One in five Canadian youth has a mental illness, costing the Canadian economy over $50 billion per year and 70% of mental illnesses start before the age of 25. Our research aims to identify genetic, social, and environmental risks for three of the most common childhood mental health disorders and underlying traits.
We examine these childhood neurodevelopmental disorders, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Tics/Tourette’s, by examining both the genetics underlying the disorders as well as the behavioural and cognitive traits that influence development.
We are particularly interested in how people differ in their abilities to pay attention, control their impulses or control their activity levels. We believe that by studying the root causes of behavioural difficulties we will be able to learn the best ways to treat children with those problems. Our research studies include a combination of behavioural, academic, genetic, and cognitive methods, involving both normal-developing and clinical populations of children and adolescents.