Naomi Andrews, PhD

Lab Director

Assistant Professor, Child and Youth Studies

Dr. Naomi Andrews is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Child and Youth Studies and holds a Ph.D. in Family and Human Development from the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Mothercraft’s Breaking the Cycle program – a prevention and early intervention program for mothers with substance use issues and their young children – and the LaMarsh Centre for Child and Youth Research at York University.

Broadly, her research focuses on applying a relational perspective to understand children and youth’s social adjustment and problem behaviors (e.g., aggression, victimization). From the lens that these problem behaviors are inherently social phenomena, she has focused on disentangling the complex social relationship processes that underlie problem behaviors. Through three related but distinct lines of work, Dr. Andrews is interested in: 1) understanding how children and youth’s peer relationships and the social context contribute to involvement in problem behaviors; 2) considering youth’s gender identity and gender-based peer experiences, particularly in relation to problem behaviors, social functioning, and relationships; and 3) applying a relational perspective to conduct meaningful, community-based intervention and evaluation research. Her goal is for this basic and applied research to have meaningful implications for decreasing children and youth’s involvement in problem behaviors in school or other social settings, understanding gender identity and intergroup relations, and promoting healthy relationships.

Jiayi Li

Graduate Student

Jiayi Li is a second-year master’s student in the CHYS department, supervised by Dr. Naomi Andrews and Dr. Tony Volk. She completed her BA at the University of Alberta, majoring in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. Her previous research experience is related to qualitative data coding, systematic review, and meta-analysis. She is interested in healthy peer relationships among children and youth, specifically in exploring the coping process of young victims of bullying and how bystanders (friends and defenders) can influence the victimization trajectory.

Emma Peddigrew

Research Assistant, Faith and Wellness Project

Emma is a PhD student in the CHYS department. She completed her Honours BA in CHYS with a minor in Sociology and her MA in CHYS and Brock University with her current supervisor, Dr. John McNamara. Emma’s SSHRC funded masters research adopted a critical disability studies lens to understand the transitional experience and role of mental health for first year students with a diagnosed learning disability. Her broad research interests include learning disabilities, children and youth mental health, critical disability studies, and social-emotional learning. Emma is passionate about self-advocacy for young people, specifically those who are traditionally marginalized, such as those with learning disabilities. For her SSHRC funded doctoral work, Emma is looking to research the dual diagnosis of learning disabilities and mental health for children and youth, an area not typically considered as one.

Oya Pakkal

Research Assistant

Oya Pakkal is an MA student in the Psychology department. She completed her Honours BA in Cognitive Science of Language & Honours BSc in Psychology, Neuroscience & Behavior at McMaster University where she gained research experience studying various populations from cognitive, behavioral, physiological, and neurological perspectives. She is interested in children & youth mental health, peer relationships & risk-taking behavior from an ecological model.

Elizabeth Al-Jbouri

Research Assistant, Faith and Wellness Project

Elizabeth is a PhD student in the CHYS department. She completed a BA at the University of Ottawa, with a major in Psychology and a minor in History prior to completing an MA in CHYS with her current supervisor, Dr. Tony Volk. She is currently a research assistant with the Faith and Wellness project. Broadly speaking, Elizabeth’s research interests include gender, youth peer relationships and social contexts, pro- and anti- social behaviour, social-emotional learning, and “children’s” media.

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Patrick Segawa

Research Assistant

Patrick Segawa is a Master’s student in the Child and Youth Department and also a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the same department with his current supervisor, Dr. Rebecca Raby. He holds a Master’s of Science in Public Health – Population and Reproductive and Bachelor of Science in Public Health from Uganda Martyrs University and Clarke International University respectively.

Patrick has over 7 years of management experience coordinating and implementing reproductive health and HIV/AIDS community programs in developing countries. His cross-cutting skills in program leadership and management, social behavioural change communication, research methods, resource mobilization and fundraising, events planning and management, youth and social media engagement, community led advocacy, and capacity building are expertly applied in his previous role as Executive Director & Team Lead for Public Health Ambassadors Uganda (PHAU). PHAU is a not for profit youth led and serving organisation working sexual and reproductive and HIV/AIDS prevention awareness through youth empowerment programs, health education, social entrepreneurship and use of ICT for health.

Patrick’s research interest include; mental health, school related gender based violence, HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive health, creative and performance arts, substance abuse and additions among young people.