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James Garbarino    

Author, Psychologist, Expert on Violence & Children; Senior Faculty Fellow, Center for the Human Rights of Children at Loyola University

James Garbarino is the Senior Faculty Fellow at the Center for the Human Rights of Children at Loyola University Chicago and holds the Maude C. Clarke Chair in Humanistic Psychology. He was the Founding Director of the Center from 2006-2009. Before arriving at Loyola, he was Cornell University’s Elizabeth Lee Vincent Professor of Human Development and co-director of the Family Life Development Center. He received his bachelor’s degree from St. Lawrence University and a doctorate in human development and family studies from Cornell University. From 1985-1994,he was President of the Erikson Institute for Advanced Study in Child Development.

Dr. Garbarino has served as a consultant to a wide range of organizations, including the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse, the National Institute for Mental Health, the American Medical Association, the U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He also serves as an expert witness in criminal and civil cases involving issues of violence and children. Books he has authored or edited include: Children and the Dark Side of Human Experience: Confronting Global Realities and Rethinking Child Development; See Jane Hit: Why Girls Are Growing More Violent and What We Can Do About It; and Words Can Hurt Forever: How to Protect Adolescents from Bullying, Harassment, and Emotional Violence. His work has also been featured in television, magazines, and newspapers, including appearances on The Today Show, Dateline, and Larry King Live.

Dr. Garbarino has received numerous awards, including the first C. Henry Kempe Award from the National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, Fellow of the American Psychological Association, Spencer Fellow by the National Academy of Education, National Fellow by the Kellogg Foundation, and the President’s Celebrating Success Award from the National Association of School Psychologists. He’s a former president of the American Psychological Association’s Division on Child, Youth and Family Services.

Speech Topics


See Jane Hit: Why Girls Are Growing More Violent and What We Can Do About It

Words Can Hurt Forever: How to Protect Adolescents from Bullying, Harassment, and Emotional Violence

Parents Under Siege: Why You Are the Solution, Not the Problem, in Your Child's Life

Lost Boys: Why Our Sons Turn Violent and How We Can Save Them

Youth violence is a major problem in the United States. Understanding its origins in the early experience of children is important for interpreting the actions of violent youth and acting to reduce their aggression. This presentation seeks to illuminate these issues by tracing the developmental pathways taken by difficult children who become criminally violent youth. It focuses on the accumulation of risk factors in the lives of these children.

These risk factors include the experiences of child maltreatment and other forms of trauma, difficult temperaments, parental and teacher mishandling of troubled children, and the social toxicity of the community. Contributors to the toxicity of the social environment for children and youth include instability of relationships, civic cynicism, terminal thinking, economic polarization, desensitization to violence, "the spiritual crisis," and the nastiness of popular culture.

The effects of this social toxicity are felt and expressed most by the most vulnerable youth -- e.g. those from de-stabilized families, those subject to racism, and poverty, and those with disabilities. Efforts to deal with the issues of social toxicity involve both strengthening youth to decrease their vulnerability, and simultaneously detoxifying the social environment. The presentation is based on Lost Boys: Why Our Sons Turn Violent and How We Can Save Them.

Raising Children in a Socially Toxic Environment

Let's Talk About Living in a World with Violence

Children in Danger: Coping With The Consequences of Community Violence

Children and Families in the Social Environment

Saving Children: A Guide to Injury Prevention

What Children Can Tell Us

No Place To Be A Child: Growing Up In A War Zone

Special Children/Special Risks: The Maltreatment of Children with Disabilities

The Psychologically Battered Child

Troubled Youth, Troubled Families

Adolescent Development: An Ecological Perspective

Social Support Networks

Successful Schools and Competent Students

Understanding Abusive Families

Protecting Children From Abuse and Neglect

A Developmental Perspective on Trauma in Childhood and Adolesence

This presentation will examine how trauma in childhood and adolescence affects development. It explores developmental considerations in how trauma is defined and what domains of behavior are most affected. And, it outlines the concept of Post Traumatic Stress Development as an adjunct to conventional thinking about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

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