the Assembly Hall in the Hinckley Alumni and Visitors Center at Brigham Young University.

Thompson’s research focuses on how relationships affect the ability of children to develop and regulate their emotions. He also applies his research to public policy concerning school, mental health policies and research ethics. Thompson has a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Michigan and has received extensive honors and awards for his work. His two most recent honors were an award for Research Accomplishments on Behalf of Child Development Programs from the California Child Development Administrators Association in 2009, and the Ann L. Brown Award for Excellence in Developmental Research in 2007.

Thompson has also authored numerous books about children’s emotional health including Preventing Child Maltreatment Through Social Support: A Critical Analysis (1995), The Postdivorce Family (1999) and Toward a Child-Centered, Neighborhood-Based Child Protection System (2002). He is currently working on a book titled Early Brain Development, The Media, and Public Policy.

The Marjorie Pay Hinckley Endowed Chair in Social Work and the Social Sciences honors Sister Hinckley's commitment of strengthening home and family. The chair focuses on the development of women, strategies to help in difficult parenting situations and strategies to help children in difficult circumstances. A Marjorie Pay Hinckley lecture is delivered every year by a prominent social sciences scholar.