James Madison University
Festival conference center

The Parent Conference

Expert Advice for Everyday Parenting

Saturday, September 22
James Madison University
Festival Conference and Student Center

View more info about Festival Conference and Student Center


The Parent Conference is a one-day educational and personal development event for anyone interested in the science of raising happy, healthy, and successful children. The conference will feature over a dozen experts who translate the latest psychological research into practical parenting tips. Topics will include:

  • the psychology of birth and breastfeeding
  • happiness and well-being
  • anxiety and depression
  • eating disorders
  • discipline
  • attachment
  • cognitive development
  • mindfulness
  • digital media and smartphone addiction
  • the loneliness epidemic
  • helicopter parenting
  • autism spectrum disorder
  • talent development
  • talking to your children about school shootings
  • using sensory education to teach new food acceptance
  • and more!

Parenting is one of the most important jobs in our society and, in many cases, there’s little to no training for it. We’re often left to figure things out for ourselves. The field of psychology offers many evidence-based strategies for good parenting, but these strategies are scattered among books, websites, talk shows, and a variety of other sources. Additionally, there is a lot of bad advice mixed in with the good. It’s easy for us to feel somewhat lost as we navigate the complexities of raising a human being. 

The Parent Conference brings together over a dozen experts, in the same space, to share research-based tips and techniques for better parenting. The conference will offer a number of educational sessions and opportunities for discussion with other participants. You’ll leave with actionable ideas that you can put to immediate use. The conference isn’t just for parents; it’s for anyone who wants to learn more about child development and child-rearing practices.


Click on one of the navigation links at the top of the screen for information on the schedule, speakers, registration, and travel. If you have any questions about the conference or would like to be added to the email list, email Natalie Kerr at kerrna@jmu.edu.

Follow us on Facebook

The Parent Conference is hosted by JMU’s Department of Psychology and funded by the Association for Psychological Science’s Fund for Teaching and Public Understanding of Psychological Science.