Child & Youth Care Forum

Child-&-Youth-Care-ForumJournal of Research and Practice in Children’s Services

Editor-in-Chief: Carl F. Weems, PhD Springer

Carl F. Weems, PhD, Professor of Psychology at the University of New Orleans, oversees this peer-review, multidisciplinary publication by Springer, Child & Youth Care Forum: Journal of Research and Practice in Children’s Services. Dr. Weems guides a host of experts from around the nation and the world in the Forum’s Editorial Board, including an array of colleagues from the New Orleans area, giving this comprehensive platform for improving the lives of children a clear Louisiana connection.

Contributors and readers in psychology, psychiatry, and social work, as well as those in public policy and government, will find the journal to be a valuable, useable resource. blending theory and applications for all those dedicated to the well-being of youth in today’s world.

This may be one of the most important contributions of Forum, noted Dr. Weems to the Times. “The Journal tries to bridge research and practice in children’s intervention and psychological services broadly,” he said, “while focusing on publishing scientifically excellent empirical papers and theoretical reviews.”

This broad approach is the goal. “We also try to integrate across fields and publish work from developmental psychology, education, medical anthropology, pediatrics, pediatric psychology, psychiatry, school psychology, and social work. So the multi-disciplinary nature of the journal.”

Dr. Weems took over the editorial leadership of the journal in 2009 when Springer Senior Editor Judy Jones asked him to be the Editor. He knew he was filling some big shoes. In his first editorial he explained, “My primary goal as editor is to continue the excellent stewardship that the journal has benefited from since its inception in 1971 with founding editor Jerome Beker (as the Child Care Quarterly, see Beker 1971) and to specifically carry on the publishing initiatives begun by my most recent predecessor Dr. Marc Atkins (a focus on publishing of high quality empirical papers in child services). My hope is that CYCF remain an international, interdisciplinary outlet for publishing high quality empirical papers and theoretical reviews that have implications for child and adolescent intervention and services broadly defined, but to also expand the content.”

At U. of New Orleans, Dr. Weems’ research interests include developmental psychopathology of anxiety and depression. He specifically looks at how to integrate developmental, cognitive, biological and behavioral theories, a perspective that supports his editorial duties on the Forum. He also has looked at severe stress, physiological response, brain development and function. One of his recent publications, “Post traumatic stress, context, and the lingering effects of the Hurricane Katrina disaster among ethnic minority youth,” in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, is an example of this wide-angle viewpoint.

Carl is joined in these goals by R. Enrique Varela, PhD, from Tulane University. Dr. Varela serves as Associate Editor for the Child & Youth Care Forum, and brings his research in development of anxiety in youth, and also a particular emphasis on cultural, familial, and cognitive influences in this process.

Brandon Scott, PhD, from the U. of New Orleans serves as Editorial Assistant. He works closely with Dr. Weems in the Youth and Family Stress, Phobia, and Anxiety Research Lab at UNO, and his current research interests focus on understanding the role of emotion regulatory processes in anxiety-related problems for children and adolescents.

Jody Camps, PhD, from Children’s Hospital New Orleans, and Natalie Costa, PhD, from University of New Orleans also serve on the board. Dr. Costa brings her expertise at investigating why anxiety aggregates in families and the association between parent and child anxiety.

Psychology Chair and Distinguished Professor at UNO, Paul Frick, PhD, is included on the Forum’s Editorial Board. Paul is an international expert in understanding the different pathways through which youth develop severe antisocial behavior.

Tulane’s, Michael Scheeringa, MD, Professor from Tulane Medical School also serves on the Editorial Board.

While the journal seems to enjoy the variety of scientific talents from the New Orleans area, that is only a small part of the overall approach, explained Dr. Weems to the Times. “The Journal is really international in scope,” he said, “members of the board are from the US, Canada, the Netherlands, Britain, Croatia, Sweden, etc. I think local psychologists who are interested in multi- disciplinary knowledge development will be interested.”

Together the experts create a platform to bridge the gap between research and practice, and to give readers a perspective and source for effective practices with children, adolescents, and families. To accomplish this, articles include science about how children and adolescent can overcome difficulties of mental health problems, traumatic stress, negative family dynamics, and community issues such as crime or violence. Another goal is to help “normal children actualize their potential,” as understood from the perspective of positive psychology and other theoretical frameworks.

The February issue included two articles from Louisiana researchers: “Perceptions of Parenting, Emotional Self- Efficacy, and Anxiety in Youth: Test of a Mediational Model,” authored by Laura Niditch and R. Enrique Varela; and, “The Good Enough Home? Home Environment and Outcomes of Young Maltreated Children,” by Neil W. Boris, Sherryl Scott Heller, and Charles H. Zeanah, all of the Tulane U. School of Medicine. And also Janet Rice, Department of Biostatistics, Tulane U. School of Public Health.

The Forum offers free downloads of some of their most popular articles, including the “The Good Enough Home?” article.

Other popular, free articles include: “Exploring the Feasibility and Benefits of Arts-Based Mindfulness- Based Practices with Young People in Need: Aiming to Improve Aspects of Self-Awareness and Resilience,” “Teenagers’ Explanations of Bullying Robert Thornberg,” and “The Play of Children: Developmental Processes and Policy Implications.”

Dr. Weems said, “Next month [April] is a special issue, “Advancing intervention science through effectiveness research: A global


perspective.” We hope to increase the impact of the journal on research and practice and continue publishing scientifically excellent empirical papers and theoretical reviews that have implications for those practicing in the field.”

What is the most rewarding part of his editorial role? “Getting to see research that isn’t yet published and trying to steer a solid course for knowledge development.”

But some of the challenges included, “Finding reviewers who are experts, who will agree to do a review, and who will turn th

eir reviews in on time. A quick turnaround for authors, with fair reviews is essential for a good journal.”

The journal’s goal is to provide the ideas and innovations needed, not simply to resolve children’s problems, but to “foster what is best for child and adolescent’s development and functioning. In other words, to help the child and adolescent actualize and attain their fullest potential.” To this goal, Dr. Weems is looking for important contributions. “We would love to receive submissions from Louisiana psychologists – clinical or researchers– on topics of research and practice in children’s intervention and psychological services,” he told the Times.

The website for Child & Youth Care Forum is: ychology/journal/10566


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