Roundtable #1 - Loneliness and the Human Need for Connection across the Lifespan" - Moderated by Katie Lewis, PhD (Live)
In 2021, US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy described experiences of loneliness as “a dark thread through our nation’s most pressing public health challenges” (Murthy, 2021, Public Health Reports, 136). Rates of loneliness across the globe have increased across age and demographic groups steadily over the past two decades, despite concomitant changes in communication technology and virtual interconnectedness. How do we account for the growing prevalence of feelings of isolation, disconnect, longing, and loss, which contribute not only to mental health challenges but also basic experiences of stability and safety within our families, communities, and sense of being a person in the world?
In this panel, three experts in the field of social (dis)connection will share their perspectives on the rise of loneliness as a public health crisis. Dr. Niobe Way has devoted her career to examining social connectedness conceptualized through developmental, cultural, and psychological lenses, with a particular focus on how adolescent identity development. Her presentation will explore the roots, consequences, and solutions to loneliness as a crisis of connection. Dr. Paula Pietromonaco brings decades of expertise in the study of close family and other interpersonal relationships, examining how social perceptions, behaviors, and physiological responses to conflict and stress influence the capacity to experience social connection and emotional intimacy during adulthood. Dr. Blessing Ojembe will share her interdisciplinary expertise and perspective on loneliness and social isolation in Black older adults, highlighting the interplay between time, place and interaction, the contributing and contextual factors of race, age, disempowerment, marginalization, health, and immigration status. Each presenter will discuss factors which affect loneliness across the lifespan and engage in a moderated discussion with attendees about potential pathways towards addressing social disconnection at both individual and community levels.
- Cacioppo, J. T., & Cacioppo, S. (2018). The growing problem of loneliness. The Lancet, 391(10119), 426.
- Lewis, K. C., Roche, M. J., Brown, F., & Tillman, J. G. (2022). Reduced social contact and attachment insecurity as predictors of loneliness during COVID-19: a two-month experience sampling study. Personality and Individual Differences, 195, 111672.
- Murthy, V. H. (2021). COVID-19 pandemic underscores the need to address social isolation and loneliness. Public Health Reports, 136(6), 653-655.
_______ Introductory X Intermediate ______ Advanced
Describe basic conceptual definitions of loneliness and differentiate loneliness from related objective measures of social disconnection.
Identify the developmental factors affecting experiences of loneliness in youth and adolescent populations.
Discuss the role of culture and intersectional identity factors in the emergence of risk contexts for loneliness across different racial and ethnic groups.
Katie C. Lewis, PhD, serves as the Director of Research at the Austen Riggs Center. Her research examines interpersonal behaviors, personality processes, and suicidal ideation in adult psychiatric patients using experience sampling methodology. Dr. Lewis received a doctorate in clinical psychology from the Brooklyn campus of Long Island University. In the past, she has served as the graduate student representative on the Ethics Board of Division 39 and as an associate editor for the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. Her research has been supported by the Robert Wallerstein Fellowship in Psychoanalytic Research, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and the Division 39 Marsha McCary Fund for Psychoanalysis. She has published and presented on a wide range of topics, including suicide and self-harming behaviors, personality psychopathology and assessment, and the ethics of confidentiality in clinical writing. She currently serves as a Consulting Editor and Section Editor for the Journal of Personality Assessment.
- Blessing Ojembe, PhD, MSW, RSW is a Post-doctoral Fellow at McMaster University, Ontario Canada, a Commonwealth scholar and a gerontological social worker whose research interest focuses on: 1) understanding the experiences of aging, loneliness, inequalities, social exclusion, cumulative disadvantages of Black older adults, compounded by their specific social locations such as race, age, gender, immigration status, employment, and; 2) addressing the representational intersectionality of Black older adults in policy, research and practice. Her current research agenda which uses a community-based model and builds on findings from her PhD research, specifically focuses on exploring the aging experience of Canadian-born and immigrant Black older adults on a broader context and understanding how it constructs ideas about their lives and social context. Her research uses a qualitative research design, data collection and analysis to conceptualize Black older adults’ experience of aging. Blessing has ten years of experience in individual, group and community-based practice with older adults in Africa and Canada. Blessing holds a Bachelor of science in Social Work from the University of Nigeria, two Masters in Gerontology and Social Work both from the University of Southampton, United Kingdom and York University, Canada. She also has a PhD in Social Gerontology from McMaster University. Blessing is a Faculty at Fanshawe College, Toronto Campus and will be joining the Faculty of Social Work, University of Manitoba in July as an Assistant Professor. Blessing is a co-founder and sits as the Vice Scientific Director, Grants and Scholarship of the Emerging Researchers and Professionals on Aging – African Network (ERPAAN). ERPAAN is an organization that mentors young African students to develop interest in ageing research through awarding them scholarships to conduct their chosen research. Blessing believes that the future of gerontology lies in getting the younger generation to be involved in the study of aging, globally.
- Paula R. Pietromonaco, PhD, is Professor Emerita, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her research focuses on how romantic partners shape each other’s physiological responses, behavior, and perceptions, how individual differences (e.g., attachment insecurity) modulate these responses, and the link between these responses and downstream emotional and physical health.
- Niobe Way, PhD
Austen Riggs Center Inc. adheres to the ACCME’s Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Medical Education. All those at Austen Riggs Center involved in the planning of this activity, including the presenter(s) listed above, report they have no relevant financial relationships with an ineligible company*.
The views and opinions expressed in this presentation are those of the presenter(s) and do not necessarily represent the official policy or position of the Austen Riggs Center.
* An ineligible company is any entity whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients.
- 1.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
Accreditation Statement - Austen Riggs Center,Inc. is accredited by the Massachusetts Medical Society to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
Designation Statement - Austen Riggs Center, Inc. designates this Live activity for a maximum of 1.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
- 1.50 APA
The Austen Riggs Center, Inc. designates this Online live, Roundtable 2024 for 1.50 continuing education credit(s) (CE) for psychology. The Austen Riggs Center is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Austen Riggs Center maintains responsibility for the program and its content.
Austen Riggs Center, Inc. is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Psychology as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychologists #PSY-0115.
- 1.50 ASWB-ACEThe Austen Riggs Center, #1344, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. Austen Riggs Center maintains responsibility for this Online live, Roundtable 2024. ACE provider Approval Period: 02/02/2023-2/2/2026. Social workers completing this Online live, Roundtable 2024 will receive 1.50 continuing education credit(s). For a listing of jurisdictions that accept ACE, please visit States and provinces that accept ACE | Association of Social Work Boards.
- 1.50 Contact Hours/ Participation