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USFSP Professor Awarded Princeton Fellowship

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— Dr. V. Mark Durand

USFSP Psychology professor Mark Durand, Ph.D., traveled to Princeton last week as a recipient of the highly regarded 2014 Princeton Lecture Series Fellowship. As a tribute to his career in the field of autism, Dr. Durand was selected to be a keynote speaker at the 20th anniversary of the Princeton Lecture Series on Autism, where experts are invited to present new findings and future possibilities for the treatment and awareness of this complex developmental disorder.

“This is an impressive accomplishment for Dr. Durand and an honor for USFSP,” said Vivian Fueyo, Ph.D., interim regional vice chancellor of Academic Affairs. “This award simply confirms what we’ve long understood — that Dr. Durand is one of this country’s leading authorities on autism.”

Durand’s body of work includes the publication of three books since November: “Sleep Better! A Guide to Improving Sleep for Children with Special Needs,” “Autism Spectrum Disorder,” which is aimed at helping clinicians screen for and treat the disorder, and “Abnormal Psychology: An Integrative Approach,” Seventh Edition, a textbook required by universities across the country. Yet a fourth book, the seventh edition of a second text, “Essentials of Abnormal Psychology” is due in the fall.

For his Princeton lecture, Durand drew largely from his research and the resulting popular book, “Optimistic Parenting,” which guides parents and teachers of challenged children on how to develop more positive thoughts and perceptions — a key ingredient of successful parenting and effective behavior management.

“Trying to change difficult child behavior is much more complicated if families are struggling themselves,” says Durand. “What we are learning is that confidence and optimism — having hope — are prerequisites to successful parenting.”

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