13th Biennial Conference of the Society for the Study of Human Development (SSHD)

October 13-15, 2023 at the Sonesta Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia.

“A New Science of Human Thriving”

Theme Description

As researchers, teachers, and scholars of human development, we have a shared responsibility to create a better future. How can developmental scientists play a role in understanding and acting on the possibilities for promoting positive human development, reducing inequities, and enabling research findings to influence policy and practice?  With that backdrop in mind, the invited program of the 2023 SSHD meeting is centered a new science of human thriving. Keynote speakers and invited symposia/panels will provide insights into opportunities and challenges around research in positive human development across the lifespan. The multidisciplinary foundation and diverse membership of SSHD makes the conference an ideal venue to engage with this topic, which cannot be understood through work in only one discipline or only one culture alone. A related emphasis of the meeting is on the application of person-centered methods in the service of understanding and optimizing individual capacities and developmental trajectories. Keynote Addresses will be presented by Richard Lerner (Tufts), Velma McBride Murry (Vanderbilt), Nilam Ram (Stanford) and Kenneth Ginsburg (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia).

The 2023 conference will also include participatory programming (e.g., workshops; conversation hours) serving both of the Society’s ongoing initiatives—one aimed at fostering careers, skills, and networks of Emerging Scholars, and the other aimed at promoting scholarship, collaborations, and networking relevant to the SSHD Diversity Science Initiative.

In addition to SSHD-sponsored Keynote Addresses, symposia, and workshops, the 2023 program will include presentations drawn from submissions proposed by SSHD members or others who study human development in academic or applied settings. Please note that submissions are not restricted to the theme of this year’s meeting. Instead, submissions may address  any aspect of human development, at any stage of the life span or life course, studied through the lenses of any discipline.

Call for Conference Submissions

If you are ready to submit, go to the Abstract Submission page.

Two types of submissions will be considered: Symposia and Posters. (There is an option to say if you would like to have your poster considered for an oral presentation or as a flash talk, but these formats will depend on various scheduling constraints.)

Deadline to Submit Symposia and Poster Abstracts is April 21, 2023.


We invite submissions for symposia which allow several people to address a particular topic in an integrative manner. Symposia will be scheduled for 75 minutes. We recommend no more than 3 individual presentations (20-min each) with the remaining 15 minutes used to provide or promote integrative discussion.  This integration might be provided by having a formal discussant as part of the Symposium, or it might be achieved in some other way (e.g., using the final 15-min for the speakers to comment on one another’s presentations, discuss future research directions, methodologies, or applications). Further details are explained on the symposium submission form that can be downloaded from the Abstract Submission page.


Poster submissions should be limited to abstracts of 250 words and present scientific findings accessible to a variety of audiences. Further details are explained on the symposium submission form that can be downloaded from the Abstract Submission page.

We may choose a small number of posters for consideration as 5-minute “flash talks” or 15-minute paper talks.  We will contact selected authors about this possibility at a later date if you indicate your interest in being considered for either or both of these options.

Program Committee:

Peter J. Marshall, President-Elect, and Conference Chair (Temple University), Mona M. Abo-Zena (University of Massachusetts — Boston), Anthony Dick (Florida International University), Lynn S. Liben (The Pennsylvania State University), Kingsley Schroeder (Springfield College), Jennifer B. Urban (Montclair State University)