CCMHC-uOttawa Research

Crossroads signed a memorandum of agreement in October 2019 with the University of Ottawa to carry out collaborative research initiatives. We are very pleased to work with this team of experienced researchers and students from the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, including: Dr. David Smith, Ph. D., C. Psych., Professor; Dr. Jessica Whitley, Vice-Dean and Professor of Inclusive Education in the Facility of Education; and Dr. Maria Rogers, Ph.D., C. Psych., Clinical Psychologist and Professor in the Department of Psychology at Carleton University.

CURRENT RESEARCH:  Crossroads Children’s Mental Health Centre (CCMHC) and the uOttawa/Carleton University Research Team.

The Impact of Family Factors on Bullying Involvement

With the increasing rates of bullying combined with the deleterious effect on child development and mental health, understanding the underlying factors involved in bullying behaviour is critical (World Health Organization, 2008). Although family factors including parenting skill, attachment, and cohesion have been identified as risk factors, only a limited number of intervention programs have been adapted to reflect our understanding. Since bullying has been found to cause mental health problems, and mental health problems have been found to influence bullying involvement it is paramount that well-being is taken into account when examining the link between family factors and bullying (Kumpulainen, Räsänen, & Puura, 2001; Singham et al., 2017). Using a cross-sectional study design this study explores the relationship between bullying and mental health on bully in 160 children who had sought services from CCMHC. Descriptive statistics, an analysis of variance, and mediating and moderating regression analyses were run on and the pre-collected dataset. By contributing to the literature about the links between socioenvironmental factors and school bullying, the findings of this study can inform prevention programs about the role that families play in long-term solutions to bullying.

A Descriptive Glance at School Problematic Behaviours in Children Seeking Mental Health Treatment

Problematic and disruptive behaviours are becoming increasingly apparent in Ontario elementary schools. Given this trend, the present brief report seeks to describe a unique sample of children who present problem behaviours at school and are seeking mental health services from CCMHC. Descriptive and correlational analyses were conducted to provide a clearer understanding of the demographic characteristics of this sample of children, as well as possible underlying mental health factors that may contribute to their experiences. Findings indicate key demographic patterns within the sample and the significant role of anxiety and impulsivity in understanding disruptive behaviours at school. Implications and possible suggestions are discussed regarding how key stakeholders, such as educators and school psychologists, can make use of these findings within their school contexts.

Exploring Educational Experiences Surrounding the School Attendance Problems of Children Seeking Mental Health Services: A Mixed-Methods Case Study

School attendance problems are a concern across Canadian educational systems, with higher rates of such problems existing among children with mental health needs. Prior educational research has explored variables related to attendance problems among the general child population. However, significantly less research has sought a deep contextual understanding of the educational experiences of children receiving mental health services who are facing attendance problems, including qualitative and longitudinal studies. To address this gap, this mixed-methods case study explores the individual characteristics and educational experiences of 33 children who received mental health services at CCMHC. Quantitative data collected from the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) is used to describe participant’s age, sex and mental health needs. Qualitative data drawn from client files is analyzed thematically to explore educational elements that surround participants’ experiences with attendance problems, guided by the Kids and Teens at School (KiTeS) Framework (Melvin et al., 2019). Results are examined as a whole to promote a deepened understanding of children’s experiences/circumstances, better inform prevention/intervention strategies and promote more positive school experiences.

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