Department of Psychology

Department of Psychology

Danielle Molnar, PhD (Brock University)
Adjunct Faculty, Department of Psychology


My research interests lie within the social psychology of health and well-being. Within this framework, I am involved in two programs of research. The first pertains to psychosocial factors related to health and well-being, with a particular focus on perfectionism. The second program of research is focused on health-related behaviour, espeically substance use and abuse.

In accordance with the WHO's (1946) definition of health and the recent zeitgeist of positive psychology, which is aimed at understanding how individuals function under 'normal' conditions and how people flourish, my work tends to focus on subjective health status and subjective well-being; however, my program of research has expanded to include more objective measures of health as well. One of the underlying research questions in my research is whether perfectionism can be beneficial as well as detrimental in terms of health and well-being. I am presently conducting a series of studies with samples of students, people from the general community, couples, and people who have been diagnosed with chronic illnesses, aimed at understanding the construct of perfectionism and specifically examining its relationship with both physical and mental health. Some of the questions that my research addresses are; (1) Is there an optimal level of perfectionism in terms of health and well-being? (2) Is there an optimal profile or pattern of perfectionism in terms of health and well-being? (3) Are the specific dimensions of perfectionism differentially related to health, such that one form may be more adaptive than others? (4) What are the primary mechanisms linking individual differences in perfectionism to health and well-being? and (5) What factors influence the relationship between perfectionism and health?

With regard to health-related behaviours, I am particularly interested in substance use. I have examined etiological factors associated with problem drinking in both clinical and non-clinical samples. My work has also focused on the impact of mothers and fathers' substance use on their parenting and their children's development from infancy to early adolescence. Most recently, I have begun to explore the consequences of alcohol use, particularly the positive consequences. This is an important, yet neglected area of research, as it has implications for how we conceptualize alcohol use and has direct implications for intervention efforts.


Molnar, D. S. & Sadava, S. W., Flett, G. L., & Colautti, J. (in press). Perfectionism and health: Examining the roles of stress, health-related behaviours, and social support. Psychology & Health.

Flett, G. L., Molnar, D. S., Nepon, T., & Hewitt, P. L. (in press). A mediational model of automatic perfectionistic thoughts and health: The roles of negative affect and daily hassles. Personality and Individual Differences.

Nepon, T., Flett, G. L., Hewitt, P.L, & Molnar, D.S. (2011). Perfectionism, negative social feedback, and interpersonal rumination in depression and social anxiety. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 43, 297-308.

Eiden, R. D., Molnar, D. S., Leonard, K. E., Colder, C., Homish, G. G., Schuetze, P., & Connors, G. (2011). Sources and frequency of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke during pregnancy. Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 13, 653-660.

Perrier, C. P. K., Boucher, R., Etchegary, H., Sadava, S. W., & Molnar, D. S. (2010). The utility of attachment orientation and social support in predicting traumatic distress. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 42, 71-79.

Finger, B., Kachadourian, L., Molnar, D. S., Eiden, R. D., Edwards, E., & Leonard, K. (2010). Alcoholism, associated risk factors and harsh parenting among fathers: The role of marital aggression. Addictive Behaviors, 35, 541-548.

Molnar, D. S., Sadava, S. W., DeCourville, N. H., & Perrier, C. P. K (2010). Attachment, motivations, and alcohol: Testing a dual-path model of high-risk drinking and adverse consequences in transitional clinical and student samples. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 42, 1-13.

Sadava, S. W., Busseri, M., Molnar, D. S., Perrier, C. P. K., DeCourville, N. H. (2009) Investigating a four-pathway model of attachment orientation and health. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 26, 604-633.

Molnar, D. S., Busseri, M., Perrier, C. P. K., & Sadava, S. (2009). A longitudinal examination of alcohol use and subjective well-being in an undergraduate sample. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 70, 704-713.

Eiden, R. D., Molnar, D. S., Colder, C., Edwards, E., & Leonard, K (2009). A conceptual model predicting anxiety in middle childhood among children of alcoholic and non-alcoholic fathers: The role of marital aggression. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 70, 741-750.

Busseri, M., Sadava, S. W., Molnar, D. S., & DeCourville, N. H. (2009). A person-centered approach to subjective well-being, Journal of Happiness Studies, 10, 161-181.

Molnar, D. S., Reker, D. L., Culp, N. A., Sadava, S. W., & DeCourville, N. H. (2006). A mediated model of perfectionism, affect, and physical health. Journal of Research in Personality, 40(5), 482-500.

Gibson, E. S., Powles, P. A. C., Thabane, L., O’Brien, S., Molnar, D. S., Trajanovic, N., Ogilvie, R. O., Shapiro, C., Yan, M., & Chilcott-Tanser, L. (2006). “Sleepiness” is serious in adolescence: Two surveys of 3235 Canadian students. BMC Public Health, 6:116.

Danielle Molnar
Danielle Molnar