ISU Headlines

Health Conference presentation explains awkward adolescence

Posted October 17, 2007

Many parents have long been baffled, even frustrated, by the actions of their adolescent children. But one man believes he can help unfold the mysteries of adolescent awkwardness by informing parents and health care professionals on its causes.

Ken Winters, Ph.D., will present “Adolescence is a Time-Limited Brain Disorder” Friday, Oct. 26, from 9:30 to 10:20 a.m. in the Salmon River Suite of the Idaho State University Pond Student Union Building. In conjunction with this lecture, Winters also will lead a workshop, “Habits of Highly Effective Treatment for Adolescent Drug Use,” from 1 to 5 p.m. the same day, also in the Salmon River Suite.

The address and workshop will be part of the ISU Kasiska College of Health Profession’s annual Idaho Conference on Health Care scheduled Oct. 24-26. This year’s theme is “The Changing Face of Health Care.”

Winters studies suggest how understanding the maturation processes that occur in the adolescent brain can change how parents and professionals understand and respond to adolescent behavior, including drug involvement. Research has shown significant brain development occurs during this period of maturation and this can play a key role in risk-taking behavior, Winters says.

Winters hopes participants will learn about basic processes of brain maturation during adolescence; understand the association of risk-taking with this period of development; realize the developing brain may be highly susceptible to the effects of drugs; and learn how to integrate this science of brain development in prevention and intervention efforts.

A professor in the department of psychiatry and director of the Center for

Adolescent Substance Abuse Research at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis,

Winters’ primary research interests are the assessment, prevention and treatment of adolescent drug abuse. He also serves as a senior scientist with the Treatment Research Institute in Philadelphia, Pa.

He has published numerous articles on adolescent drug abuse and also has received several research grants from the National Institutes of Health as well as other various foundations. He also has served on a variety of editorial boards and as assistant editor for the “Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.” He is a consultant to such organizations as the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment and the Mentor Foundation, an international drug abuse prevention organization.    

The conference is sponsored by the Kasiska Foundation and co-sponsored by the Idaho Public Health Association, Idaho Psychological Association, the Idaho Dairy Council, the Idaho Bioterrorism Awareness and Preparedness Program and ISU Student Affairs.

All health conference events are free to ISU students, faculty and staff. The conference evening keynote addresses are free and open to the public, but registration fees are required for the public for conference events held during the day. Continuing education units are available to professionals desiring them.

For more information on the speaker or his presentations, contact the ISU Continuing Education and Conference Services office at (208) 282-3155 or visit the conference Web site, www.isu.edu/kchp.