Max Rady College of Medicine
Community Health Sciences
Room 313C – Human Ecology Building
35 Chancellors Circle
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 2N2
Dr. Joan Durrant’s research focuses on preventing physical maltreatment of children.
She has 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.
Dr. Durrant is also interested in the role of law, human rights frameworks and public education in preventing child maltreatment.
In collaboration with Save the Children, she created Positive Discipline in Everyday Parenting (PDEP), a primary violence prevention program that has been delivered in more than 30 countries.
She works with a network of collaborators to evaluate the program’s impact in highly diverse contexts, ranging from urban centres to isolated villages, refugee camps and conflict zones.
Dr. Joan Durrant is a senior scholar in community health sciences at the University of Manitoba.
She is a child-clinical psychologist experienced in working with children and families with a range of challenges. She became interested in how parents understand their children’s challenges and how that understanding can fuel violent responding. While remaining a developmentalist at heart, over the years she has integrated additional disciplinary lenses into her work to deepen her understanding of parental violence.
She has travelled extensively to understand the role of culture in parental beliefs and behaviour, as well as in approaches taken to violence prevention. her research has taken me many times to Sweden, where she has studied the history and implementation of the world's first ban on physical punishment, as well as Swedish parents' approaches to parenting.
Dr. Durrant and her team have implemented PDEP in countries throughout East and South Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East, as well as across Canada. These experiences have helped us to understand historical and cultural forces that contribute to violence against children, and to identify adaptations needed to support parents living in various contexts.