Childhood and Youth Studies students completing an Honours degree have the opportunity to select either an elective based Honours pathway which consists of taking 1.5 credits in electives at the 3000 or 4000 level in CHST, PSYC, or SOCI, or they have the option to select a research project pathway which is the Honours thesis. Students in the Honours thesis research project attend a research seminar in which they outline a thesis topic and develop a methodological framework to gather and analyze their data. Students then will find a thesis supervisor to work with for the duration of the project. Prerequisites include CHST 3101, fourth year standing in Child Studies with a Major CGPA of 10.0 or higher, and permission from the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies. Students are able to research a topic of their choice and complete 1.5 credits in the research project pathway. This is an excellent opportunity for those who are interested in researching a topic in the field of Childhood and Youth Studies that they wish to explore further.

Some examples of topics that students have researched in the past:

  • Mental illness in youth
  • Addressing the needs of various socioeconomic statuses and parenting
  • Sports related anxiety in adolescent girls
  • Mental health education in Ontario
  • The link between exercise and long term memory in children

Student Testimonials

“In my fourth and final year at Carleton, under the supervision and with the support of Julia Sinclair-Palm, I completed my Honours thesis exploring mental health education in Ontario elementary schools. This project provided me the opportunity to delve deeper into a research interest that I had been building upon throughout my time in the Childhood and Youth Studies program, while gaining valuable experience with qualitative research. My journey whilst completing this project challenged me as an emerging researcher and life-long learner in the field of education, and enhanced my confidence as an academic which has carried through into my experience as a Master’s student.” -Emily Frendo-Cumbo

“Throughout my university education, I chose to research and write about topics that related to my life in various ways. I often focused on topics like the experiences of young mothers, low-income challenges, affordable housing, and social supports and welfare. I never thought writing an Honours thesis project would be the right fit for me, but in my third year I felt more drawn to it after participating in a small writing course with a handful of other CHST students.

I gained more than I could have ever imagined from writing my Honours Thesis Project. Not only did I grow academically, I unexpectedly grew professionally and personally. My supervisors encouraged and supported me throughout the entire process of writing my thesis through weekly meetings, and providing me with genuine and thoughtful feedback, challenging me with insightful questions, and motivating me with writing exercises and prompts when I was feeling disconnected or stressed.

After writing my thesis project I was not only proud of the work I had done, I was also proud of who I had become as a person over the course of my degree. Writing an honours thesis project felt like the perfect way to sum up my journey at Carleton and pour all I had learned into one large project.”-Sarah Tunstall

“I wrote my honours thesis on the impacts exercise has on elementary school-aged children. It truly is the most rewarding thing I have ever written. The sense of accomplishment and pride I have in the 61 pages still follows me a year later.  I loved combining my diverse degree (Major in child studies with minors in disability studies and neuroscience (mental health and disease)) with my passion for fitness.

I conducted my own research with 18 elementary school students testing if exercise impacts their long-term memory. The honours thesis is where theory meets application; all the theories I was learning about in class were brought out of the classroom to bring about potential change through research.

I loved the experience so much that I wrote a second research paper on the Impacts Instagram has on the Disability Community.

I would recommend everyone write their honours thesis because it teaches you how to improve your research, writing, and analytic thinking skills. Outside of the classroom, it builds character. You learn how to advocate for yourself and the importance of your research. It shows you how to be determined, passionate and dedicated. Plus, a bonus is it looks great on a resume and or master’s application. You may also have the potential to travel and speak about your research.”-Gabriella Adibe

“Completing my Honours thesis was the highlight of my Childhood and Youth Studies bachelor’s degree. Through semi-structured interviews, my research explored how youth and young adults who are diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder navigate within the medical community. I found that this experience challenged my ability as a researcher and improved my data analyzing and communication skills.

I was well prepared to complete my thesis with the classes that I had taken throughout my time at Carleton. The courses that are available in the Childhood and Youth Studies program draw from many different ideological frameworks which allowed me to look at my research from many perspectives. My thesis supervisor was always available to chat and to discuss any questions or concerns that I had. The support I received from my supervisor, professors and peers gave me the confidence and ability to succeed.” -Cassidy Knopp