Programming & Schedule (SPPAC 2020)

Call for Proposals

General Guidelines/Requirements

  • The SPPAC 2020 conference theme is “Pushing the Boundaries: Trailblazing the Next 50 Years of Pediatric Psychology.” Consistent with this theme, we are especially interested in proposals focusing on: integrated primary care, e- and m-health technologies, neurodevelopmental disabilities, intervention optimization, interdisciplinary collaborations, replicability, social determinants of health, intersectionality & equity, and modern ethical concerns.
  • Proposals targeted to meet the unique professional development needs of psychologists are invited. We also seek submissions for early, mid and senior career "lunch and learns.” These "lunch and learns" will be registration-required 90-minute sessions which provide focused education, training, or skills-building on a topic relevant to a specific career stage. Diversity-focused and therapy skills training sessions (e.g., ACT 101, Problem-Solving Skills Training) are strongly encouraged.
  • We are also seeking to offer additional ethics-related content to the 2020 conference. Consider submitting ethics-focused pre-conference workshops, symposia or professional development sessions.
  • All proposals will be peer reviewed and may be submitted as oral (pre-conference workshop, symposium, professional development session, lunch and learn) or poster presentations. An oral presentation proposal (i.e., symposium) that is not accepted will NOT automatically be considered for poster presentation. If authors would like their oral presentation to also be considered for a poster they MUST SUBMIT THE PROPOSAL TWICE AS BOTH AN ORAL PRESENTATION AND A POSTER.
  • Individuals seeking to present research orally must develop collaborative proposals with other investigators. Special Interest Groups are often helpful in connecting individuals to assemble cohesive symposium proposals. Oral presentations for the Outstanding Trainee Research Symposium will be selected from highly rated trainee poster submissions.
  • Multiple submissions from the same dataset are discouraged. A study divided into small sub- studies is discouraged unless there is clear rationale for presenting various aims in different abstracts.
  • Each abstract should represent final and original results. Abstracts based on ongoing projects will be evaluated in light of likelihood of complete data by the conference. Abstracts with complete data are preferred.

Poster Submissions

Poster abstracts must not exceed 300 words (not including authors and title) and must include the following headings:

  • Introduction (background, objective)
  • Methods (sample, procedures, measures, analysis)
  • Results (primary findings)
  • Conclusions (implications)

Author Presentation Limit: Authors are limited to one lead author poster abstract submission. This limit is intended to prevent very large poster sessions and high poster abstract rejection rates.

Learning Objectives

For all oral presentation submission types, you will be asked to provide three to five specific learning objectives that the participants will achieve from your proposed session. Learning objectives, or learning outcomes, are statements that clearly describe what the participants are expected to learn and how participants can apply this knowledge in practice or other professional contexts as a result of having attended an educational program or activity. These must be observable and measurable.

Verbs to consider when writing learning objectives:

  • list, describe, recite, write
  • compute, discuss, explain, predict
  • apply, demonstrate, prepare, use
  • analyze, design, select, utilize
  • compile, create, plan, revise
  • assess, compare, rate, critique
  • Examples: Recognize differences between acute and chronic pain; Summarize interventions for pediatric medical regimen adherence

Verbs to avoid when writing learning objectives:

  • know, understand
  • learn, appreciate
  • become aware of, become familiar with

Symposia Submissions

Submissions for symposia will be considered for 75-minute sessions. Symposia submissions must include:

  • Overall summary of the symposium, including theme, structure, relevance of the symposium to the conference, and names of chair(s) and discussant (400 word  limit)
  • Brief description of how issues related to diversity (broadly defined in terms of gender, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, etc.) will be integrated into the session
  • Separate abstract for each individual talk in the symposium (300 word limit per abstract

Symposia must have a clear coherent theme that ideally fits with the theme of the conference. Symposia may include up to 4 speakers (including the discussant); speakers should reflect unique perspectives from different institutions. Each symposium is required to have at least 50% of the presenters at a psychologist and/or faculty level. Non-psychologist co-presenters (community/parent collaborators, professionals from other disciplines) are welcome. Symposia focused on ethics are encouraged.

Please note that SPPAC 2020 cannot accommodate SIG-specific symposia for CE credits in addition to regular conference programming. We encourage SIGs to collaborate among members and between SIGs to submit proposals. Please notate if the submission represents collaborative efforts of members of a SIG or across SIGs.

Pre-Conference Workshop Submissions

Proposals for pre-conference workshops that explore a topic in depth and enhance research or clinical skills are invited. Duration of each pre-conference workshop is 2.5 hours (150 minutes) with the exception of ethics workshops which may be 3 hours (180 minutes). The target audience should be pediatric psychologists. Leaders of workshops should have established expertise in the topic area they propose to teach. Key selection criteria include: clear educational objectives of relevance to pediatric psychologists, likelihood of proposed workshop methods to achieve educational objectives, and use of effective and active teaching strategies. In addition to proposals reflecting the conference theme, submissions on ethics, professional development, research methodology, and skill building in academic or clinical domains are strongly encouraged. Pre-conference workshops will be held on Thursday, March  19th.

Submissions must adhere to the word limit (not including authors or title) and include the following:

  • Summary of workshop (purpose and structure of workshop) (400 word limit)
  • Brief description of teaching strategies and relevant expertise of presenter(s) (150 word limit)
  • Ideal number of attendees. Please specify if there is a need to limit the session to a certain number of attendees and provide a rationale. (not included in word count)
  • Learning objectives (not included in word count; See instructions above)

Professional Development Submissions

Proposals for 75-minute professional development sessions are invited. The target audience should be pediatric psychologists. Submissions must adhere to the word limit (not including authors or title) and include the following:

  • Summary of professional development session (purpose and structure) (400 word limit)
  • Teaching strategies and relevant expertise of presenter(s) (150 word limit)
  • Target audience if applicable (researchers, clinicians, administrators, scholar practitioners; specific career stage)
  • Learning objectives (See instructions above)

Lunch and Learn Submissions

Submissions for “lunch and learns” are invited. These "lunch and learns" will be registration-required 90-minute sessions which provide focused education, training, or skill-building on a topic relevant to a specific career stage. The submitter must specify whether the “lunch and learn” session is intended for early career, mid-career or senior career attendees. Lunch and learns are designed to be interactive, in-depth learning opportunities for individuals at specific career stages. 

Submissions must adhere to the word limit (not including authors or title) and include the following:

  • Summary of “lunch and learn” session (purpose and structure) (400 word limit)
  • Teaching strategies and relevant expertise of presenter(s) (150 word limit)
  • Target audience (early career, mid-career, senior career)
  • Learning objectives (See instructions above)


Stay tuned for more information and specific submission instructions

  • September 3, 2019: Abstract Submission site opens
  • October 1, 2019: Submission Deadline for ALL Oral and Poster Presentations
  • Late November: Notification of acceptance/rejection of submissions

Submitters will be notified of acceptance/rejection several days prior to the APA Convention proposal submission deadline so that proposals not accepted to SPPAC may be submitted for consideration as part of the Division 54 APA Convention programing.

Conference Registration will open in early December.


  • For questions about program content contact Jessica Fales PhD (SPPAC 2020 chair) at or Christopher C. Cushing PhD (SPPAC 2020 co-chair) at
  • For questions about conference registration and hotel information contact Pam Hicks at 913-897-8775 or




The Society of Pediatric Psychology (Division 54 of the American Psychological Association) is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Society of Pediatric Psychology maintains responsibility for this program and its contents.

Related Resources

Progress Notes