Karen L. Bierman, Evan Pugh Professor of Psychology and director of the Penn State Child Study Center in the College of the Liberal Arts, has been named a fellow of the Society for Prevention Research (SPR). SPR introduced Bierman as a fellow during the organization’s annual awards and fellows ceremony, which took place May 30 in San Francisco.
Founded in 1991, SPR is an interdisciplinary organization dedicated to advancing scientific investigation on the cause and prevention of social, physical and mental health, and academic problems, and on the translation of that information to promote overall health and well-being. According to the organization, fellowship is bestowed upon a small and select group of members with a particularly distinguished record of contributions in the field of prevention research.
“It was particularly rewarding to be named a fellow at this year’s SPR meeting,” Bierman said, noting that Penn State is recognized as a worldwide leader in prevention science research. “Prevention science defines the core of my research career.”
Bierman is renowned for her research in early childhood education and considered one of the leading authorities on the development of peer relations and friendship among children. During her 35-year-career, she has designed and evaluated several school-based programs that promote social competence, school readiness, and positive peer relations, and reduce aggression and related behavior problems. She has served as an educational adviser to several organizations dedicated to improving early childhood education for disadvantaged children, including Head Start and Sesame Street.
Bierman has written two books and more than 200 peer-reviewed publications related to her research. Her third book, “The Fast Track Program for Children at Risk: Preventing Antisocial Behavior,” will be released this October. In addition to her most recent award, Bierman has received SPR’s “Service to SPR” Award (2017) and its Prevention Science Award (2013). She has also been named a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science.