Child and Adolescent Research & Education


CARE Research 


CARE is currently working on a number of research projects to help us learn more about the social-emotional, relational, and cognitive development of children, youth, and emerging adults. 

    • Cyber-aggression and Cyber-victimization

      In the last couple of years, “cyberbullying” has received much attention in Canada as tragic stories about victims of cyberbullying have appeared in the news. With this two year study, Dr. Law and her research team hope to improve our understanding by exploring how young people decide whether a message received on the Internet was meant to be harmful. This study aims to understand how young people make sense of the messages they receive. The findings of this study will be used to advance our scientific understanding of online aggression and help develop new tools that help young people safely use technology to communicate with others.

      Importantly, this work is funded by a Social and Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC IDG) grant and is done in collaboration with Dr. Jennifer Shapka from the University of British Columbia, Dr, Kevin Runions from Telethon Kids, Australia, and Dr. Debra Pepler from York University, Ontario.

    • Longitudinal Trajectories of Depressive Symptoms through the Transition from Post-secondary Education into the Workforce: The Influence of Social Supports and Employment Characteristics

      In this study we examine changes in depressive symptoms as young adults transition into the workforce, and assess how this is influenced by employment quality and access to social support. As young adults attempt to transition into the workforce, the failure to obtain full-time, long-term employment in their field can have negative consequences on mental health. In Canada, this link between depression and the transition to work is complicated by provincial differences in unemployment rates. As a result, many young adults must choose between leaving their communities and supports to pursue their career goals, or remaining connected to their support system and facing the prospect of unemployment or taking any kind of work that is available. This study elucidates the links between mental health, employment and social supports during this developmental period, but also examines whether these relationships vary by sex and geographic region.

      With gratitude, this work is funded by a Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) grant and is done in collaboration with Dr. Jose Domene of the University of New Brunswick and Dr. Rubab Arim from Statistics Canada.

    • CyberKids

      Kids spend a large amount of time online socializing with friends and acquaintances. Indeed, communication technologies allow teenagers to be in near constant connection with their peers. However, with this connectedness comes an increased risk of being exposed to cyberbullying, as well as privacy concerns related to disclosure of personal information online. This longitudinal research explores how parents and peer relationships may be influencing these more adverse aspects of online socializing. Ideally this research will help ensure that the Internet, which is now a ubiquitous aspect of daily life, is a safe space for all children and youth.

      With much appreciation, this research is funded by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and the Canadian Institute for Health Research and is done in collaboration with Dr. Jennifer Shapka from the University of British Columbia and Dr. Teena Willoughby from Brock University.

    • Internet Socialization Among Emerging Adults

      In order to properly determine the best way to combat cyberbullying/victimization, research on the driving forces and predictors of this kind of aggression is imperative. To date, emerging research on cyberbullying/victimization has surfaced for adolescents; however, little to no work has examined this phenomenon among emerging adults who have recently left their parents’ home and are now free to make decisions around responsible internet use on their own. This proposed work aims to address this gap in the literature by examining some of the individual (e.g. self-esteem, anxiety), peer, and parental influences that might predict cyberbullying/victimization among emerging adults.

      With thanks, this work is made possible by a Wilfrid Laurier Short Term Research Grant.

    • Bullying in Everyday Situations

      Our previous research has found that 92% of our first year students have been a part of cyberbullying incidences in the past 6 months. Anecdotal evidence suggests that these bullying situations might be triggered by everyday conflict situations; however, no empirical work has yet fully examined this hypothesis. The purpose of this project is to more fully understand the underlying reasons, motivations, and intentions for cyber(bullying) among Emerging Adults, to examine how this form of aggression is impacting the mental health and academic achievement of our students and to gain insight on what can be done to better support our students.

      This project would not be possible without the support of a Wilfrid Laurier Internal Grant.

    • Why Not YOUTH

      Details for this study are forthcoming

    • Ontario Child Health Study, Marginalized Youth and Resilience

      Details for this study are forthcoming