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Special Interest Groups

Child Trauma SIG
The Child Trauma SIG provides a forum for discussion for clinicians, researchers and others with an interest in the area of children and trauma. New members, ideas and proposals are welcome. Also, anyone looking for a forum for discussion is encouraged to join the electronic listserv. Interested ISTSS members can subscribe to the Child SIG listserv through the members-only section of the ISTSS Web site. For more information about this SIG, e-mail co-chairs Margaret E. Blaustein at mblauste@mindspring.com or Toni Luxenberg at luxenbet@aol.com.

Diversity and Cultural Awareness SIG
A new group, the Diversity and Cultural Awareness SIG, has joined ISTSS's growing list of special interest groups. There is a clear interest within ISTSS to further issues of diversity in culture, race, sexual orientation and disabilities, to name a few, as demonstrated by the Diversity Task Force and its recommendations and by the participation on panels such as the symposium on Fostering Minority Students in Trauma Careers, offered at the 2001 annual meeting.

The SIG will work toward many goals: 1) transition the recommendations of the Diversity Task Force from a policy-making level to implementation; 2) educate ISTSS about advancements in the understanding of diversity and cultural competency; 3) promote awareness of the relationships between traumatic stress and issues of cultural competency and diversity awareness; 4) foster communication among DCA SIG members regarding their work and interests, especially across research and clinical lines, 5) stimulate further research and clinical developments in this area, 6) stimulate increases in the presence and participation of underrepresented persons within ISTSS; 7) disseminate information concerning DCA SIG activities to ISTSS and to the larger field; 8) increase accessibility of ISTSS to underrepresented trainees and junior colleagues.

Informal channels as well as StressPoints will be used to alert the ISTSS of the initiation of the DCA-SIG with the intention of having its first meeting at the 2002 annual meeting in Baltimore, in which a contact list will be available.


Short-term Goals Timeline
Announce initiation of DCA SIG Summer 2002 StressPoints
Announce ISTSS 2002 Meeting Summer 2002 StressPoints
Initial Diversity SIG Meeting ISTSS 2002 Annual Meeting
Amend Mission Statement ISTSS 2002 Annual Meeting
Discuss goals ISTSS 2002 Annual Meeting
Generate ideas future activities ISTSS 2002 Annual Meeting


Long-term Goals
The longer-terms goals for the SIG, in part, clearly will depend upon the interest and activity level of those attending the Baltimore SIG meeting. Potentially, however, this SIG could address a broad array of issues related to the educational, policy-related and dissemination-related activities both within the SIG and to the larger ISTSS membership.

Specific Goals

  • Develop a listserv to promote ongoing communication between members of the DCA SIG.
  • Create networking and dissemination within the SIG around job openings, interest-specific grants, fellowships, conferences and related opportunities, in part to occur via the listserv.
  • Form subspecialty topic-focused groups within the larger SIG, with the goal of promoting the further development of policy-based initiatives relevant to various aspects of diversity (e.g., subspecialty groups might include those devoted to issues specific to the international community, the issues of racism both nationally and internationally, homophobia, traumatic stress related to being disabled).
  • Form relationships with SIGs that have related or overlapping interest areas, such as the Student SIG, the Gender SIG and the Research Methodology SIG, which will then be used to further promote policy and annual meeting-related activities.
  • Form relationships between members of this SIG and members of ISTSS standing committees to further promote dialog.
  • Initiate specialty premeeting institutes to address contemporary issues and recent findings regarding cultural differences, racism, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination and their relationship with traumatic stress, PTSD and cultural competency in the research and clinical venues.
  • Initiate within-meeting presentations (e.g., panels, symposia, posters) regarding these matters.
  • Identify experts in this area who would not typically attend the ISTSS meeting, and invite them to speak.
  • Disseminate information and access to resources regarding this area to the larger ISTSS community via the ISTSS Web site and links to other relevant organizations and Web-based resources. In recognition of the disparities of access to electronic media, hard-copy resource lists may also be developed.
  • Promote collaboration among DCA SIGs across and within research and clinical areas.
  • Provide educational opportunities, networking possibilities and possible mentorships for new or junior investigators interested in the diversity and cultural competency within the field of traumatic stress.

For more information, contact Elisa Triffleman, chair, at elisa.triffleman@yale.edu or 415/456-5633.

The Research Methodology SIG
The Research Methodology Special Interest Group (RMSIG) submitted a number of sponsored sessions to the upcoming November 2002 annual meeting program. Among those selected are a Pre-Meeting Institute titled Categorical Data Analysis: An Epidemiological Approach (primary presenter: Jeffrey Sonis); a workshop titled An Introduction to Item Response Theory Methods and Applications (primary presenter: Patrick Palmieri); and a workshop titled How to Use and Calculate Likelihood Ratios for Diagnostic Tests (primary presenter: Jeffrey Sonis). A subcommittee of the RMSIG (Jeffrey Sonis, Elisa Triffleman, Lynda King and Daniel King) continues to develop an NIMH application for funding to support a future Trauma Research Methods Conference. The target submission date is October 1, 2002. RMSIG members interested in assisting in the refinement and finalization of the proposal may contact Dan King at king.daniel@boston.va.gov or Lynda King at lking@world.std.com.