My research interests center around parents and children. My undergraduate research focused on the challenges facing minor female street traders. Through this research I developed a keen interest in how parents relate to their children and the focus of my Master’s thesis is how young Ghanaians learn about sexuality. My Master’s research will explore the experiences of both first and second generation young Ghanaians living in Canada, as well as young Ghanaians living in Ghana. Under the supervision of Dr. Christine Tardif- Williams I will explore the types of communication these young people shared with their parents, and whether they were able to communicate with their family members about sexuality. I will also explore other possible sources of information on the topic of sexuality for young Ghanaians living in both Canada and Ghana. It is hoped that the results of my Master’s thesis will help to create awareness among Ghanaians about the importance of communicating on the topic of sexuality with youth and older children.
Katie’s research interest is in child and youth participation. In particular she is interested in looking at the ways that young people use computers, digital videos, video games, and the internet to participate in political society and become active citizens. With a background in humanities, she hopes to examine how new media technologies have transformed youth from passive voyeurs of media consumerism into active participants and political agents within society. Katie is currently working with her advisor, Rebecca Raby, on an ethnographic research study to examine how teens use online virtual universes to discuss global issues, participate in social action, and to create and sustain digital citizenship. Katie chose to pursue a graduate degree in Child and Youth Studies because she feels passionately about advancing research and practice with children and youth. She strongly believes that children and youth have considerable insight to offer as young people, rather than as merely future adults.
Sue recently returned to university after a long period of working in the field of children’s mental health. While continuing to work, Sue is pursuing her MA part-time, with an interest in studying the area of childhood mental health disorders and evidence-based treatment. She would like to focus her thesis on conduct disorder in children aged 6-13. Under the supervision of Dr. Dawn Zinga, Sue will explore treatment efficacy in manualized interventions, particularly when there are dysfunctional family systems that operate co-morbidly.
Christina comes from an undergraduate background in Psychology with a minor in Criminology from Wilfrid Laurier University. Her research interests focus on issues facing those with intellectual disabilities and mental disorders within the Criminal Justice System. Under the supervision of Dr. Griffiths and Dr. Marinos Christina's master's thesis will examine the experiences of individuals who are Dually Diagnosed in the Criminal Justice System. Specifically she will be interviewing both Criminal Justice Professionals and Mental Health professionals about their perceptions of the experiences of Dually Diagnosed individuals in the Criminal Justice System. With this research Christina hopes to raise a better awareness of the specific disadvantages faced by those with Dual Diagnosis in the Criminal Justice System. She hopes that her research could someday influence the implementation of special accommodations for these specific individuals in the future.
Michelle’s is an avid consumer of popular culture and has dedicated her research to the Disney Empire. Specifically, Michelle is interested in studying the Disney female characters found in Disney films. With an undergraduate degree in Child and Youth studies from Brock University, Michelle is interested in exploring young girl’s engagement with Disney female characters, with the help and guidance of Shauna Pomerantz as her advisor. With the use of critical media literacy, Michelle plans on providing a space for discussion of Disney female characters with young girls to unveil the children’s perspective of Disney characters. Furthermore, the use of critical media literacy will deter from deciding if Disney is either beneficial or detrimental to children, and instead, create a discussion to allow children to become aware of the media they are consuming.
My research project involves looking at university lightweight women's rowing (<59kg) and the ways in which this population constructs their gender and body identity. I contend that through the use of interviews and participant observation I might discover a number of ways in which lightweight women negotiate power over their bodies, as well, I may discover how bodily control is substantiated through the population's performance of specific actions. The research will be conducted using a post-structural qualitative approach. My goal for this research is not only to uncover and discuss these performances, but in the case of possible pathogenic performances (such as the employment of disordered eating behaviours), to also publicly broadcast dangerous aspects of the lightweight women's rowing culture. In addition, by working with women to tell their experiences as petite female athletes, I hope to learn how gender identities are continuously evolving in young people.
My research centers around the social conceptualizations of what it means to be a child and seeks alternative understandings on what childhood is. I will be conducting an ethnography in a favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to see how childhood is understood through a different cultural context then that of North America. This research is important because the ways in which adults view children has certain implications in regards to how we treat, interact and engage with them. These ways of thinking are then reflected in how we create certain policies for children. It also implicates our daily encounters with them, which can compromise their agency and independence as active, social beings.
I hope to gain different lenses for viewing childhood in order to help produce various ways of understanding and working with children. I hope that these lenses will influence the current discourses of childhood in the Western world, and also, influence those discourses in regards to policies and practice for and with children. My research will take a postmodern/postcolonial, social constructivist framework to look at the life of children growing up in favelas in Rio de Janeiro Brazil. It will discuss the influences of colonization of the indigenous peoples and the influences this has on childhood within the favelas today.
Sierra is interested in studying childhood literacy, specifically for children with early reading difficulties. Under the supervision of Dr. John McNamara, Sierra’s Master’s Thesis will study the effects of an emergent literacy program for children at-risk for learning disabilities. In collaboration with the Learning Disabilities Association of Niagara, Sierra will be designing, implementing and assessing the efficacy of a program entitled Reading Rocks Junior for children 4-6 years of age in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The program aims to improve the emergent literacy skills of at-risk children to a level commensurate with their typically developing peers.
Amanda’s research explores the relationship between criminal justice professionals? Perceptions of youth with intellectual disabilities and their sentencing outcomes, with a specific focus on probation sentences. Youth with intellectual disabilities and their treatment within the justice system is an under-researched topic. Specifically, Amanda’s thesis will focus on whether this population is more likely to be interpreted as risky and in need of restrictive conditions
(i.e., curfew, non-association orders) or in need of rehabilitative conditions (i.e. counselling, community service). More broadly Amanda’s research contributes to issues of access to justice, equality, and sentencing, and will aim to make theoretical and policy-related contributions to enhance our understanding of how youth with intellectual disabilities are conceptualized within the criminal justice system in Canada.
Tamara’s goal is to be involved in evidence-based, literacy program development, implementation, and evaluation. With an Hon. B.Sc. degree, specializing in Exceptionality in Human Learning, Psychology, and Biology, followed by over ten years of professional experience dedicated to researching, developing and implementing effective educational approaches, Tamara has long recognized the need for greater networking and integration within the growing knowledge bases of all disciplines. At Brock she has the unique opportunity to be part of a multidisciplinary team of researchers in one of the largest centres for lifespan development research in Canada. It is Tamara’s hope to further promote effective and practical communication within and between the worlds of theory and application.
Ashley’s research interest is in developing programs aimed at supporting vulnerable children - particularly, those children who struggle with learning. In accordance with this interest, for the past three years Ashley has been a tutor and now program facilitator at the Learning Disabilities Association of Niagara (LDAN) in its Soar to Independence and Reading Rocks programs. Ashley’s applied works at the LDAN has advanced the participation of children, youth and adults with learning disabilities in their academic and social life. Ashley plans to broaden her work at the LDAN by focusing her graduate research on how to best support children and youth with learning disabilities in their social and emotional development. Ashley’s proposed graduate research will include partnering with Dr. John McNamara, her thesis advisor, and the LDAN. Ashley’s proposed research will assess the LDAN’s Best Emotional and Social Times (BEST) program efficacy in developing self-advocacy skills of learning disabled children. More specifically, she will measure the sustainability of self-advocacy and social gains as children complete the BEST program. With this research she hopes to support the LDAN in providing data regarding the efficacy of the BEST program, lend support to the general field of learning disabilities pertaining to social and emotional development and effective programming, and finally, support children with learning disabilities to become better advocates for themselves.
Monika is interested in studying issues of mental health, including anxiety and worrying among youth. Under the supervision of Dr. Ayda Tekok-Kilic, Monika’s thesis will explore the role of personality factors in mediating the relationship between worry and intolerance of uncertainty in a non-clinical youth population. There are numerous theoretical and practical implications that Monika hopes will emerge from this study. In terms of theoretical implications the findings will help conceptualize “worry” in terms of clinical implications. Knowing the personality characteristics underlying the relationship between the two constructs will help better predict the possible development of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Also, some personality factors might be protective for excessive worrying. Monika hopes to reveal the information about personality factors that may buffer against extreme worrying in the case of intolerance of uncertainty.
Hafsah is interested in researching the racialized experiences of minority youth within Canada. She is particularly interested in the experiences of identity formation among young South Asian Canadian women. Under the supervision of Dr. Dawn Zinga, her MA Thesis is specifically focusing on narratives through a Critical Race Theory perspective, where she is exploring the representation of South Asian Muslim women within Canadian media. She will also explore her own narrative of growing up in Canada as a racial minority. Hafsah hopes that with her research she can gain a better understanding of hybrid identity formation among minority youth.
Mary’s research interests are focused in the area of bullying and victimization, examining direct and indirect forms of this type of harassment. Specifically Mary is interested in studying adolescent sexual orientation victimization to aid in the development of social service programs for youth and individuals who experience this form of victimization. Under the supervision of Dr. Zopito Marini, Mary’s proposed thesis will examine the nature of risks that are associated with youth sexual orientation, levels of self-acceptance, and levels of support available from family, friends and community. She will examine and propose prevention and intervention strategies that can be implemented to reduce and eliminate bullying and specifically cyberbullying on the basis of sexual orientation.
Connie's research is part of a larger SSHRC-funded project led by her supervisor Dr. Dawn Zinga, as part of the Student Success Research Consortium. Formed by community service providers, community members, and Brock faculty the Consortium investigates Aboriginal student success within the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. Connie will be looking at Aboriginal student success through an autoethnographic exploration. She would really like to bring awareness to how successful research can be when intertwined with Indigenous research methods. Connie will be drawing from the work of many Indigenous scholars such as Smith (1999), Wilson (2008), and Archibald (2008).
After a period of working in the field of rights of the children without parental care in Bangladesh, Ishrat recently returned to university. Highly motivated by the concept family is the best place for the children?, Ishrat would like to focus her thesis on the immigrant children in Canada who come unattended. Under the supervision of Dr Tom O’Neill, she is interested to examine the changes that take place throughout the life of these children who come to Canada without their parents. With a background in Public Administration, she intends to reflect the policy issues on the protection and development of these children. Ishrat hopes to reveal the information about these unattended immigrant children which would be considered by the policy makers and community workers for the best interest of these children.