KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Talk Title: TBD

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Ronald P. Rohner, PhD

University of Connecticut

 LONGING FOR BELONGING: FEELING CARED-ABOUT (OR NOT), AND WHY IT MATTERS

Six decades of research with several hundred thousand children and adults on every continent except Antarctica have shown that people everywhere on our planet—regardless of differences in culture, race, language, or gender—¬understand themselves to be cared-about (accepted) or not (rejected) in the same four ways. Additionally, people everywhere tend to respond in the same 7-10 ways when they feel rejected by the people most important to them.  These responses happen with such regularity across all populations that we have come to think that humans (1) have a biologically based need to feel cared about by their attachment figures, and (2) have a tendency to respond in the same negative ways when this need is not met.  We think these response tendencies are probably hardwired into the human brain as a result of common biocultural evolution.  If true, then we should be able to identify differences in brain structure and functioning of rejected versus accepted people.  fMRI evidence shows that different regions of the brain do respond as expected in the context of experimentally-induced mild rejection among adults who felt seriously rejected in childhood versus adults who felt fully loved in childhood.  This presentation amplifies on and provides evidence for these conclusions.

Ronald P. Rohner is Professor Emeritus of Human Development and Family Sciences and of Anthropology at the University of Connecticut, USA. There he is also Director of the Rohner Center for the Study of Interpersonal Acceptance and Rejection, and he is the Founding President and now Executive Director of the International Society for Interpersonal Acceptance and Rejection (ISIPAR). Rohner is also the recipient of the American Psychological Association’s Award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology, the Outstanding International Psychologist Award from the USA in 2008, and the Henry David International Mentoring Award. Beyond that, he is a former President of the Society for Cross-Cultural Research, from whom he received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020. In addition, he is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and of the American Psychological Society, and he is a Fellow and Distinguished Member of the American Anthropological Association. He is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. 

Talk Title: TBD

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Abdul Khaleque, PhD

University of Connecticut

Talk Title: Adult Intimate Relationships in the Context of Interpersonal Acceptance-Rejection Theory

Parental acceptance-rejection theory (PARTheory) based research, until 2000, has been  focusing mainly on parent-child relationships (specifically, parental acceptance-rejection). But research only on parental acceptance-rejection could not provide comprehensive answers to the effects of all forms of interpersonal relationships on individuals’ psycho-social development throughout the lifespan. This paper intends to explain how parental acceptance-rejection theory-based research has gradually expanded beyond its initial concerns with parental acceptance-rejection, and started focusing on all aspects of interpersonal acceptance and rejection including, among others, intimate partner acceptance-rejection throughout the individual’s lifespan.  This paper also focuses on how adult intimate relationships research, eventually, led to the change of the theory’s name from parental acceptance-rejection theory (PARTheory) to interpersonal acceptance-rejection theory (IPARTheory); and a major paradigm shift in the theory. First, the paper will focus on the basic concepts and fundamental components of intimate relationships. Second, it will present IPARTheory based research on adult intimate relationships and its effects on the transformation of the theory, including its paradigm shift.

Abdul Khaleque, PhD, is a senior scientist in the Ronald and Nancy Rohner Center for the Study of Interpersonal Acceptance and Rejection, at the University of Connecticut. He obtained a PhD in psychology from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, an M. Sc. in applied psychology from the University of the Punjab in Pakistan, and an M.A. in family studies from the University of Connecticut. He was an adjunct professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Connecticut, a professor of psychology at the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh, and visiting faculty in the Department of Psychology at the University of Otago in New Zealand. He was also a visiting fellow in the Department of Psychology at the University of Delhi in India and a visiting scholar in the Department of Applied Psychology at the University of the Punjab in Pakistan. He is a past president of the International Society for Interpersonal Acceptance and Rejection. He is a current member of the American Psychological Association, and a life member of the Human Factors Society of America. He has been serving as a member of the editorial board and as a reviewer of over a dozen international journals. He has authored or coauthored about 120 research articles, 41 book chapters, and 14 books in psychology and human development. His book, Intimate Relationships Across the Lifespan, was published in 2018 by ABC-CLIO/Praeger Publications. The book has won two Independent Publisher Awards: 2019 IPPY Award---a Silver Medal in the Psychology/Mental Health Category, and a Bronze Medal in the Sexuality/Relationships Category. His most recent book, Parenting and Child Development Across Ethnicity and Culture, was published in 2021 by the same publisher.