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Daniel King, PhD, and Lynda King, PhD, have been leading researchers in the field of traumatic stress for 15 years. Their efforts have led to substantial and concrete improvement in the field of research, where their work ranks at the top. In recognition of the extraordinary work the Kings have accomplished, ISTSS presented them with the 2002 Robert S. Laufer Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement. The Kings accepted the award at the ISTSS 18th Annual Meeting's Gala Awards Reception held in November in Baltimore.

Daniel King is a research psychologist in the Behavioral Science Division of the National Center for PTSD and research professor of psychiatry and psychology at Boston University. He also serves as coordinator of postdoctoral research training at the National Center for PTSD. His most recent research efforts have involved studies of the etiology of war-related stress reactions among Vietnam and Gulf War veterans, the long-term positive life adjustment of Vietnam veterans, and the psychological and physical health of repatriated prisoners of war from the Vietnam era.

Lynda King is a research psychologist in the Women's Health Sciences Division of the National Center for PTSD and research professor of psychiatry and psychology at Boston University. Lynda has expertise in psychometric theory and techniques and is coauthor of several published measurement instruments, including the Sex-Role Egalitarianism Scale, a well-regarded gender-role attitudes scale with increased use in research on interpartner violence. She has an extensive program of research related to stress, trauma, and health, with emphasis on war-related stress symptomatology, military peacekeeping duties, and gender-related conflict.

The Kings' work was introduced in 1987 when the Psychological Bulletin published their seminal article on research concerning psychological problems of Vietnam veterans, an article that remains as one of the finest reviews of literature on PTSD. Their insightful and cogent synthesis of research on military service in the Vietnam war zone led to a great appreciation for their remarkable conceptual abilities, their thoughtful and balanced perspective on the state of existing research literature, and their capacity for expressing ideas with clarity and crispness.

Since their arrival at the National Center for PTSD in Boston in 1995, Lynda and Dan have been extraordinarily productive, hard working and collaborative. They have strengthened the center's entire staff by virtue of their generosity with time, knowledge and technical skills. They collaborate widely with staff and postdoctoral fellows and routinely provide educational opportunities for the full range of National Center personnel.

The same penchant for leadership and generosity are evident in their longstanding role in the ISTSS Research Methodology Special Interest Group, where they were co-chairs for six years, making it a model SIG. The Kings have made it their mission to increase the quality and sophistication of research methods across the traumatic stress field, bringing cutting-edge data-analytic approaches to ISTSS professionals.

Dan and Lynda are pioneers in identifying risk factors for and potential causes of PTSD. They have led the way in identifying and quantifying components of stress in war zones, many of which can be applied to other sources of trauma as well. In doing so, they have highlighted the fact that pervasive nontraumatic stress--something they have termed "malevolent environment"--contributes to the negative impact of exposure to more specific traumatic experiences.The Kings have studied multiple populations of trauma-exposed individuals.

In addition to their professional strengths, Dan and Lynda are delightful people who possess exceptional intellect and integrity, and who work tirelessly to elevate the quality of trauma research in any way they can. Jeffrey Sonis, a physician/epidemiologist who contacted the Kings shortly after he received an NIH grant to study torture among Bosnian refugees, commends the couple for their generosity and nurturing spirit. When Sonis contacted the Kings to ask for a copy of an instrument they had developed, they faxed it to him within 24 hours. "When I spoke with Lynda about my work, she encouraged me with words of praise, even though we had never met," Sonis says. "It was a great morale booster," he continues. "And in subsequent interactions, Dan and Lynda have been equally generous in sharing their work and providing encouragement."

Dan and Lynda King embody the qualities for which the Laufer Award was founded, and they do it with ease, grace, and humility.

ISTSS thanks Ellen Frey-Wouters for her support of the Laufer Award.