Child Maltreatment Research Team
The Childhood Maltreatment Research Team is led by Dr. Tracie Afifi, Associate Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, and includes eight members at both the Masters and PhD levels. The Child Maltreatment Research Team uses quantitative statistical approaches to study the relationships between child maltreatment (physical punishment, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, emotional neglect, physical neglect, and exposure to intimate partner violence) and mental and physical health outcomes across the lifespan. The overall goal of the Child Maltreatment Research Team is to prevent child maltreatment and thereby change a child’s trajectory, improve health, and strengthen families. To reach this goal, the Child Maltreatment Research Team works towards four objectives: 1) to understand the size and scope of child maltreatment using nationally-representative data; 2) to identify protective factors associated with decreased likelihood of child maltreatment; 3) to develop new evidence-based intervention strategies or modify existing programs; and 4) to evaluate new or modified intervention strategies and programs to determine effectiveness in preventing child maltreatment and associated mental and physical health impairment. 

The Childhood Maltreatment Research Team is affiliated with the Manitoba Population Mental Health Research Group.


OUR TEAM:
(click to jump to a specific bio)


Dr. Tracie Afifi, PhD

2000-2003, Master of Science, Family Social Sciences, University of Manitoba, “Child Physical Abuse and Adolescent Motherhood”

2004-2009, Doctorate of Philosophy, Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, “Problem Gambling among Women in Canada”

Tracie Afifi


Dr. Afifi received her Bachelor of Science (BSc) in 1999 and her Master of Science (MSc) in 2003 at the University of Manitoba. Her MSc thesis research focused on the relationship between child physical abuse and adolescent motherhood. In 2009, she completed her Doctorate in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba. Her dissertation research examined problem gambling among women in Canada. Following her PhD, Dr. Afifi did a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) post-doctoral fellowship studying behavioral-genetics analysis of posttraumatic stress disorder at the University of Regina and the University of British Columbia. Dr. Afifi joined the faculty in the Department of Community Health Sciences with a cross appointment in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Manitoba in 2010. In 2014, she was promoted to Associate Professor and in 2016 was granted tenure.

Dr. Afifi has developed two primary research interests in the areas of child maltreatment (including child abuse, neglect, physical punishment, and exposure to intimate partner violence) and problem gambling. She has used population-based data from Canada, the United States, and the Netherlands to investigate mental and physical health correlates of both family violence and problem gambling. Dr. Afifi has published over 90 peer-reviewed journal publications and presented research findings in over 105 national and international conference proceedings. Dr. Afifi has participated in over 100 media interviews for print, radio, television, and social media resulting in over 1,500 known worldwide news stories. With regard to child maltreatment, Dr. Afifi is interested in studying mental and physical health correlates of physical punishment, protective factors related to resilience following child maltreatment, and effective child maltreatment interventions. In the area of problem gambling, Dr. Afifi is interested in studying gender differences related to problem gambling, the incidence of problem gambling and trends over time, the impact of parental gambling problems on children, and the relationship between family violence and problem gambling.

Awards and Recognitions
2013-2018 CIHR New Investigator Award
2013 Merit Award in Research from the University of Manitoba
2013 Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children, Children’s Rights Support Award
2014 RH Award from the University of Manitoba and the Winnipeg Rh Institute Foundation
2016 CBC Manitoba Future 40
2017 Member of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC), College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists


Tamara Taillieu, MSc

2008-2011 Master of Science, Family Social Sciences, “The Impact of Aggressive Parental Disciplinary Strategies Implemented in Childhood on Externalizing and Internalizing Problem Behaviour in Early Adulthood”

2011- present Doctorate of Philosophy, Applied Health Sciences Program, “Violence and Pregnancy: Pregnancy, Maternal, and Child Outcomes from Birth to 5-Years Post-Delivery”

Tamara TaillieuI am a PhD Candidate in the Applied Health Sciences Doctoral Program, a graduate student member of the Manitoba Population Health Research Group, and a sessional instructor at the University of Manitoba.  My teaching responsibilities have included classes on family violence, children living in adversity, and violence prevention.

My research interests include the effects of child maltreatment, intimate partner violence, and other traumatic events on physical and mental health across the lifespan.  I am also currently working on a number of projects examining the influence of various types of trauma on military personnel and first responder mental health and well-being. 

As a Student Research Assistant with the Child Maltreatment Research Team, I have been involved in all aspects of the research process including coding and statistical analyses using several large, epidemiological datasets; drafting and editing manuscripts for publication; and involvement in the design and implementation of primary data collection in Manitoba.

Graduate Awards and Recognitions
2017 Research Manitoba Health Research Postdoctoral Fellowship Award (Declined)
2016 CHRIM Silver Award for PhD Student Research Poster
2015 Evelyn Shapiro Award for Health Services Research
2015 Graduate Student Thesis Award in the Area of Child Development
2015 Marion Vaisey-Genser Graduate Award
2011 Manitoba Graduate Scholarship (Doctoral)
2011 University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship (Doctoral)
2010 Alfred Rea Tucker Memorial Scholarship
2009 SSHRC Canada Graduate Student Master’s Scholarship
2008 Manitoba Graduate Scholarship (Master’s)
2008 University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship (Master’s) (Declined)
2008 Faculty of Human Ecology Program Medal (Family Social Sciences)
2008 Shirley Joy Hechter Memorial Award


Kristene Cheung, MA

2013-2015 Master of Arts, Clinical Psychology, “Parental Psychopathology in Families of Children with ADHD: A Meta-Analysis.

2015-present Doctorate of Philosophy, Clinical Psychology, “The Relationship Between Paternal Depression and Family Outcomes: Meta-Analyses on Child, Parenting, And Marital Outcomes.

Kristene Chung

I am a third-year PhD Student in the Clinical Psychology Training Program at the University of Manitoba. My research interests include child maltreatment, parental psychopathology, and developmental psychopathology. I have worked as a Student Research Assistant under the supervision of Dr. Tracie Afifi since Spring 2013 and am currently working on a few studies examining factors related to better mental health following child maltreatment.

As Student Research Assistant, I have been involved in several components of the research process including coding and statistical analyses, drafting and editing manuscripts, and participating in the design of a primary data collection in Manitoba.


Graduate Awards and Recognitions
2017    Elizabeth Munsterberg Koppitz Child Psychology Graduate Student Fellowship
2017    Psychology Graduate Student STAR Award
2015    SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship
2015    University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship (UMGF; declined)
2015    Alumni Clinical Psychology Student Research Award
2015    Tri-Council Top-Up Award
2015    Faculty of Arts Endowment Fund
2014    SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship
2014    Tri-Council Top-Up Award   
2014    University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship (UMGF; declined)
2014    Canadian Soroptimist Grants for Women
2014    Women's Health Research Foundation of Canada Scholarship
2014    Direct Aid to Achieve Award
2014    Department of Psychology Student Support Award
2013    Faculty of Graduate Studies Special Awards Fund    
2013    HOPE Award
2013    Mattie Hanna Scholarship 


Sarah Turner, MSc

2013-2016, Master of Science, Community Health Sciences, “Examining the Relationship Between Infant Feeding and Child Hyperactivity/ Inattention in a Canadian Sample”

Sarah_Turner

In 2016, I graduated from the department of Community Health Sciences with a Master’s of Science. I currently work full time as a Research Associate with Dr. Tracie Afifi and Dr. Jitender Sareen on a variety of research projects focusing on mental health. 

I am interested in early childhood experiences and how they relate to later health outcomes. I am interested in prevention and promotion and how positive health in childhood can lead to positive health in adulthood. I am also interested in other individual-level protective factors that can improve mental health such as exercise, self-compassion, goal setting and motivation.
My role on the Childhood Maltreatment Research Team includes developing surveys for primary data collection, preparing ethics submissions, developing research questions, conducing statistical analysis, interpreting findings, writing, editing and contributing to peer-reviewed publications, presenting findings at academic conferences and mentoring students on the research team.

Graduate Awards and Recognitions
2015 University of Manitoba Graduate Student Association Award
2015 The Faculty of Graduate Studies Travel Award
2015 The Graduate Student’s Association Travel Award
2015 The Community Health Sciences Travel Award
2014 Western Regional Training Centre (WRCT) Scholarship
2014 Statistics Canada Research Data Centre (RDC) Graduate Research Award


Janique Fortier, MSc

2015-2017, Master of Science, Community Health Sciences, “The Early Development Instrument (EDI) in Manitoba: Linking School Readiness in Kindergarten to Grade 7 and 8 School Outcomes ”
 
I am a graduate student in the final year of the Master of Science in Community Health Sciences program. My research interests are broad ranging from mental health, childhood experiences, to all things related to population health and health equity. My experience with the Childhood Maltreatment Research Team as a Student Research Assistant has allowed me to wear many hats, including: coding and analyzing large and representative datasets, helping to design a primary data collection, literature reviews, and writing for publishing in peer-review journals.

Graduate Awards and Recognitions
2016 Evelyn Shapiro Award for Health Services Research
2016 Research Manitoba/ University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship Master’s Studentship
2015 Western Regional Training Centre Fellowship


Katelin McDermott, BA

2014-present, Master of Science, Community Health Sciences, “Evaluation of Rule-based De-identification Approaches on Unstructured Electronic Medical Record Data ”

I am in my final year of the Master of Science in Community Health Sciences program while working full time at Manitoba eHealth. My background includes evaluation of programs aimed to support children and vulnerable populations, informing the development of social and health services, monitoring and analysis of telemedicine services, and experience as a Medical Assistant. In my current role as a Program Analyst with Manitoba eHealth, I support leveraging health information technology (HIT) to advance provincial initiatives in primary care, with a focus on electronic medical record data quality and optimization.
I have a special interest in maximizing the benefits of HIT solutions, including use of data for secondary purposes, and putting research into practice; however, research focused on women and/or the impact of early childhood experiences will always pique my interest!

As a Student Research Assistant with the Child Maltreatment Research Team, I manage data collection for a study examining the correlation between childhood experience, gambling, and mindfulness in women. My role includes completing the data analysis and preparing the final research report.

Graduate Awards and Recognitions


Samantha Salmon, BA

2015-present, Master of Science, Community Health Sciences

I am a Student Research Assistant with the Childhood Maltreatment Research Team and am in my second year of the Master of Science in Community Health Sciences program, with a focus on applied biostatistics. While earning a Bachelor of Arts in Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University, I developed research interests in mental health, child and youth development, and strategies to prevent child maltreatment.
Before arriving at University of Manitoba, I worked as a Student Research Assistant for the BC Healthy Connections Project in the Children’s Health Policy Centre at Simon Fraser University and as the Evaluation Analyst at Mosaic Primary Care Network in Calgary, AB.

Within the Childhood Maltreatment Research Team, I assist with literature reviews, data analysis, interpretation, and preparation of manuscripts for publication, as well as helping to design surveys for primary data collection.

Graduate Awards and Recognitions


Shannon Struck, BSc, B.H.Ecol.

2016- present, Master of Science, Community Health Sciences

Shannon StruckI am in my first year of the Master of Science in Community Health Sciences program at the University of Manitoba. I hold undergraduate degrees in Science and Human Ecology specializing in Mathematics, Family Studies and Child Studies.  As a certified Early Childhood Educator, I have worked for over 20 years in early childhood, youth and parenting support programs.  

My current research interests include the impact of early childhood experiences on developmental health; social and structural determinant of child health; and community programs promoting healthy child development and positive parenting.  

As a Student Research Assistant member of the Childhood Maltreatment Research Team, I aid with the formulation of research questions, literature searches, data coding and analysis, preparation of manuscripts including writing and editing, survey development and research dissemination.

Graduate Awards and Recognitions
2017 Manitoba Training Program Fellowship 


Isabel Garces Davila, MA

2013-2017 Master of Arts, Applied Health Services Research, University of New Brunswick “Access to Mental Health Services among Youth: An Analysis of Survey and Census Data"

2017- present Doctorate of Philosophy, Community Health Sciences

isabel I am a first-year PhD Student in the Community Health Sciences program at the University of Manitoba. My main research interests include Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), effects of ACEs in adulthood, parental psychopathology, substance use disorders in adolescents and young adults, and concurrent mental and substance use disorders among youth. Another line of research that interests me is related to the availability and efficiency of mental health service delivery, appropriate treatments for mental illness in childhood and adolescence, and patient engagement.

As a Student Research Assistant member of the Childhood Maltreatment Research Team, I aid with the formulation of research questions, literature searches, data coding and analysis, preparation of manuscripts including writing and editing, survey development and research dissemination.

Graduate Awards and Recognitions