Kayla Hamel is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the Clinical-Developmental Psychology program. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from McGill University in Montreal. Her experiences working in Latin American in high-risk environments affected by conflict, and in particular, working with children and youth living in difficult circumstances, motivated her to return to graduate school to pursue a career dedicated to promoting resilience in these populations. Her current research interests lie in the area of culture, resilience and social justice. Kayla’s work is funded through the Social Science and Humanities Research Council and the Meighan Wright Foundation.
Khadija (Khad) Bint Misbah is a third-year Ph.D. student in the Clinical-Developmental Psychology program at York University. She received her M.A. degree from York University. Khad’s research focuses parental causal attributions of children’s behaviour and caregiver sensitivity. She hopes to one day contribute to the development of parenting interventions for vulnerable populations, and to subsequently promote positive child development. Khad’s research is generously funded through the LaMarsh Centre for Child and Youth Research.
Marette Abdelmaseh is a second year PhD student in the Clinical-Developmental Psychology program at York University. She received her undergraduate Specialized Honours degree in Psychology at York University. Marette’s research focuses on comparing different measures of maternal-child interaction quality and understanding how they relate to various developmental outcomes in children. Marette is also actively involved in the I-SPARX project and is very interested in understanding Indigenous frameworks of wellness and mental health. Marette’s research is funded through the Social Science and Humanities Research Council and the Meighen Wright Foundation.
Mariami Bimm is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the Clinical-Developmental Psychology program at York University. She received her Honours B.Sc. degree from the University of Ottawa and her M.A.Sc. from the University of Waterloo. Her research focuses on caregiver sensitivity and infant emotion regulation during stressful relational contexts. She is particularly interested in using behavioural and physiological measures to enhance current understanding of caregiver and infant stress experiences, and children's subsequent social-emotional development. Mariami's research is generously funded through the Ontario Graduate Scholarship program, the Meighen Wright Foundation, and the LaMarsh Centre for Child and Youth Research.
Yookyung Carol Lee is a fourth year PhD student in the Clinical-Developmental Psychology program at York University. She received her B.Sc. degree (Biopsychology) from University of British Columbia, and M.Sc. degree (Psychoanalytic Developmental Psychology) from University College London. Her research focuses on the impact of culture in widely-used caregiver sensitivity assessment tools and whether they are valid measures across cultures. Her ultimate goal is to develop and research parenting interventions that promote positive child development, and that are suitable for diverse cultural groups in Canada. Yookyung’s research is funded through the Ontario Graduate Scholarship program and the LaMarsh Centre for Child and Youth Research.
Jenna Barnhardt is a first year Indigenous Master’s student from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory in the Clinical Developmental Neuropsychology program at York University. She received her Bachelors degree (B.Sc. Hon.) from Ryerson University in Biomedical Science with a minor in Psychology and a certificate in Mental Health & Addictions from Ryerson’s Chang School of Continuing Education. She is focussed on Indigenous mental health and working to provide relevant and culturally significant mental health services to Canada’s Indigenous people using her experience with traditional Indigenous knowledge with a neuroscientific lens. Her research aims to learn more about the Indigenous brain and focusses on measures that explore development, postpartum depression, and trauma of Indigenous people.
Megis Oskalns is a first year master’s Indigenous student in the Clinical Developmental psychology program. She is particularly interested in Indigenous youth suicide prevention, Indigenous resilience, and treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder. She is highly invested in Indigenous mental health and the effects of intergenerational trauma because her grandparents are residential school survivors. She is completing her M.A thesis on Indigenous resilience.
Jeffrey Hankey’s role as a postdoctoral visitor with the Bohr Lab involves the evaluation and knowledge mobilization phase of the CIHR-funded project, Making I-SPARX Fly in Nunavut, as well as future project planning. His involvement with I-SPARX builds on his resilience-focused, community-based graduate research in Educational Psychology with street-involved and homeless Two-Spirit and LGBTQ+ youth in Alberta using an intersectional, ecological approach. Broadly, his research interests bring diverse biopsychosocial, cultural, and philosophical perspectives and critical methodologies to bear on understanding and enhancing educational, developmental, and health outcomes for children, youth, and emerging adults.
Alaina Thomas is completing her BA in Specialized Honours Psychology and will be conducting her Honours Thesis under the supervision of Dr. Bohr. She is interested in child and adolescent development across cultures, school-based mental health initiatives, childhood resilience, and education. She hopes to pursue graduate studies in Educational Psychology and work with children and families in a meaningful capacity.
Undergraduate Research Assistants
Cassie Danz has completed her final year in her Specialized Honours Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She spent the last year on exchange, studying at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. For her thesis, Cassie assisted in the development of a self-report scale measuring various aspects of mental effort; she employed cognitive pretesting methods to evaluate how the questionnaire would be understood by those with ADHD. Cassie plans to continue her education at the graduate level in Singapore with the research goal to study the gender differences of ADHD.
Fernanda de la Mora is completing her Honours BFA in Visual Art and Psychology at York University. She plans to pursue clinical psychology at the graduate level and conduct research on families, attachment and parent-child relationships.
Myra Massey graduated from York University in 2020 with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She conducted her Honours Thesis supervised by Dr. Bohr examining school-based preventive interventions disseminated in Canada for adolescents at risk for suicide. Her current research explores community-based and school-based mental health and suicide interventions for Indigenous youth. She plans tor pursue her education at graduate level in Clinical Psychology. She is particularly interested in the role of resilience on behaviours associated with suicidality and a focus on protective factors to address Indigenous mental health.
Nichaela Garvey is completing her 4th year of her Honours BSc in Psychology at York University. She plans on pursuing clinical-developmental psychology at the graduate level, and is particularly interested in the area of vicarious racism, parental sensitivity, and the parent-child relationship. She hopes the research she conducts benefits at-risk youth in vulnerable communities.
Sabrina Da Silva is in her 4th year of her Honours Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She is originally from Brazil and is especially interested in clinical developmental psychology, especially areas related to the effects of socioeconomic status on development. She hopes to pursue graduate level education and work with children and families that are involved in the criminal justice system.
Graduates of the Lab
Bramilee Dhayanandhan received her MA and Ph.D. in the Clinical-Developmental Psychology program at York University. She had formerly received her Bachelor’s degree from McGill University. Bramilee’s research is embedded in an ecological-transactional framework, and focuses on predictors of resilience among parent-child dyads vulnerable to psychopathology. Her Master’s thesis examined factors that mitigate the risk for infant and child maltreatment among adolescent mothers exposed to cumulative adversity. She is passionate about community-based research, and works towards fostering resilience and promoting healthy relationships among high-risk mother-child dyads. Bramilee's research was funded through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Canada Graduate Scholarship.
Brooke Halpert did her doctoral work on atypical maternal behaviours and socio – demographic correlates. She now works as a Psychologist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, ON.
Cynthia Shih received her Ph.D. from York University. Her research focuses on cross-cultural and immigrant psychology, with specific interests in parenting styles, transnational parenting, and the role of multiple caregivers in immigrant families. Through this work, she aims to further the clinical understanding of culturally appropriate and relevant services for diverse, community-based populations.
Deborah Kanter received her Ph.D. from York University. Her research focuses on protective factors which reduce the likelihood of aggressive children from committing criminal offenses. She is particularly interested in the role of positive relationships in the reduction of criminal outcomes and in the inclusion of protective factors in risk assessment tools.
Jennifer Summers did her doctoral work on motivational factors in group-based anxiety treatment for latency aged children. She now works as a Psychologist at the Chedoke MacMaster Medical Centre.
Jessica Chan completed her M.A. and Ph.D. in the Clinical Developmental Psychology program at York University. She also earned her Honours B.A. Degree at York University. Her main research interests lie in the study of maternal-child relationships and parenting from a cross- cultural perspective, and to the identification of best practices of child-rearing in different cultures. Her Master’s thesis compared the parenting practices of Chinese-Canadian and European-Canadian mothers, and explored the influence of acculturation and immigrant status on parent and child variables such as caregiver stress, confidence, sensitivity, attributions, and child behaviour problems. Jessica’s research was funded through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
Leah Litwin received her Ph.D. from York University. Her research focuses on the effectiveness of a computer-based video game at decreasing depressive thoughts, and increasing resilience in Inuit youth. She is particularly interested in the cultural adaptations of mainstream prevention and intervention tools, and how these adapted versions can better service remote and isolated communities.
Natasha Whitfield received a Ph.D. in the Clinical Developmental Psychology Program at York University. She earned her M. A. Degree at York University, and her Honours B. A. at the University of Windsor. Her main research interests lie in the study of parent-child relationships and social functioning, particularly in immigrant families. Her M. A. thesis explored the consequences of prolonged parent-child separation practices in Chinese Canadian immigrant families. Natasha’s work was funded through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
Past Honours Students
Cassandra Stevenson graduated from York University in 2020 with a Specialized Honours Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Under the supervision of Dr. Bohr, her Specialized Honours thesis investigated the relationship between observed quality of maternal care in infancy and those infants’ mental health and perceptions of their mother’s parenting at age 10. Cassandra hopes to pursue graduate studies in Clinical-Developmental Psychology, with a primary interest in violence prevention starting in childhood, as well as caretaking mechanisms that can intercept child maltreatment and encourage prosocial behaviour throughout the course of the child's life. She is also actively involved in the I-SPARX project and is passionate about using community-based research approaches to promote health equity and social justice. Cassandra's studies to date have been graciously funded by The LaMarsh Centre for Child and Youth Research and the Lillian Meighen Wright Foundation.
Irina Osminin is a recent graduate of York University, holding a Specialized Honours Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Her Honours thesis investigated the relationship between adult attachment style, technology usage, and caregiver sensitivity. She has developed a keen interest in understanding how children's early experiences can shift the trajectory of their development. Specifically, she is interested in the effects of child-mother interactions on children's attachment, development, and mental health. A common thread in Irina's research is a focus on social determinants of health while employing a community-led approach to help offset inequalities through early intervention during this critical period. Irina is an incoming Clinical Psychology MA student at Ryerson University, where she will continue her academic journey.
Zita Lau was an undergraduate Honours Thesis student in the lab during 2015-2016. Her thesis examined the influence of parental technology use on caregiver-infant relationships. Currently, she is working towards her Master of Arts in Applied Psychology in Schools at Western University.
International Visiting Students
Gina Riccio was a visiting student from the lab of Prof. Emma Baumgartner at Sapienza University in Rome. Gina’s area of research is the study of psycho-social risk factors in Italian born and immigrant adolescent mothers, and mothers with HIV. Gina is collaborating with members of our lab on papers and conference presentations pertaining to the Teen Moms and the MAP initiatives.