Informed by my clinical and research training and experience, my program of work examines the independent and intersecting experiences of child maltreatment and mental health concerns among children and adolescents. I have a special interest in child emotional abuse, child exposure to intimate partner violence, and child and adolescent eating disorders.
I am also interested in how the experiences of child maltreatment and eating disorders differ across children and adolescents who identify with various gender identities, as well as the extent to which these experiences differ between Indigenous and non-Indigenous (e.g. 1st generation, 2nd generation, and multi-generation Canadian) families. Child maltreatment is a serious public health concern that can have lasting impacts on individual, familial and community well-being. Establishing a successful program of research in this area requires a multidisciplinary approach and partnerships that integrate clinical and research expertise in child maltreatment, child and adolescent development, implementation science and mental health; as well as the use of applied clinical and population-based research methods.
The Offord Centre for Child Studies at McMaster University is an internationally respected, clinically-oriented, and evidence-based research institute that offers an exceptional platform from which to cultivate these partnerships and address my research objectives; the latter of which are: (1.) to determine the risk and protective factors, as well as outcomes for child maltreatment, intimate partner violence and mental health concerns among children and adolescents; (2.) to support health and social service providers to safely and confidently identify and respond to suspicions and disclosures of child maltreatment (including exposure to intimate partner violence) when working with children and adolescents with mental health concerns; and (3.) to identify, evaluate, and disseminate evidence-informed preventative interventions for child maltreatment, intimate partner violence and mental disorders among children and adolescents.
With a PhD in Health Research Methodology, it likely comes as no surprise that I am a firm believer in using the best available research method to address the research question – and more importantly, that the research question should drive the research method that is selected. Given that child and adolescent mental health and child maltreatment are complex, multifaceted phenomena, I would argue that research in these areas requires an appreciation for integrating qualitative and quantitative research methods - termed mixed methods research.
I firmly believe in the responsible use of secondary data analysis and have extensive experience with: quantitative and quantitative evidence reviews and synthesis; fundamental qualitative description; interpretive description; large-scale, cross-sectional, epidemiological surveys; and more recently, case-study methodology. I teach and consult on the utilization of mixed method research designs, qualitative research methods and analysis, structural equation modelling, as well as logistic and multinomial logistic multi-level modelling.
Summary of Research Productivity
Peer-reviewed articles: 30
Peer-reviewed presentations: 45
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