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The Fourth Annual Conference on Innovations in Trauma Research Methods (CITRM) was held at the beautiful Tremont Grand Plaza located in Baltimore, Maryland on November 13-14.

The two-day conference, which grew out of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) Research Methodology Special Interest Group, is designed to meet the needs of researchers in the broad field of trauma research. This year’s theme “Research Methods for Studying Violence and Trauma in Children, Intimate Partners, and Families” drew over 100 attendees and boasted an impressive schedule of oral presentations and posters.

Seven attendees from the U.S. and other countries were recipients of the Underrepresented Researcher Travel Stipends, with two receiving the experienced resea rcher awards and fivereceiving the novice researcher awards. 

John Fairbank (Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University Medical Center and Co-Director of UCLA-Duke University National Center for Child Traumatic Stress) delivered the plenary address entitled, "Challenges Facing a Maturing Fiel d of Child Traumatic Stress Research.” CITRM 2007 sessions focused mainly on statistical, measurement, and methodological issues applied to research on trauma in children, intimate partners, and families.

Statistical sessions included multilevel modeling to analyze diary data from couples and families (Jean-Philippe Laurenceau), Poisson regression to model count and frequency data (David Gagnon, Susan Doron-LaMarca, & Margret Bell), ways of analyzing complex survey data (Brady West), and social network analysis applied to the behavioral sciences (Stanley Wasserman). Measurement sessions included potential sources of error in trauma survey responses (Roger Tourangeau), identifying trends in longitudinal data with graphing methods (Eve Carlson), and comparing methods of assessing intimate partner abuse (Jeremiah Schumm, Christopher Murphy, & Casey Taft). Methodological sessions addressed equivalence trials (Carolyn Greene & Leslie Morland), partnering with community agencies (Margret Bell, & Lauren Bennett Cattaneo), and ethical issues regarding research on interpersonal violence (Benjamin Saunders, Jacquelyn Campbell, & Linda Williams). In addition, two complimentary sessions focused on assessing genetic influences on trauma responses (one by Danielle Dick & one by Michael Neale).

CITRM prides itself on being an intimate conference with ample opportunity to network and gain exposure to new ideas. When evaluating the conference, attendees noted that “CITRM 2007 provided great opportunities to interact with like-minded researchers and be exposed to cutting edge research methodologies.” When asked what was the best part of CITRM 2007, one attendee stated, “…the exposure to new ideas. I especially enjoyed the informal break times where you could get to know other attendees.”

Next year’s conference will be held in November, 2008, contiguous with the conference for ISTSS in Chicago. Details on next year’s conference theme, specific dates, speakers and presentations, submission procedures, registration, accommodations, and travel stipend applications will be posted on the CITRM Web site, as information becomes available.

CITRM is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health with a grant to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Additional support is provided by the Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiology Research and Information Center (MAVERIC), VA Boston Healthcare System. Onsite logistical assistance is provided by Experient, Inc.