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PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
10-Jul-2014

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Contact: Leah Seupersad
lvh@gsu.edu
404-413-1354
Georgia State University
@GSU_News

Georgia State hosts national conference on aggression

More than 200 experts on aggression, who research issues ranging from child abuse to urban street violence, will attend the 21st World Meeting of the International Society for Research on Aggression (ISRA) at the Loews Atlanta Hotel, July 15-19.

Georgia State University is hosting the prestigious world meeting, which is held every other year on alternating continents.

"We are excited to be bringing together leading scholars from more than 20 different countries, which will help produce fresh ideas about the causes, consequences and solutions to aggressive behavior," said Dominic Parrott, associate professor of psychology at Georgia State and a co-organizer of the conference.

A host of internationally renowned researchers will speak during the conference, including Dr. Richard Wright, the Curators' Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and editor-in-chief of Oxford Bibliographies-Criminology. Wright has been studying urban street criminals, including armed robbers, carjackers, drug dealers and residential burglars, in St. Louis for more than two decades.

Eighty researchers will travel to the conference from abroad, including Professor Esme Fuller-Thomson, the Sandra Rotman Endowed Chair at the University of Toronto. She will discuss her research on the association between childhood physical abuse and adult health outcomes, including cancer, migraine, arthritis, heart disease and ulcers.

As the primary external sponsor of the World Meeting, Georgia State will receive international exposure as a center of excellence in violence research, Parrott said.

Criminal Justice Professor Volkan Topalli and Parrott organized the conference locally, along with members of the International Society for Research on Aggression. Additional support for the World Meeting was provided by Georgia State's Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, the Department of Psychology and the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology. Topalli's research focuses on violence in urban settings, with a focus on the decision-making of street criminals. And Parrott's research centers on identifying the risk factors for perpetrating aggressive behavior in order to inform intervention programming.

"Twenty of the attendees are affiliated with Georgia State, which is the largest number of attendees affiliated with any single institution at the World Meeting," Parrott said.

More information about the ISRA conference can be found at http://www2.gsu.edu/~wwwpsy/ISRA/index.html.

Other Conference Speakers and Topics:

Contagion of Violence:
Dr. L. Rowell Huesmann, the Amos N. Tversky Collegiate Professor of Psychology and Communication Studies at the University of Michigan and director of the Aggression Research Program in the Research Center for Group Dynamics at Michigan's Institute for Social Research, will be recognized at the meeting for a lifetime contribution to aggression research. For more than 45 years, Huesmann has researched the psychological foundations of aggressive behavior and how the observations of others behaving violently influence the development of a youth's aggressive and violent behavior and produces a contagion of violence.

Historical Patterns of Violence:
Dr. Manuel Eisner is a professor of comparative and developmental criminology at the University of Cambridge, deputy director of the Institute of Criminology, and director of the Social Science Research Methods Programme. He is also director of the Violence Research Centre. Eisner's work revolves around historical patterns of violence and research on individual development and the causes and prevention of aggressive behavior.

Parallels Between Primate And Human Behavior:
Professor Frans B.M. de Waal is a Dutch/American behavioral biologist known for his work on the social intelligence of primates. His first book, "Chimpanzee Politics," compared the schmoozing and scheming of chimpanzees involved in power struggles with that of human politicians. Ever since, de Waal has drawn parallels between primate and human behavior, from peacemaking and morality to culture. De Waal is the C. H. Candler Professor in the Psychology Department of Emory University and director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center in Atlanta.

Workplace Bullying:
Dr. Ståle Einarsen, a professor of work and organizational psychology at the University of Bergen, Norway and head of the Bergen Workplace Bullying Research Group. In addition to his research on workplace bullying, he has published on issues related to leadership, sexual harassment, creativity and innovation and whistleblowing.

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