Research Areas by Faculty

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Our department houses some of the top researchers in the their field. There are many opportunities for students to get involved in research. Use the Search below to browse research areas by Faculty

I have two lines of research:

1. Attachment-related emotional, cognitive and social interactive processes in childhood and adulthood: I am interested in developing and improving measures to assess parental sensitivity, parental disrupted caregiving, parental socialization of children's emotions, and children's representations of attachment. I am also interested in how a parent’s history of childhood maltreatment affects their parenting behaviour, the parent-child relationship, and the child’s subsequent emotional development. 

2. Assessing self-compassion: Self-compassion is commonly thought to involve three components: mindful awareness of our actual experience; treating the self kindly (as we would treat a good friend); and realizing that we are not alone, but rather, the difficult experiences we have are shared by many others. It has been strongly associated with positive mental health outcomes. Whereas self-compassion is typically assessed using a questionnaire, I am interested in understanding and observing it as a process that occurs in real time. 

Self-compassion; attachment; trauma history and symptoms; parent-child relational processes; socio-emotional development; assessment; mental health and well-being 

Research Areas: attachment, Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, emotion, maltreatment, parent-child relationships
Accepting New Experiential Learning Students: No

My research program examines non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) and related mental health difficulties among youth and emerging adults. Central to my research approach is the use of the Internet as a research platform and outreach tool. In this regard, my research investigates: a) online NSSI communication, b) ways to increase youth’s access to online NSSI resources, c) NSSI recovery experiences, and d) ways to enhance knowledge and training of those who can support youth who struggle with NSSI and other mental health difficulties. 

Research Areas: adolescent, Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, research-practice, resilience and identity, science & technology, self-injury
Accepting New Experiential Learning Students: No

Positive Clinical Psychology, Youth Strengths & Resilience, Child/Adolescent Depression, Childhood Maltreatment, Cognitive Schemas

Research Areas: adolescent, Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, health and well-being, positive psychology, resilience and identity

C. Meghan McMurtry is an Associate Professor in Psychology at the University of Guelph, director of the Pediatric Pain, Health, and Communication Lab, and a Clinical and Health Psychologist with the Pediatric Chronic Pain Program at McMaster Children’s Hospital. She is an Adjunct Research Professor in Paediatrics at Western University and an Associate Scientist at the Children’s Health Research Institute. Dr. McMurtry’s research and clinical interests focus on acute and chronic pain, medical procedure-related fear, as well as communication and family influences in these contexts. Author of >100 peer reviewed publications and op-ed pieces in media outlets including the New York Times and the Globe and Mail, her research has been funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, Public Health Agency of Canada, and Genome Canada, among others. Dr. McMurtry was the Co-Principal Investigator and an Evidence Lead on the national Help Eliminate Pain in Kids and Adults Team which created two clinical practice guidelines regarding vaccination pain and needle fear management; aspects from the pain management guideline were endorsed for vaccinations worldwide by the World Health Organization (WHO). She is a member of the CARDTM scientific team; the CARD framework makes the pain management guideline actionable. Dr. McMurtry was the sole psychologist on the small subcommittee for the WHO’s Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety tasked with creating guidance on immunization stress-related responses. She also served as the sole psychologist on the 25 person Guideline Development Group representing 17 countries for the WHO’s Guideline for the Management of Chronic Pain in Children.


Associate Professor, Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Department of Psychology, University of Guelph

Psychologist, Pediatric Chronic Pain Program
McMaster Children's Hospital

Assistant Clinical Professor (Adjunct)
Department of Anesthesia, McMaster University

Associate Scientist
Children's Health Research Institute 

Adjunct Independent Researcher
Department of Paediatrics
Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry
Western University

Pediatric psychology, pediatric procedural pain and fear, parent-child interactions, chronic pain, family influences on children's pain, evidence-based treatment of pediatric procedural pain and needle fear, and training in health.

Research Areas: Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, health and well-being, pain, parent-child relationships, pediatrics/medicine
Accepting New Experiential Learning Students: Yes

I have broad interests in pediatric health psychology (e.g., obesity prevention, eating disorders, stress and coping in children) but my primary area of research focuses on understanding the factors that lead to injuries (e.g., attitudes and beliefs, personality attributes, social-situational context) and developing evidence-based programs to target these determinants and prevent injuries to children and adolescents. I work closely with community organizations who share these goals and can implement these prevention programs on a large scale.  For more information about my research visit my lab website: Child Development Research Unit at

Research Areas: Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, health and well-being, intervention, pediatrics/medicine, risk-taking
Accepting New Experiential Learning Students: Yes

My research focuses on children's emotional development. In particular, I am interested in the ways in which the family system contributes to children's development of (mal)adaptive emotion skills and the role of these emotion skills in child psychopathology. I seek to translate this knowledge to the clinical care context as a means of gaining insight into how treatment approaches might be adapted to maximize therapeutic outcomes for youth.

Research Areas: Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, emotion, parent-child relationships, research-practice