Christine Tardif-Williams, Ph.D.

Faculty of Social Sciences - Child and Youth Studies

Christine Tardif-Williams, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
CRN - 326
(905) 688-5550 ext. 4557

Dr. Tardif-Williams is a developmental psychologist whose main research interests include parenting and the quality of parent-child interactions, with a particular emphasis on parent-adolescent conflict. Her other research interests include the influence of acculturation on the quality of parent-child communication, trauma and abuse in the lives of children and youth, and the impact of companion animals on the socio-emotional lives of children and youth. Dr. Tardif-Williams is currently conducting research that employs both quantitative and qualitative methodologies to examine two areas of study: 1) the impact of immigration and acculturation on the quality of relationships among Chinese-Canadian immigrant families, and 2) the impact of children’s experiences with companion animals on their understanding of the mental worlds (e.g., thoughts, emotions, intentions) of self and others (e.g., parents’, peers’), including companion animals. This latter research project reflects Dr. Tardif-Williams’ burgeoning interest in the nature of children’s relationships with animals.

Research Interests

• Parent-child communication, attachment relationships and conflict
• The impact of acculturation on family relationships
• The role of companion animals in the lives of children and youth (e.g., the child-animal bond and animal/child abuse, empathy, mental health and coping, and disabilities and therapy)
• Child maltreatment; trauma and abuse in the lives of children and youth
• Rights and children and youth who have disabilities

Teaching Interests

Dr. Tardif-Williams currently teaches CHYS 3P09 – Culture and the Mental Health of Children and Youth, 4V08 – Companion Animals in the Lives of Children and Youth, CHYS 4P50 – Trauma and Abuse in the Lives of Children and Youth, and 5N01 – Professional Seminar in CHYS Master’s Program.

Niagara Parenting Conference Information 

Dr. Tardif-Williams has chaired the organizing committee for the Niagara Parenting Conference. This conference is organized by the Brock University Department of Child and Youth Studies and the Faculty of Social Sciences, in collaboration with the Niagara Region Public Health Department, the Ontario Early Years Centres, the Niagara Health System, and the Early Childhood Community Development Centre, to satisfy community demand for information pertaining to parenting and family relationships. Past keynote speakers include Barbara Coloroso, author of Kids are Worth It, Dr. Umesh Jain, an expert on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Ms. Mary Gordon, founder of Roots of Empathy, Dr. Jean Clinton, an expert on promoting health and resilience within families, and Dr. Karyn Gordon, an expert on understanding today’s youth. The organizing committee has also brought together University and community parenting experts to lead workshops on specific child and youth issues.

(A representative sample of scholarly achievements)

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles & Book Chapters

Tardif-Williams, C. Y., & Fisher, L. (2009). Clarifying the link between acculturation experiences and parent-child relationships among families in cultural transition: The promise of contemporary critiques of acculturation psychology. International Journal of Intercultural Relations: Special Issue on Critical Acculturation Psychology, 33(2), 150-161.

Owen, F., Tardif-Williams, C. Y., Tarulli, T., McQueen-Fuentes, G., Feldman, M., Sales, C., Stoner, K., Gosse, L., Griffiths, G. (2008). Human rights for children and youth with developmental disabilities. In T. O’Neill & D. Zinga (Eds.), Children's Rights: Theory, Policy and Practice (pp. 267-318). Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Tardif-Williams, C. Y., Trent-Kratz, M., & Donato, K. (2008). Rights and education. In F. Owen, & D. Griffiths (Eds.), Challenges to the human rights of people with intellectual disabilities (pp. 240-262). London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Owen, F., Julien, M., Sales, C., Tardif-Williams, C. Y., Vyrostko, B. & Stoner, K. (2008). Ensuring rights: Systematic and educational approaches. In F. Owen, & D. Griffiths (Eds.), Challenges to the human rights of people with intellectual disabilities (pp. 263-279). London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Tardif-Williams, C. Y., Owen, F., Feldman, M., Tarulli, D., Griffiths, D., Sales, C., McQueen-Fuentes, G., & Stoner, K. (2007). Comparison of interactive computer-based and classroom training on human rights awareness in persons with intellectual disabilities. Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities, 42(1), 48-58.

Tardif-Williams, C. Y., & Williams, S. D. (2007). Cross-cultural differences in authoritarian parenting practices between nonimmigrant and Chinese-Canadian immigrant mothers: Conceptual and methodological considerations. In D. Zinga (Ed.), Navigating Multiculturalism: Negotiating Change, (pp. 352-374). Cambridge Scholars Press: Newcastle, UK.

Tardif, C. Y., & Geva, E. (2006). The link between acculturation disparity and conflict among Chinese-Canadian immigrant mother-adolescent dyads. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 37, 191-211.

Tarulli, D., Tardif, C. Y., Griffiths, D., Owen, F., McQueen-Fuentes, G., Feldman, M., Sales, C., & Stoner, K. (2004). Human rights and persons with intellectual disabilities: Historical, pedagogical and philosophical considerations. Encounters on Education, 5, 161-181.

Wiener, J., & Tardif, C. Y. (2004). Social and emotional functioning of children with learning disabilities: Does special education placement make a difference? Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 19, 20-32.

Griffiths, D., Owen, F., Gosse, L., Stoner, K., Tardif, C. Y., Watson, S., et al. (2003). Human rights: A method for a community-based organization self-evaluation. Journal on Developmental Disabilities, 10, 25-42.

Owen, F., Griffiths, D., Stoner, K., Gosse, L., Watson, S., Tardif, C. Y., et al. (2003). Multi-level human rights training: The first step to changing systems. Journal on Developmental Disabilities, 10, 43-64.

Schneider, B., Atkinson, L., & Tardif, C. (2001). Parent-child attachment and children’s peer relations: A quantitative review, Developmental Psychology, 37, 86-100.

Academic and Professional Conference Presentations

Over 40 peer-reviewed presentations (paper & poster) at regional, national and international conferences (e.g., International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development, Society for Research in Child Development, Canadian Psychological Association, American Psychological Association, On New Shores: Understanding Immigrant Children in North America, Multicultural Days Conference, National Association for Dual Diagnosis).