Current Research

Ministry of Children and Youth Services Grant

The main objectives of the research synthesis are to:

1) Systematically identify and review best-practice/evidence-based prevention programs and strategies for mental health issues in school-age children (ages 6-18). Programs that target Aboriginal children and adolescents will be highlighted. Information will be systematically gathered to describe effective models of collaboration across children`s mental health services and education systems that contributed to the success of the programs. Secondary outcomes include identifying the challenges and gaps within these models; where services intersect, complement, and are distinct; as well as the impact of these collaborations on health, social, and labour markets.

2) Keeping in line with the MCYS five core strategic goals, this project will identify and describe the educational outcomes associated with best-practice mental health prevention programs.

3) Identify and describe best-practice strategies for successful mental health prevention programs to support decision-making throughout mental health and education services. Identify research and service gaps in the area as well.

Systematic review of the role of eating disturbances in the emergence of adolescent depression: implications for prevention

A review paper examining the literature on the prospective relationship between eating-related disturbances and depression in adolescents. A major goal of the paper is to critically evaluate current theories of adolescent depression and use findings from the literature to update relevant theoretical models.

Predictors of adolescent engagement and well-being in substance use treatment

The current study is focused on a substance use intervention program that follows a strength-based cognitive-behavioural model, which incorporates each individual's personal strengths into his or her treatment program. Though adolescent engagement has been shown to lead to more successful recovery, there is a paucity of research examining factors that may predict adolescent engagement in substance use programs. The goal of the current study is to identify individual and contextual factors that positively influence adolescent engagement in a strength-based substance use intervention program and to determine how these factors are related to treatment outcomes over time.

The longitudinal impact of family factors on the development of internalizing behaviours among immigrant adolescents.*

Previous research looking at the impact of immigrant status on adolescent well-being has been inconsistent. We expect that family factors, such as family structure and cohesiveness, will buffer the relationship between immigrant status and psychopathology. Using data collected as part of the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth, this study will explore the moderational effect of various family factors and subsequent mood disturbances, particularly internalizing behaviours, among immigrant adolescents.

The development of eating-related disturbances and their role in the emergence of depression in a Canadian community sample of adolescents.*

To date, no large community studies have been conducted to examine the prospective relationship between eating-related disturbances and depression in adolescents. Using Statistics Canada`s National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth, our study will investigate the relationship between eating-related disturbances (e.g., body dissatisfaction, dieting, other attempts at losing weight) and the emergence of depression in young, middle, and older adolescents, as well as emerging adults. Emphasis will also be placed on identifying the developmental trajectories of specific eating-related disturbances.

*Project is using information from the NLSCY survey