Doctor of Philosophy in Population and Public Health (PhD)
Supporting positive child and youth development among elementary school children in Karachi, Pakistan
Quantitative research using data from the Middle Years Development Instrument and other HELP-surveys. Topics all focus on the development of children and youth and include trajectories of wellbeing over time, associatios between social-emotional competence and academic success, differences in social-emotional and mental wellbeing among population subgroups. Examining aspects of intersectionality (gender, racial and ethnic background).
Students with very strong interest and skills in quantitative analyses, and training/knowledge base in the social sciences and/or population health (e.g., psychology, education, human development, sociology, population health).
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Dissertations completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest dissertations.
Objectives: Estimate (1) diagnosed incidence of non-affective psychotic disorders (NAP) over adolescence (2) the distribution of risk in the population (3) the level of psychiatric service use and (4) predictors of psychiatric service use following a first diagnosis of NAP among adolescents in British Columbia (BC). Study 1: I used linked administrative data (e.g. hospitalization, physician visit, and immigration records) to estimate the incidence of NAP over adolescence and variation in risk by age, sex, family and neighbourhood income, migration background, parent mental health, and birth year. Study 2. I used the same data to estimate relative risk of adolescent-onset NAP by migrant generation and region of origin adjusting for class of entry into Canada, birth year, low family income and neighbourhood income. Study 3. I examined psychiatric service use (time to psychiatry follow up visit, antipsychotic prescription, hospitalization, rate of psychiatry visits and odds of service gap) following a first diagnosis of NAP among adolescents in BC, and clinical and demographic (migration background, family and neighbourhood income, sex, age) predictors of psychiatric service use. Findings: 0.64% of females and 0.88% of males were diagnosed with a NAP between age 13-19. Incidence increased over the age range, especially among males. Low family income, lower neighbourhood income, parent mental health contact history, and later birth year were associated with higher risk of diagnosis, whereas immigrant adolescents had lower risk of diagnosis compared to non-immigrant adolescents. In study 2 I found that first-generation migrants from East, South and Southeast Asia and second-generation migrants from East and South Asia exhibited lower risk of diagnosed NAP over adolescence compared to non-migrants. In study 3 I found that half of outpatient cases and one third of inpatient cases did not access psychiatry follow up within 30 days of index, and a majority experienced gaps of more than 90 days between psychiatry visits. Moreover, I identified clinical and demographic predictors of psychiatric service use.
Theses completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest theses.
BACKGROUND: This study explored the role of early adolescents’ relationships with peers and adults, recreational screen time, and quality of sleep in relation to optimism, satisfaction with life, depressive symptoms and anxiety. Understanding the ways in which social experiences and health behaviors are associated with the emotional wellbeing of early adolescents is important because it can help pave the way for interventions and programs that support thriving.METHOD: The present study draws from data collected with the Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI), a population-level self-report survey implemented annually in British Colombia. Survey data from grade 7 students (N = 28,172; 49.1% female), collected between 2014-2018, were examined. Hierarchical regression analyses were used to investigate whether social relationships (with peers, adults in school and adults at home) and health behaviors (screen time, sleep) were associated with indicators of positive and negative emotional wellbeing, controlling for gender and English language background. RESULTS: Main findings were that lower levels of peer belonging and adult support at home and at school, higher levels of screen time, and poorer sleep quality were associated with high levels of depressive symptoms and anxiety, and lower levels of optimism and satisfaction with life. There was a significant interaction between screen time and gender in relation to the emotional wellbeing outcomes. Specifically, the association between more screen time and poorer emotional wellbeing outcomes was significantly larger for girls than for boys. CONCLUSION: The present study indicates that high levels of peer belonging, adult support, sleep quality and low levels of screen time are important for the emotional wellbeing of emerging adolescents. These findings highlight the various behavioral and social factors that can be actively nurtured to promote emotional wellbeing during the early adolescent years .