My research focuses on preventing physical maltreatment of children. I have a particular interest in understanding why parents strike their children as punishment - and how to support them in adopting positive approaches to resolving conflict with their children. My research has taken me many times to Sweden, where I have studied the history and implementation of the world's first ban on physical punishment, as well as Swedish parents' approaches to parenting.
I am also interested in the role of social policy in preventing child maltreatment, particularly law, human rights frameworks and public education. In collaboration with Save the Children, I developed a program called, Positive Discipline in Everyday Parenting (PDEP) that is being delivered in more than 30 countries. My research on this program has been funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, PrairieAction Foundation, and Grand Challenges: Stars in Global Health. I work with a network of collaborators to evaluate the impact of PDEP in highly diverse contexts around the world, ranging from urban centres to isolated villages, refugee camps and conflict zones.
Professor, Department of Community Health Sciences
Ph.D. (1988) Child-Clinical Psychology
University of Windsor
2020 Elected Fellow, Royal Society of Canada, Academy of Social Sciences.
2020 Dr. John M. Bowman Memorial Winnipeg Rh Institute Foundation Award, University of Manitoba.
2015 Researcher of the Year Award, Child Welfare League of Canada.
2014 Children's Rights Supporter Award, Canadian Coalition for Children's Rights
2013 Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women, Glencore Trailblazers and Innovators Award, Women’s Executive Network (WXN)
2013 Human Rights Commitment Award, Manitoba Human Rights Commission.
2012 Health Promotion and Innovation Award of Excellence, Canadian Institute of Child Health.
2012 Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Conferred by the Government of Canada.
2012 Health Promotion and Innovation Award of Excellence, Canadian Institute of Child Health
2011 YMCA-YWCA Woman of Distinction Award, Education, Training and Mentorship category
2011 Canadian Red Cross, Manitoba Chapter Power of Humanity Award: Humanitarian of the Year
2010 Sgt. Ian Logan Memorial Award for Leadership in Child Abuse Prevention, Provincial Advisory Committee on Child Abuse
2007 Dr. and Mrs. H. H. Saunderson Award for Excellence in Teaching, University of Manitoba
2006 Ted Freeman Award for Innovation in Education, Ontario Hospital Association. Awarded to the Joint Statement on Physical Punishment of Children and Youth
2005 University of Manitoba Merit Award for Research
2005 University of Manitoba Outreach Award
2004 University of Manitoba Merit Award for Service