Presidential Symposium

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Presidential Symposium
Wednesday, May 30, 2018

09:00   Award ceremony New Investigator Award

9:05     Paper of the 2016 New Investigator Award receiver
Parent-child interaction in the context of parental obesity and links to children’s development  
Sarah Bergmann (Germany)***

09:30   Presidential Address
Supporting Infant Mental Health – Challenges Across the World! 
Kai von Klitzing (Germany)

10:00   Presidential Symposium
Worldwide Refugee Crisis and Infant Mental Health – Introduction           
Giampoalo Nicolais (Italy) & Kai von Klitzing (Germany)

10:30 Coffee break

11:00   Bringing Joy, Addressing Needs of Mothers and Young Children in the Bangladesh Refugee Camps
Erum Mariam (Bangladesh), Joann L. Robinson (United States)

11:30  Unaccompanied Minor Refugees in Italy                                                     
Serena Battilomo, Ministero della Salute (Italy)

12:00 Refugee families and their young children in Italy
Francesca Bocchino, Save the Children (Italy)

12:30 The situation of families and young children in Australia refugee camps
Campbell Paul (Australia)


Parent-child interaction in the context of parental obesity and links to children’s development
Sarah Bergmann

Almost two decades ago the World Health Organisation described obesity as a current major public health concern and key contributor to pathology. However, even today our knowledge on factors that contribute to the development and maintenance of obesity remains fragmentary. Hence, more research on risk and protective factors for the development of childhood obesity is necessary, especially regarding potentially modifiable environmental influences. Consequently, the interest in obesity within the context of the family and in the role of parents and parental characteristics has increased during recent years. Within this context, the psychoanalyst Hilde Bruch emphasized the importance of parent-child interaction for the development of obesity in children. For example, due to mismatches in the interaction between caregiver and child, the child does not learn to distinguish hunger from other internal or affective states. This leads to overeating in response to aversive affective states and consequently to development of obesity and also to impaired psychosocial functioning. Based on findings showing that maternal obesity is a risk factor for obesity in children and for children’s psychosocial outcomes, studies presented in this talk investigated the association between maternal weight status and aspects of mother-child-interaction and their role in children’s future development.