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Invited speakers

1Prof. Gordana Buljan Flander, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist, currently working as the Director of the Child and Youth Protection Center of Zagreb, an institution specialized in working with traumatized children and their families.

She graduated in 1980 at the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Zagreb, where she obtained a master of science degree in clinical psychology in 1985. After completing her postgraduate studies in 1999 at Sherwood Training Institute and University of Derby, Nottingham, UK, she became a licensed integrative psychotherapist. In 2001 she obtained her Ph.D. degree at the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Croatia with the thesis The role of attachment and some personality traits in the maltreatment of children: expanding on the Bowlby theory. In 2016 she obtained academic rank of Full Professor at University of Zagreb, Croatia. She is currently also working as a lecturer at the University of Zagreb and University of Osijek.

In 1997 she founded the Brave Phone, a helpline for abused and neglected children. In 2002 she founded the Child and Youth Protection Center of Zagreb, which is still the only specialized institution for working with abused and neglected children in this part of Europe.

Some of her work includes working as a coordinator, educator and supervisor on many projects focused on promoting children’s well-being as well as working with professionals from child protection system institutions.

She has received many awards for her work. She received International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) award in 2008 for Center´s multidisciplinary team, the City of Zagreb Award (2011) for the highest achievements and results in theoretical and practical work in the areas of psychosocial and health care, the ''Gold Emblem'' Award of the Croatian Psychological Society (2012) and Croatian Psychological Association expression of gratitude (2013), the Croatian Psychological Association ''Snježana Biga Friganović'' Award (2010) for special contribution to the organization, work and development of Association, contributing to the improved development and status of psychology. In 2018 the Ministry of Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy recognized and awarded the director's versatile work and success with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her work in promoting children’s rights.

Besides working directly with children and families, she is also actively and continuously working in the scientific field. In cooperation with Center`s and Brave Phone`s professionals, she conducted many important scientific research regarding incidence and prevalence of abuse and neglect of children in Croatia, bullying and cyberbullying, attitudes and knowledge of medical doctors in Croatia in regard to abuse and neglect of children, exposure of children to abuse through the Internet, experience of violence among children and youth related to the use of Internet, mobile phones, social networks and other modern technologies, as well as the impact of exposure to screen time of preschool children.

She is also the co-author of several books: Violence against and amongst children (university textbook), My parents are getting divorced, Why Me, Phone Counselling, Counsellor's Manual, Am I Raising My Child Properly? Parenting tips, Hyperactive Child, Child Abuse and Neglect; and numerous scientific and professional papers on child development, parenting and childhood trauma. Her most recent book The Science and Art of Upbringing serves as a handbook for contemporary upbringing and provides practical advice for parents in facing everyday challenges.

She has been working with children for more than thirty years of her career and was among the first professionals in Croatia who recognized the importance of the issue of child abuse and neglect. Many consider her a leading expert in the field of child and youth protection in Croatia.

Title of keynote lecture: Challenges in Raising and Protecting the Touch Screen Generation

2Prof. Zsolt Demetrovics, PhD, DSc, is professor of psychology at the ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary where he serves as dean of the Faculty of Education and Psychology, director of the Institute of Psychology and head of the Department of Clinical Psychology & Addiction. He is clinical psychologist (specialized in addiction), cultural anthropologist, and has a Ph.D. in clinical and health psychology (addictive behaviors). He has published numerous research papers on the epidemiology, assessment and psychological correlates of substance use behavior and behavioral addictions including gambling, video gaming, internet addiction, exercise addiction, and compulsive buying. He is former president of the Hungarian Association on Addictions. He is funding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Behavioral Addictions and president of the International Society for the Study of Behavioral Addictions.

Title of keynote lecture: Motivation for Gaming

3 Prof. David Smahel, Ph.D. is the Professor at the Faculty of Social Studies and Faculty of Informatics, Masaryk University, the Czech Republic. He is member of Interdisciplinary Research Team on Internet and Society ( which researches social-psychological implications of the internet and technology. Current research focuses on adolescents’ and adults’ internet use, the impact of digital technology on well-being, the online risks of children and adolescents, the construction of online identities and virtual relationships, and online addictive behavior. He is editor of Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace ( ) and has co-authored books Digital Youth: The Role of Media in Development (Springer, 2011) and Digital Technology, Eating Behaviors, and Eating Disorders (Springer, 2018). Smahel also published in several international journals such as Developmental Psychology, Information, Communication & Society, Health Communication, Zeitschrift für Psychologie, European Journal of Developmental Psychology, and others. He is also author of several book chapters, such as in Encyclopedia of Cyber Behavior, Encyclopedia of Adolescence, Internet Addiction: A Handbook and Guide to Evaluation and Treatment, Gesundheit und Neue Medien etc.

Title of keynote lecture: Youth in Digital Worlds

4Prof. Svjetlana Kolić-Vehovec, PhD was born in Rijeka, where she got a degree in psychology at the Faculty of Pedagogy (what is now known as the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences). She got her MA in 1988 at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb, and she got her PhD in 1993 at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana. From 1984 she worked at the Department of Psychology at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Rijeka, where she was elected full professor in 2013. For many decades she has researched cognitive, metacognitive and motivational factors for reading and learning, which she expanded onto studying the effects of ICT on learning. She published three books, multiple chapters in books of renowned Croatian publishers and over 40 research papers. She participated in over 80 domestic and international scientific and vocational conferences. She was the head of seven scientific projects. She was the head researcher at the project Scientific Verification of the Effects of the E-School Pilot Project conducted within the Center for Applied Psychology of the Department of Psychology. She was also the head of the team at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences as partner of the project Obzor 2020 eConfidence within which two serious games were developed and evaluated. She was also the head of multiple vocational projects at the University of Rijeka. She was the head editor for the magazine Psihologijske teme, and now she is the member of the editorial board for European Journal of Psychology of Education magazine. She was head of the Department of Psychology, a long-term head of the Division of developmental, cognitive and educational psychology, and she acted as Vice Dean for study programs and lifelong education at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Rijeka.
Title of keynote lecture: Contemporary Technology in Learning and Teaching

5Prof. Tena Velki, PhD works as a professor in the area of developmental psychology and as Vice Dean for science at the Faculty of Education in Osijek. She got her degree in psychology in 2008 at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Osijek. She got her PhD in 2012 at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb, and as one of the best PhD students in the country she got a scholarship by Zaklada Adris. In 2015 she got an award from the Faculty of Education for successful work and extraordinary contribution to the work of the Faculty. 2017, award from the CPA 2018 award Marulić: Fiat Psychologia for an especially valuable contribution to the development and promotion of Croatian applied psychology. She participated in over 60 international and domestic scientific and vocational conferences. She published around 40 papers and 6 books. She is the head for the Training Program for Class Assistants for Children with Developmental Disabilities and Persons with Disabilities and Specialist program “Inclusive education”. She has actively researched the area of information security and risky behavior of computer users for the last 5 years. She wrote papers and held lectures on the topic of cyberbullying among peers, the role of online computer games in classes, and she participated in the organization of round table „Technology - easier way to children rights “. Her most significant contribution is the creation of “Users' Information Security Awareness Questionnaire” (UISAQ, Velki & Šolić, 2014),), one of the first in the world to test this problematic. She led an international project “Safer Internet Centre Croatia” for three years, within which she conducted a nation-wide research on risky behavior and knowledge of computer users. As a result of the project she participated in the creation of an online software based on “Users' Information Security Awareness Questionnaire” (UISAQ), with which computer users, based on their age group, can get an evaluation of their own risks during online activities. She is also the head editor of Handbook for Information Security and Privacy (Velki & Šolić, 2018)

Title of keynote lecture: Risky Behavior of Computer Users in the Digital World
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Organizer - Croatian Psychological Association
Co-organizers -  Croatian Psychological Chamber | Društvo psihologa Varaždin
Društvo psihologa Primorsko-goranske županije | Društvo Krapinsko – zagorske županije
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