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Dr. Graham J. Reid
Westminster Hall 319 East
519-661-2111 ext. 84677


Research Activities


Research areas in the Reid Lab:

About 1 in every 5 children, adolescents, and adults has a clinically significant psychosocial problem (i.e., problems in the areas of cognitive/academic, behavioural, emotional, psychological, or social functioning). However, over 80% of children with psychosocial problems do not receive treatment. Without treatment, about ½ of children continue to have problems years later. We are looking at issues related to access and use of services for children with mental health problems, and new methods of treating and preventing children's psychosocial problems. (Click here for selected publications by topic.)


a) Access to care.

This program of research focus primarily on how families access and use mental health services for children or adolescents who have mental health problems. We have studied the process of how parents attempt to access mental health services for children (Shanley, Reid, & Evans, 2008; Reid et al., 2011). In one study of families looking for mental health services for their children, we sought to a) identify where and why families were looking for help, and b) describe the treatment services parents were both offered and accepted. Kyleigh Schraeder (M.Sc. 2012; Schraeder & Reid, 2014, in press) conducted a study entitled “Why wait? The effects of waiting time on subsequent help-seeking among families looking for children’s mental health services”; using survival analysis, she examined how being placed on a waitlist at a children’s mental health agency alters the probability that families will contact another agency for help. The role of family physicians in helping parents of children with psychosocial problems is also a focus in this line of studies (Reid et. al., 2011). Another project includes how individuals of all ages access care from family physicians (Reid, Freeman et al., 2009).

b) Measurement development

As part of our work in both access to care and in other pediatric research, we have developed a number of questionnaires. We have investigated methodological issues, such as how best to ask parents about their help-seeking contacts within the mental health system (Reid, Tobon, & Shanley, 2008). Dianne Shanley (Ph.D., 2008) developed a parent-report measure that helps us understand parent-perceptions of their child’s mental health problems. She also developed the Parents’ Illness Perception Questionnaire – Children’s Mental Health (PIPQ-CMH), a modification of the Illness Perception Questionnaire – Revised (IPQ-R); this measure was used to examine the impact of parents’ illness representations on treatment acceptability for child mental health problems.
Mor Barzel (Ph.D., 2008) examined the validity of the Coparenting Questionnaire (Margolin, 2001) and developed a diabetes-specific measure of coparenting [Barzel, M. & Reid, G.J. (2011); Barzel, M. & Reid, G.J. (2011)]. Aimee Coulombe (Ph.D., 2011) developed three measures related to night-waking among preschool-age children that measure: a) what parents think they should do when 2- to 5-year-olds wake at night (Night-waking Vignettes Scale; Coulombe & Reid, 2013), (b), what preschool-age children do when they wake at night (Children's Night-waking Behavior Scale; Coulombe & Reid, 2014), c) what parents report that they do when their own child wakes at night (Night-waking Strategies Scale, Coulombe & Reid, 2014), and d) what parents think and feel when their child wakes at night (Parental Cognitions about Night-waking Questionnaire, manuscript in preparation).


Juliana Tobon (Ph.D. 2013), in collaboration with colleagues in the Departments of Psychology and Family Medicine along with community children's mental health agencies, developed a measure of the Continuity of Care Scale for Children’s Mental Health (Tobon, Reid & Goffin, 2014). The measure will assess continuity of care within the mental health sector, as well as continuity between the children’s mental health and the education and the medical/health sectors. For more information see the Continuity of Care website.


c) Patterns of Services Use.

Virtually nothing is known about patterns of service use over extended periods of time in children’s mental health. In one of our recently completed studies, close to one-fifth of parents reported their child or adolescent had been receiving mental health services more than one year before they were interviewed, yet they were seeking additional services. This pattern of service is differs from our current acute-illness model of psychological care in which services are provided only in times of extreme need, and children/families usually receive treatment for a brief period (e.g., about 6 months). This could be contrasted with an ongoing care or “chronic illness” model (e.g., attending regular clinic appointments for diabetes). There is no evidence base for this approach to the treatment of mental health disorders among children, yet certain mental health problems can be considered chronic. We are embarking on a series of studies designed to move us toward the development and testing of new models of chronic care for children within the mental health service system. As a first step we are examining patterns of service utilization over an extended period of time (4-5 years) within agencies providing mental health services for children in Ontario.


a) Parenting Children with Sleep Problems

We have developed and tested a program called: Parenting Matters: Helping parents with young children. The target population is parents of young children (age 2-5 years) seen by family physicians who have concerns about their children's sleeping and bedtime behaviours, or discipline. Treatment consists of brief self-help booklets and support from a telephone coach. A variety of issues and questions will be examined in this line of research including the effects of early intervention for children with mild levels of behaviour problems, identifying factors that predict who will benefit from brief parenting interventions, primary care models for psychology, and ways of collaborating with family physicians. In a series of randomized clinical trials, over 550 parents were enrolled. Publications include: (Reid et al., 2013, Randomized trial of distance-based treatment for young children with discipline problems seen in primary care. Family Pratice)

We have recently been awarded a CIHR Sleep and Circadian Rhythms Team grant, entitled "Better Nights/Better Days: Improving Psychosocial Health Outcomes in Children with Behavioural Insomnia". This 5-year project will develop, implement and evaluate web-based sleep interventions for children ages 1-10 years. Three randomized clinical trials will be conducted to test the effectiveness of programs for toddlers (1-2 years), preschoolers (3-5 years) and school-aged children (6-10 years). The PI is Dr. Penny Corkum at Dalhousie University, and the London site will be responsible for recruitment, assessment, and treatment for families in Ontario and Manitoba. This research brings together an outstanding team of sleep researchers along with a number of important partners. The project will provide opportunities for students to learn about delivering evidence-based treatments for pediatric sleep problems, distance-based treatments, and randomized clinical trial design. For more information see the Better Nights, Better Days website.

The Parenting at Midnight research program, which was led by Aimee Coulombe (Ph.D., 2011), tested a model of the multiple factors contributing to night-waking among young children. Night-waking is one of the most prevalent behaviourally-based sleep problems in 2-5-year old children. Over 30% of preschool aged children wake at least once per night and require parental intervention; 5% wake twice or more per night and 20% of wakings last 15 minutes or longer. This disrupted sleep has negative effects on children and parents, which includes fatigue and impairment in affective, cognitive, and behavioural functioning. A series of questionnaires we developed to measure what children do when they wake at night, how parents respond to night waking, what they believe are ideal strategies for dealing with night waking and how their cognitions related to their children’s sleep and other sleep-related factors (e.g., parent’s own fatigue) relate to night-waking strategy preference and use.

b) Outcomes of sleep problems

Sleep problems have been related to psychopathology among children and adolescents. We examined the relation between sleep and psychopathology in a number of studies. Our Parenting Matters program examined how improvements in the sleep of preschool-age children impacted their behavior. In studies using large community-based samples, we examined the contribution of sleep problems to psychopathology in relation to known correlates of psychopathology such as parenting, family stress, and temperament (Reid, Hong, & Wade, 2009; Coulombe, Reid, Boyle, & Racine, 2010 & 2011).

Kathryn Turnbull (Ph.D. in progress) is taking the lead on a new study that is examining the effects of brief sleep restriction and sleep fragmentation (analogous to night waking) on attention and working memory among preschool-age children. This experimental study of healthy children without sleep problems should help us better understand if sleep directly influences preschool children’s cognitive abilities and may help inform the definition of a clinically significant sleep problems in this age group. As a background for her dissertation, we reviewed the literature on behavioral sleep problems and their potential impact on developing executive function in children. (Turnbull, Reid, & Morton, 2013, Sleep).


Graduate Students

Students applying for graduate school and wanting to join my lab should be interested in a research topic related to one of the above research programs. Please note that I will be accepting applications for new graduate students for the 2015-16 academic year.

There are opportunities for students with an interest in pediatric sleep and neurocognitive functioning to apply to be co-supervised by myself and Dr. Bruce Morton; interested students should contact both myself and Dr. Morton for more information.

Students may also be interested in the looking at the Centre for Studies in Family Medicine website that describes the work of the core researchers in the Department of Family Medicine.

Students conducting research related to primary care may apply to TUTOR – PHC – our CIHR funding training program in primary care research.

Finally, the Children’s Health Research Institute has various opportunities for students including studentships and travel awards, and students are eligible to be Co-PIs on grants.

Honors Students

We typically have at least one student per year completing his/her honors thesis research project in psychology under my supervision. Honors students should be interested in a research topic related to one of the above research programs. It is common for honors students to be co-supervised by a graduate student. Please note selection of honors students for the upcoming academic year is done in the winter of preceding year. Students interested in working with us on a honors thesis should submit their curriculum vitae (CV)/resume and an unofficial copy of their transcript along with a brief statement of topics they may be interested in studying to Dr. Reid via e-mail. Although there is no set deadline, it is strongly encouraged that you apply by the end February.


Stewart, M. (PI), Bainbridge, L., Beaulieu, M.D., Brown, J.B., Burge, F., Dolovich, L., Dozois, D., Goudreau, J., Haggerty, J., Harris, S., Kothari, A., Lalonde, L., Martin-Misener, R., McWilliam, C., Ramsden, V., Reid, G., Thind, A., Thomas-MacLean, R., Vingilis, E., Watt, S., & Wong, S. Transdisciplinary Understanding and Training on Research – Primary Health Care (TUTOR-PHC). Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Strategic Training Initiative in Health Research (STIHR) Programme. (6 years; $325 000 per year).

Corkum, P. Andreou, P., Barwick, M., Chambers, C., Godbout, R., Gruber, R., Hall, W., McGrath, P., Reid, G.J., Rusak, B., Stremler, R., Wade, T., Watters, C., Weiss, S., & Witmans, M. (10-2010 to 09-2015). Better Nights/Better Days: Improving Psychosocial Health Outcomes in Children with Behavioural Insomnia Canadian Institutes of Health Research TEAM Grants program (Sleep and Circadian Rhythms).

Boyle, M.H. (Co-PI), Georgiades, K.K. (Co-PI), Afifi, T.O., Avison, W.R., Bennett, K.J., Bennett, T.A., Boylan, K., Butt, M.L., Cairney, J., Cleverley, K.D., Colman, I., Cunningham, C.E., Davies, S., Dirks, M.A., Duku, E., Dunn, J.R., Ferro, M., Georgiades, S., Gonzalez, A., Janus, M., Jenkins, J.M., Lipman, E.L., Macmillan, H.L., Manion, I.G., Mclennan, J.D., Petitclerc, A.M., Reid, G.J., Rhodes, A.E., Rosenbaum, P.L., Sassi, R.B., Shepherd, C.A., Soreni, N., Szatmari, P., Van Lieshout, R.J., Waddell, C.A., & Wekerle, C. (04/2013 – 03/2018). Ontario Child Health Study Sequel (5 years), Canadian Institutes of Health Research Operating Grant.

Dolovich, L., (Co-PI), Agarwal, G. (Co-PI), Valaitis, R., Reid, G.J., Ryan, B.L., Ploeg, J., Liddy, C., Goeree, R., Richardson, J., Letts, L. (04/2013 – 03/2016). PHC linking with Community Agencies: Keeping patients with multiple complex conditions healthy and at home. Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Health System Research Fund.

Reid, G.J., (PI), Schraeder, K., Brown, J.B., Stewart, S., Forchuk, C., Ryan,
B., Wickett, J., Leschied, A., & Carter, J. (04/2014-03/2016). A multiperspective study on transition to adult care for youth with mental health issues. (2 years). Lawson Health Research Institute Internal Research Fund

Stewart, M (PI), Agarwal,G. (Project Co-Lead), Bhattacharyya,O. (Project Co-Lead) Dahrouge,S. (Project Co-Lead), Dolovich,L. (Project Co-Lead), Glazier,R.H. (Project Co-Lead), Green,M. (Project Co-Lead), Hawker,G. (Project Co-Lead), Ivers ,N.(Project Co-Lead), Liddy,C. (Project Lead), Pariser,P. (Project Co-Lead), Phillips,S. (Cross Cutting Theme Lead), Zwarenstein,M. (Cross Cutting Theme Lead), Bayoumi,I. Brown,J.B., Birtwhistle,R., Goeree,R., Hall-Barber, K., Harris,S., Heale,R., Hoch,J., Hogg,W., Howard,M., Hwang,J., Jaakkimanien, J., Johnston, S., Keely, E., Kendall, C., Kiran,T., Letts, L., Lofters, A., Manuel, D., Markle-Reid, M., Muggah,L., Muldoon,L., Pinto, A., Ploeg, J., Pottie, K., Regan, R., Reid,G.J., Richardson, J., Ryan,B., Smyth,C., Taljaard, M., Terry, A., Thind, A., Tranmer,J., Valaitis.,R . (04/2013 – 03/2016). Primary Health Care Program. Grant from the. Health System Research Fund, Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

Reid, G. J., Barwick, M., Cairney, Carter, J. R., , Kurdyak, P., Neufeld, R. W. J., Schraeder, K. E., St.Pierre, J., Stewart, S. L., Tobon, J. I., Vingilis,E.R.. & Zaric, G. S. (08/2014-07/2017) Before, during and after: Service use in the mental health and health sectors within Ontario for children and youth with mental health problems. Canadian Institutes of Health Research Operating Grant (#137048).

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