Faculty in the Spotlight:

Dr. Laura Kamptner Featured in the San Bernardino Sun for "The Facts About Spanking."

The debate over whether spanking is harmful to children is over.

Decades of scientific research show that children who are spanked are more likely than those who aren’t to show higher rates of misbehavior and aggression, as well as higher levels of depression, anxiety, and impulsivity. They tend to perform more poorly in school, including having more learning difficulties.

Spanked children also tend to have poorer social and emotional development, negative feelings of worth, and are less likely to develop a sense of right vs. wrong.

During adolescence they are also less likely to be influenced by their parents and are more likely to engage in delinquent activities.

In adulthood, they are more likely to develop substance abuse problems, experience violence in close relationships, commit more crimes, perform more poorly on the job, and earn lower incomes.

The negative effects of spanking have been found regardless of the level of income of the family, how warm a parent is, or the gender of the child. Importantly, these effects also hold regardless of the child’s ethnicity.

Never-spanked children, by contrast, tend to be the best behaved, show the least amount of antisocial and impulsive behavior, and have faster than average mental development (even compared to children who are rarely spanked).

Corporal punishment has now been outlawed in 34 countries.

The alternative? Take a parenting class to learn positive child guidance skills that are not only more effective in setting limits with children but also support children’s overall development.

Decades ago, research studies found that cigarette smoking was harmful. Americans took this scientific information to heart and changed their behavior. It’s time to follow the science regarding the treatment of children.

Dr. Laura Kamptner
Professor, Psychology department, CSUSB
Director, The Parenting Center, Institute of Child Development and Family Relations
Co-director, CUIDAR Parenting Project
Co-director, Parental Intervention Project


Project CUIDAR Featured in the Coyote Chronicle For its Internship Opportunties and Parenting Courses

On January 24, 2014, Project CUIDAR was featured in an article highlighting their parenting courses and Child Enrichment Groups. In addition to this, Project CUIDAR offers students academic and professional development opportunities.

See the extended article in the Coyote Chronical



SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – Many people use social media to connect with friends and relatives, learn the latest about celebrities and share videos and articles with others who have similar interests.

Yet social media – including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and others – are also widely used by researchers to help disseminate their research and to network and build community partnerships.

Building new community partnerships and strengthening existing ones are major goals for the Institute for Child Development and Family Relations at Cal State San Bernardino. With this in mind, the institute hosted a workshop on Jan. 31, which was well received by attending community members and campus professionals alike.

The Institute presented “Using Social Media for Research and Bridging Community Partnerships.” The featured speaker was Sahar Andrade, a social media and communications strategist who has worked with Fortune 500 companies, non-profit organizations, and educational and health care institutions.

The workshop was presented for members of the campus community who were currently conducting research, local agencies that were interested in extending their resources, and community members who sought to be more involved with campus research activities.

Andrade demonstrated how social media can be used for recruiting participants, disseminating research findings, facilitating connections and informing the community about how to best communicate their needs with researchers. As one faculty member attending the workshop said, “I believe there is a lot of room for growth in how effectively we as faculty utilize social media to communicate our work to those outside of the university. Today’s event was great for raising awareness around some of the possibilities.”

Attendees of the workshop consisted of campus faculty and students, as well as staff of major Inland Empire agencies. These included the County of San Bernardino Public Health and Behavioral Health Departments, Arrowhead United Way, CASA, Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio, and many others. Attendees made note of the success of the workshop and the vast array of participants.

Kelly Campbell, a CSUSB assistant professor of psychology, assistant director of faculty development and research for the ICDFR and organizer of the event, said, “It was wonderful to see faculty and researchers from so many on-campus departments and the wide representation of community agencies. Clearly, increased community engagement is a mutually desired goal.”

Mark D. Agars, ICDFR director and also a CSUSB psychology professor, commented on the institute’s mission statement and how he hopes to expand partnership opportunities in the future.

“Our mission is to advance the well-being of children and families in the inland region,” Agars said. “We do this through our scholarship, teaching and training and by providing direct services to families. We are at our best, however, when we do so in partnership with members of the community. Social media can be an important tool to building those relationships.”

For more information about the event, the Institute for Child Development and Family Relations, or upcoming events, contact Kim McDonald at (909) 537-3679 or kmcdonal@csusb.edu.


Dr. David Chavez Utilizes PhotoVoice and Community-Based Participatory Research to Increase Empowerment in San Bernardino Youth: By Krystal Howard

Students and faculty from California State University, San Bernardino, have committed to an on-going collaborative relationship with the child and adult community members at the Boys and Girls Club of Waterman Gardens, a public housing complex in San Bernardino. Since 2010, volunteers have been building relationships and rapport with the children of the Boys and Girls Club of Waterman Gardens, in preparation to begin a long-term research project geared toward measuring and increasing feelings of empowerment among the children.

Dr. David Chavez, a clinical and community Psychologist, and a man raised in a working class family himself, recognized a need to address feelings of invisibility, anonymity and neglect. In looking for a site, he was approached by a student of his, who was a parent and resident of the Waterman Garden’s public housing complex. He organized a team of research assistants, honors students, and psychology student volunteers to work at the site 5 days a week. With a population in tow, he was able to test the hypothesis that working collaboratively with children will increase their feelings of empowerment.

Dr. Chavez and his research team are not engaging in the typical research approach used in most quantitative research studies conducted by Psychologists. Rather, they are utilizing Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR), a long-term collaborative type of research, where the hypothesis, questions, design, methods, and results are all done collaboratively and discussed in depth, with the community members involved. This type of research marks a paradigm shift from the controlled, laboratory research we have become accustomed to. Before any research can be conducted, the team must build an extensive rapport, based on trust and open-communication. This includes spending time out in the community outside of the research project, at BBQ’s and other youth focused events and functions. This research approach demystifies the process and seeks to offer a co-ownership of research data, and shared power among the researchers and the community participants. His students have described CBPR as the “longer and harder research approach,” but one that may work more for the benefit of the participants, rather than the benefit of the researcher. Additionally, in a youth focused project, its not only the staff members and adults that get to be involved, but the children participate as much as possible as well.

“I think we need to be mindful of how we are shifting the paradigm,” said Chavez. The dominant discourse is that the researcher should hold most of the power, as if power is finite, and that giving power to the participants makes the researcher/ expert somehow less powerful. Chavez believes power is not finite. With each experience, each party is co-learning. “Sharing power makes everyone more powerful over time.” CBPR seeks to share power through collaboration, joint ownership of the results, and presenting/ publishing the findings with the community members. This is certainly a very different approach than many of us are used to. Perhaps it is one that is better for the community overall, even at the expense of the professional development of the researcher.

When asked whether or not this method of collaboration influences the results, Dr. Chavez stated that as researchers, we always influence our studies’ results. He believes that we cannot observe a naturalized setting, or create a laboratory experiment without somehow influencing the results. “Research objectivity offers a false sense of real control,” said Chavez. He went on to say, “We just need to acknowledge that we influence the world, and instead, focus on capturing people’s lived experience.” In other words, the data collected is not just intended to take a snapshot of what is going on in the community, but instead to actually enhance lives. In making his point vivid, Dr. Chavez stated that if it means influencing the participants in a way that results in getting the children into college, he absolutely hopes for “contaminated data.”

The three-year long relationship building resulted in the completion of the first phase of the empowerment research project. In working with a methodology designed to enhance empowerment, they utilized Dr. Caroline Wang’s needs/ strengths assessment, called PhotoVoice. Each child was given a camera, and simple directions to take photos of things in their community that matter to them. These were to be things that they value in their community, and things that need work. They were offered simple guidance, but were not told what to take pictures of or what to write about. With that in mind, the researchers utilized a semi-structured prompt to develop the child’s written narrative. The results were staggering. The children brought in beautiful, clear images with insightful and thought-provoking explanations. For example, one child took a picture of a glass skyscraper in downtown San Bernardino. In the glass, is a reflected image of a beautiful clear day. A stark contrast is an image of the Waterman Garden’s housing complex. The child conveyed an artistic viewpoint of graffiti on a fence post. The children’s message was clear. People care about the glass buildings, keeping it clean and clear. But they don’t care about the graffiti-ridden buildings found at Waterman Gardens. The images yielded an overwhelming consensus that many of the kids feel forgotten, looked down upon, or invisible. One child reported that if people even notice them at all, they certainly do not expect much from them, or expect that they will amount to anything. Chavez described it as follows: “It’s as if Waterman Garden’s is an island, shared by families, that is largely isolated from the rest of the community.”

The PhotoVoice project culminated in a Gallery opening at the Boys and Girls Club last winter, followed by a weeklong showing at CSUSB in May 2013. The children were so excited to attend and showed immense pride in highlighting their talents. They were elated at the chance to put a face and name to the anonymous pictures taken.

Dr. Chavez knew ahead of time that he wanted to measure empowerment, and use the PhotoVoice Project to do so. However, with this type of collaborative research, he needed agreement from the community members at each level of the project. Fortunately, staff and residents at Waterman Garden’s were completely willing to participate. The relationship built these last three years, the fact that they too owned the data collected, the chance for needed exposure, and their participation in a similar project called Image-Makers, seemed to make this a great fit.

The PhotoVoice project was phase one of a long-term project. The research team has already identified several small and attainable projects that they will be bringing to the children in a collaborative discussion. The team has indeed discovered what needs to be worked on in their community, but the next step is to determine what can be done about it. For example, the children identified that littering is a major issue in their community. Plans for cleanup days are already in the works. Another example that the children identified is the need for paternal involvement in their lives. The research team is interested in starting a program to encourage and praise fathers that are already participating well, and to assist fathers who may wish to participate more in their children’s lives. This project is a bit more challenging, given the need to develop an effective long-term program.

When asked what was especially touching about the experience to date, Dr. Chavez stated that he was particularly “touched and concerned for these kids in feeling alone, invisible and neglected by the community.” However, he was particularly impressed by what children ages 8-12 are capable of doing. Their presentations were always clear, profound and poetic in nature. This project has impacted Dr. Chavez in that it has given him a renewed sense of importance of the role he can play in the community, as well as reigniting his passion for re-connecting the university world with the local community. “It may be that we are only helping a few kids, but I would like to think this research can really change the world.”

There have been some wonderful results of the first phase of this project. There has been a marked increase in awareness by elected officials, public housing officers and community members of the needs of this at-risk population. Many people have begun making plans for improving the community and taking the children’s ideas into account. There has been an increased respect for the children’s capabilities and insight within this community. And overall there has been a marked increase in the children’s sense of empowerment, as measured by a pre and post assessment of the PhotoVoice project. However, Dr. Chavez warns that the sense of empowerment will not innately be long- lasting without more work. “The children face too many disempowering experiences for it to last without more work. But they will certainly remember this experience.”

The Boys and Girls Club of Waterman Gardens is not the only site with which Dr. Chavez and his team work. They also volunteer at the Rainbow Pride Youth Alliance of San Bernardino, working mainly with the LGTBQ community, where they have found profound increases in empowerment through utilizing the PhotoVoice project. Also, Dr. Chavez plans to use the PhotoVoice assessment with other groups and sites, including the Central City Lutheran Mission and the Gay/Straight Alliances at local schools. Two-years down the line, they may repeat the PhotoVoice project with the Boys and Girls Club, with a younger population.

People interested in this approach or participating in research, please contact David Chavez at dchavez@csusb.edu for more information.

Dr. David Chavez and his PhotoVoice research project


Dr. Kelly Campbell is Featured for her Expertise in Intimate Realtionships.

Dr. Campbell is currently conducting research on the topic of "catfishing," or online dating deception, and is looking for participants. See below, the links for Dr. Campbell's blog at Psychology Today, as well as her site at Academia.edu. To learn more information about her work, you may also follow her on Twitter.

Psychology Today Blog

Dr. Campbell on Academia.edu

Follow Dr. Campbell on Twitter

Maternal Intervention Project expands toward "Parental Intervention Project."

Becuase of the success of the Maternal Intervention Project in working with incarcerated mothers, Co-Directors Dr. Laura Kamptner and Dr. Faith McClure work toward including incarcerated fathers in the program. The Parental Intervention Project (or "PIP"), will continue to work with incarcerated parents toward the prevention of future incarceration cycles. Through its partnership with CSUSB's Institute for Child Development and Family Relations, PIP seeks to assist incarcerated parents in reconnecting with their children.

See the extended Press Enterprise article.

Dr. Kelly Campbell featured in an article for her talk on intimate relationships.

On April 18, 2013, Dr. Kelly Campbell presented a talk on intimate relationships at the CSU San Bernardino Palm Desert Campus, where she gave tips for keeping relationship bonds strong. Dr. Campbell was recently awarded the Outstanding Junior Faculty Award at CSUSB.

View the full MyDesert article.

Dr. Faith McClure and Dr. Laura Kamptner featured in a press release for their work with the Parental Intervention Project

The aim of the Parental Intervention Project is to assist incarcerated mothers establish an emotionally close bond with their children, in order to prevent a future cycle of incarceration. PIP is showing promising results through their partnerships with CSUSB's Institute for Child Development and Family Relations, CSUSB's Department of Psychology, and the San Bernardino County Sherrif's Department.

Interested in learning more about the Parental Intervention Project?

Visit the PIP webpage.

Dr. Danelle Hodge Presented an Autism Talk at PDC Covered by Local Media

On February 28, 2013, Dr. Hodge presented a free community lecture titled "Controversies and Trends in Research on Autism Spectrum Disorders." Topics adressed include: Why is there an increase in autism diagnoses? Why have the dignostic critera changed? And does immunizing our children play a causal role?

See the extended article and youtube clip.

Dr. Kelly Campbell Featured in a WebMD Article

Dr. Kelly Campbell, Assistant Professor of psychology, was featured in a WebMD article published on August 8, 2011 about her research on athletes which suggests that their performance may increase when they are in love. This research was also presented this year at the 119th American Psychological Association (APA) convention in Washington, D.C

Dr. Kelly Campbell Featured in the
Inland Empire Magazine Article

Dr. Kelly Campbell, Assistant Professor of psychology, was featured in the June 2011 issue of the Inland Empire Magazine where she provided expert advice for choosing a mate.

Infant/Toddler Lab School Receives Accreditation from National Association for the Education of Young Children

The Infant/Toddler Lab School was awarded accreditation through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). NAEYC is the premiere organization in the early childhood community and it is a mark of high distinction to be awarded this honor. It can be overwhelming for parents when choosing the right childhood education program for their child. NAEYC Accreditation represents a seal of quality that helps ensure families that they are making the right choice for their children.

The staff at the Lab School has been working to obtain accreditation for over two years and have spent countless hours readying themselves for this process. Their accreditation status is a testament to the hard work and exceptional care giving that takes place at the Lab School everyday. To achieve accreditation, the Infant/Toddler Lab School must meet rigorous standards on education, health, and safety.

University Receives Federal Grant to Study Grandparents Raising Grandchildren- Project C.O.P.E

Cal State San Bernardino is one of four universities receiving a share of a $2.5 million federal grant to study how to foster the well-being of grandparents who are raising their grandchildren without the help of the birth parents.

About 500 such families in four sites across the United States, including the Inland Empire, will be involved in the four-year-study. It was funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research, a division of the National Institutes of Health, said Julian Montoro-Rodriguez, a CSUSB sociology professor who will administer the study from Cal State San Bernardino.

The other universities involved in the study are Kent State University in Ohio; the University of North Texas, Delton; and the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

The clinical trial study will examine the effects on the mental health of grandmothers and the grandchildren they provide full-time care to in the complete absence of the grandchild’s birth parents, Montoro-Rodriguez said. Grandparents from diverse racial, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds will be recruited to test for cultural differences in response to these interventions.

Cal State San Bernardino, whose share of the grant is $340,552, will conduct the study in several community centers in San Bernardino and Riverside counties, Montoro-Rodriguez said.

For more information, contact Julian Montoro-Rodriguez at (909) 537-5580 or by e-mail jmontoro@csusb.edu.

CSUSB Professors Receive Grant to Provide Parenting Skills to Incarcerated Mothers- Parental Intervention Project

March 12, 2010

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif-- Professors Laura Kamptner and Faith McClure from Cal State San Bernardino's department of psychology have received a grant from First 5 of San Bernardino County to develop a program that will help educate incarcerated mothers when they reunite with their young children.

The $100,000 grant, "Parental Intervention Project," will provide a parenting skills and therapeutic intervention program for mothers serving time at Glen Helen Rehabilitation Center in north San Bernardino, where inmates serve no more than one year for non-violent crimes.

Kamptner is a professor of human development in the psychology department and is the co-director of the CUIDAR project, a First 5-funded program that teaches parenting skills to at-risk families throughout San Bernardino County, at CSUSB.

McClure is the coordinator of internships for the master of science in clinical counseling program at CSUSB's College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

The program provides a 60-hour parent education class followed by a post-release re-entry program that will help incarcerated mothers become better parents after they are released from prison and reunited with their young children.

"We anticipate that this intervention program will strengthen the relationships of these high-risk families and improve the developmental outcome for the young children," said McClure. "

Research has shown that children of incarcerated parents are more likely to be disruptive in school, engage in more risky behavior as adolescents and have a higher likelihood of eventually becoming incarcerated themselves.

"The Maternal Intervention Program seeks to break this intergenerational cycle. The goal is to improve their children's lives so that the children will be less likely to be arrested as they grow up," said McClure.

In addition to parenting classes, the program will also provide mother-child counseling services through Cal State San Bernardino's Community Counseling Center and re-entry support services, such as substance abuse treatment and assistance with housing, education and job skills.

For more information about the Parental Intervention Project, contact Kamptner at (909) 537-5582 or e-mail at kamptner@csusb.edu; or McClure at (909) 537-5598, e-mail at fmcclure@csusb.edu.