Teena Willoughby

Professor, Ph.D.

Office: PL519
905 688-5550 x5474

  • Adolescent health-risk behaviors
  • Adolescent mental health
  • Adolescent brain development
  • Affinity for solitude
  • Transitions from childhood to adolescence, and from adolescence to emerging adulthood
  • Heterogeneity in developmental pathways

As a developmental psychologist, my research interest is in adolescent development, with a focus on two main questions: (1) What predicts the individual differences found among adolescents with regard to health-risk behaviors, mental health, affinity for solitude, peer sensitivity, etc., and (2) Is adolescence a sensitive period for development, resulting in unique vulnerabilities and opportunities for both negative (e.g., risk taking, nonsuicidal self-injury) as well as positive behaviors (e.g., engagement in structured activities, academic achievement)? In order to address these questions, I use a variety of methods including longitudinal questionnaires, physiological measurements (ERP, heart rate variability, cardiac impedance), actigraphy monitoring, as well as assessment of endocrine and genetic variation. 

  1. Heffer, T., & Willoughby, T. (submitted). Sensitivity to negative feedback among high and low worriers: An ERP study investigating children and adolescents
  2. Heffer, T., Wylie, B., & Willoughby, T. (revised and resubmitted). Adolescent risk-taking: A comparison of self-reported behaviors and self-perceptions.
  3. Daly, O., & Willoughby, T. (2019). A longitudinal study investigating bidirectionality among nonsuicidal self-injury, self-criticism, and parental criticism. Psychiatry Research, 271, 678-683.
  4. Heffer, T., Good, M., Daly, O., MacDonell, E., & Willoughby, T. (2019). The longitudinal association between social media use and depressive symptoms among adolescents and young adults: An empirical reply to Twenge et al. Clinical Psychological Science.
  5. Semplonius, T., & Willoughby, T. (2018). A person-centred analysis of sleep and emotion dysregulation: Short- and long-term links with depression and alcohol use. Journal of American College Health.
  6. Brook, C., & Willoughby, T. (2018). Shyness and social anxiety assessed through self-report: Are we measuring one construct? Journal of Personality Assessment.
  7. Hamza, C., & Willoughby, T. (2018). A lab-based study exploring the associations among nonsuicidal self-injury, pain, and emotion among university students. Psychiatry Research, 269, 462-468.
  8. Heffer, T., & Willoughby, T. (2018). The role of emotion dysregulation: A longitudinal investigation of the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide. Psychiatry Research, 260, 379-383.
  9. Semplonius, T., & Willoughby, T. (2018). Long-term links between physical activity and sleep quality. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 50(12), 2418-2424.
  10. Semplonius, T., & Willoughby, T. (2018). Psychosocial adjustment throughout university: A longitudinal investigation of the roles of sleep quality and emotion dysregulation. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 47, 1267-1278.
  11. Heffer, T., & Willoughby, T. (2017). A count of coping strategies: A longitudinal study investigating repertoire richness and adjustment. PLOS ONE, 12(10): e0186057. doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0186057
  12. Brook, C., & Willoughby, T. (2016). Social anxiety and alcohol use across the university years: Adaptive and maladaptive groups. Developmental Psychology, 52(5), 835-845.
  13. Adachi, P.J.C., & Willoughby, T. (2015). Interpreting effect sizes when controlling for stability effects in longitudinal autoregressive models: Implications for psychological science. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 12(1), 116-128.
  14. Tavernier, R., Munroe, M., & Willoughby, T. (2015). Perceived morningness-eveningness predicts academic adjustment and substance use across university, but social jetlag is not to blame. Chronobiology International, 32(9), 1233-1245.
  15. Willoughby, T., Heffer, T., & Hamza, C. (2015). The link between nonsuicidal self-injury and acquired capability for suicide: A longitudinal study. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 124(4), 1110-1115.
  16. Willoughby, T., Good, M., Adachi, P.J.C., Hamza, C.A., & Tavernier, R. (2014). Examining the link between adolescent brain development and risk taking from a social-developmental perspective. Brain and Cognition, 89, 70-78.