Research topics include mental health (e.g., depression, antisocial behavior) and health-related behaviors (e.g., sleep, substance use) in adolescence and the transition to adulthood. We are interested in learning about processes of development in these domains, for example:
- How do problems such as depression and antisocial behavior create risk for substance use in adolescence and the transition to adulthood, particularly among college and university students?
- How are mental health experiences related to role transitions (e.g., marriage, parenthood) and successful functioning in adulthood?
- How do peer and family relationships mediate and moderate the developmental progression of depression and antisocial behavior?
From a quantitative perspective, we also study methods for modeling patterns of development in mental health and health-related behaviors across the lifespan. Some examples of current methodological issues are:
- Effective strategies for combining longitudinal data from multiple independent studies, drawing on item response theory and factor analysis traditions (integrative data analysis)
- Methods for combining multiple reports of a target child from mothers, fathers, teachers, and other reporters into a single integrated measure
- Approaches in structural equation modeling to examine the distinct time-specific and person-specific contributions of a time-varying covariate to change over time in mental health
Members of the READY Lab are currently involved in several ongoing projects that concern mental health, health-related behaviors, and transitions across the lifespan:
- Carleton Transitions Study: A two-cohort longitudinal study of first-year university students focusing on parent involvement during the transition to university and implications for mental health and well-being.
- Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with ADHD (MTA): A long-term follow-up study of children who participated in an intensive, randomized controlled trial of multimodal treatment of ADHD
- Student Mood Project: A multi-cohort study of university student goal regulation and well-being, headed by collaborator Erin Barker at Concordia University.
- Making the Transition: A four-year longitudinal study of health-related behaviors in a sample of incoming university students.
- University Life Study: A seven-semester longitudinal measurement burst study of college student drinking, substance use, and associated health behaviors.