The AITANA Award 2016 goes to Susan Spence

Doctor Susan Spence, professor emeritus of Griffith University in Australia, has been awarded the 2016 Aitana Award. Aitana Award is awarded to recognize a lifetime career of meritorious achievement and outstanding to the development of child and adolescent clinical psychology. Over the past 35 years, Dr. Spence has been dedicated to the prevention and treatment of anxiety disorders and depression in children and adolescents. Among her most important contributions highlights the Spence Children's Anxiety Scale (SCAS), which has been translated into 28 languages. She is pioneer in the implementation of Internet-based cognitive-behavioral therapy (iCBT) for the treatment of anxiety and depression of child and adolescent (Brave Program). In 2009, she was awarded the Ian Campbell Memorial Prizein Clinical Psychology. She has recently been made an Officer of the Order of Australia in the 2016 Australia Day Honours List in recognition of her contribution to child clinical psychology.​

Researcher from UCONN visits UMH

This week, Aviana Rosen from the Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy (InCHIP, University of Connecticut, USA) is visiting us. During her visit she will be able to learn the organisation of UMH and the research of AITANA. Welcome to Spain!

Training sessions on assessment and intervention strategies for children with ADHD

Elena Carratalá, researcher of Aitana Group, has made a break from her daily work as the coordinator of the Child Development Unit at the Psychological Services Center of Miguel Hernández University, to visit the Teacher Training Center of Orihuela, and collaborate in the training of education professionals. She has shown them the most recent advances in child assessment and intervention strategies for children with ADHD. Training sessions involved more than 70 specialists in Therapeutic Pedagogy, Hearing and Language, Educational Guidance, and teachers of kindergarten and primary education.

Researcher from Rafael Urdaneta University of Venezuela is doing a research stay at Miguel Hernández University

Professor Karleana Semprun from Rafael Urdaneta University of Venezuela is conducting a research stay with AITANA research group. This morning we attended a training seminar in which she talked us about The Integrative School Maturity Model as a tool to planning a research.

A new issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychology on Children and Adolescent has been published

Aitana Research Group has recently published online the Volume 3, Issue 1 of the Journal of Clinical Psychology on Children and Adolescent (ISSN 2340-8340). This issue includes a critical review of suicidal behavior in childhood and works on adolescent sexual orientation, psychological treatment of nervous tics, body dysmorphic disorder, emotional disorders as depression, posttraumatic stress, jealousy in children, and cognitive and communicative development in childhood education. Articles of this issue are available on the website of the journal:

PIRAMIDE awards for young researchers

During the First International Congress of Clinical Psychology and Health on Children and Adolescents, held recently in Madrid, they became public PIRAMIDE young researcher award, given to the best papers presented to the Congress. The prize was awarded to the study: "Reliability and temporal stability of two behavioral tests of impulsivity in adolescents," which provides evidence on the reliability and stability of behavioral tests - off delay and the Stroop test - to assess impulsivity adolescents. The authors of this paper are Victor Loredo Martinez, Sergio Fernandez-Artamendi, Roz and Roberto Secades-Villa and Alba Gonzalez, from the University of Oviedo in Spain. He was also awarded the study "Dynamics of daily worry fluctuations in early adolescents: its association with effortful control", which concludes that the dynamics of daily concern in adolescents is related to temperamental factors of psychological vulnerability, as the intentional control and negative affectivity . The authors are Aina Fiol-Veny, Alejandro de la Torre-Luque, Maria Balle, Xavier terminals, Jordi Llabrés, the research group Neurodynamics and Clinical Psychology of the Universitat de les Illes Balears.

Professor Aurora Gavino, Aitana Award 2015

Dr. Gavino is one of the leading experts in our country in the psychological treatment of OCD, a disorder that she has been investigating since 1979. As a specialist in this area, she has authored manuals for psychologists and students, scientific papers, research projects and popular books for general public.

The award ceremony will take place at the NH Collection Eurobuilding (Madrid) during the closing ceremony of the First International Congress of Clinical and Health Psychology with Children and Adolescents ( on Saturday November 21 at 2pm.

Aitana researches publish the new book "Addictive behaviors among adolescents"

It has been published the new book "Addictive behaviors in adolescents", by Dr. José Pedro Espada, a researcher or AITANA. In this work an updated vision of psychopathology, assessment and treatment of the main addictions in young people is presented. Each chapter focuses on reviewing addictive behavior intervention strategies. Is a useful and renewed for health professionals and education tool.

The video game addiction, alcohol abuse or consumption of snuff or illegal substances are a problem still unresolved. For years it comes to health and educational response to this situation without having achieved so far to eradicate the problem. During adolescence behavior patterns can become addictive begin.

Dr. Espada works as therapist and professor of Personality, Assessment and Psychological Treatment at the University Miguel Hernández in Alicante (Spain)

Interview to José Pedro Espada, Aitana Research director

Just publised in INFOCOP an interview with José Pedro Espada as president of the Organizing Committee of the First International Congress of Clinical and Health Psychology with Children and Adolescents, to be held in Madrid between 19-21 November. The chairman of the event and in turn director of Aitana Research explains the goal of the congress, which for the first time is international, in addition to exposing the issues of concern to be addressed, developments with respect previous editions, and expectations regarding the event. The interview is available here.

Published a new special issue of Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology

AITANA group has been recently published online the Volume 2, Issue 2 of the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. The issue is a monograph on Attention Deficit and Hiperactiviy Disorder (ADHD). Articles of this issue are available on the website of the journal: 

The AITANA research team evaluates a program for the sexual health prevention and promotion

Researchers of AITANA team Investigadores del grupo AITANA have evaluated the program "Skills for adolescents with a healthy sexuality (COMPAS)”, aimed to Spanish teenagers between 14 and 18 years. The aims of this sex education program are to increase the level of knowledge about STIs and protection methods, the risk perception involved in having unprotected sex, general self-efficacy, and intent to carry out safer sexual behaviors with respect to a control group. It is the only school-based intervention to promote sexual health in Spain, evaluated in controlled studies, including follow-ups at 12 and 24 months. The program has proven effective in promoting a more favorable attitude towards condom use and other aspects related to the prevention of pregnancies and STDs. COMPAS efficacy was higher in women compared to men, as well as adolescents who reported not having sex compared with those who had already sexually debut. These results confirm the importance of initiating preventive actions at an early age, when they have not yet have sex.

International research seminar “Advances in STIs Prevention Science”
The seminar "Advances in STIs Prevention Science" - organized by AITANA research team- will take place the 22th April in Elche. This is an opportunity to update and discuss about advances in prevention of STIs and sexual health promotion in vulnerable communities, such as adolescents with mental illnesses, Latino and African American youth living in the US.
It will consist in a panel of experts, composed by four invited researchers: Bridgette M. Brawner ( University of Pennsylvania), Robin S. Stevens (Rutgers University-Camden, Nueva Jersey), Yzette A.I. Lanier (New York University), and Jennifer M. Stewart (Johns Hopkins University, Maryland), who are recognized by their excellent research career in VIH prevention and sexual health promorion in the United States.
PLACE: Seminar room. Altamira Building. Miguel Hernández University in Elche.
SCHEDULE: 10-14h
*The seminar will be in English
**Free registration by sending an email to: investigació
A new treatment achieves 14% of adolescents to stop smoking

A group of researchers within the AITANA Research Team have just published the first controlled study with Spanish adolescents to stop tobacco consumption. In this study, the effectiveness of the EX Project is analyzed, a clinical program to stop tobacco consumption. More than 200 adolescent smokers participated. Six months after the treatment, 14.3% stopped smoking and the rest reduced their dependency on nicotine. In the follow-ups, they are analyzing how the program slows down the appearance of new smokers. The article has been published in the latest number of the journal Addictive Behaviors, one of the most prestigious in the field:

The AITANA research team supports SAVE THE CHILDREN in their programme to fight against child poverty in Spain

In Spain, 1 out of every 3 children lives in risk of poverty and social exclusion. Committed to child well-being, the AITANA team has signed an agreement with SAVE THE CHILDREN so that the attendees to the 1st International Congress of Clinical and Health Psychology with Children and Adolescents will be able to contribute 3 euros to support the Programme to Fight against Child Poverty in Spain.
With a small contribution between us we can achieve a lot…


Spanish adolescents currently have a higher risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies compared to eight years ago

In the latest issue of the prestigious journal AIDS Care has been published a study conducted by researchers of AITANA, in which sexual behaviors and sexual risk precursors are examined among scholars. More than 2000 adolescents from two cohorts evaluated in 2006 and 2012 participated in the study. Over time, the Spanish adolescents show a lesser level of knowledge about sexual transmitted infections (STIs), such as syphilis, gonorrhea, or HIV, and less favorable attitudes towards protection methods. Also, adolescents report an earlier sexual debut and greater number of sexual partners. This study shows that, although information about sexuality is more accessible, there is a growing risk of STIs and unwanted pregnancies among Spanish adolescents. Full manuscript: