Featured research

Explore some of our recently highlighted research within the Faculty of Social Sciences.

groundbreaking research about horse stable workers

In the first-ever research of its kind, a new study examines labour issues for Ontarians working with horses. The result is a very mixed picture of the province’s equine industries, with half of stable staff respondents saying they’re paid minimum wage – or less.
Kendra Coulter, Chancellor’s Chair for Research Excellence and Chair, Labour Studies


Professors Shauna Pomerantz and Dawn Zinga co-wrote a piece published in the Globe and Mail about the key to surviving and thriving in the first year of university. They share discoveries from a three-year research project that set out to study The First Year Experience.
Professors, Child and Youth Studies


Through his research of adolescents in Canada, China and Dominica, Volk has been looking for factors that account for the presence of ‘evil’ and appears to have found one crucial factor which he plans to explore further as Brock’s 2018 Chancellor’s Chair for Research Excellence holder.
Tony Volk, Professor, Child and Youth Studies

Women’s role in farming often underestimated

Although the work of farm women has vastly changed over the past few decades, women are still not viewed as “farmers” and have long played a silent role in agriculture.
Wendee Kubik, Associate Professor, Women’s and Gender Studies

Societal pressure of ‘manning up’ has negative impact on boys

Hegemonic masculinity and “boy code” demonstrated by society have a harmful influence on the social, emotional and academic well-being of young boys and men.
Murray Knuttila, Professor, Sociology

Climate change further endangering Canadian bison

The wood bison of the Northwest Territories is already on the country’s threatened species list, but more precipitation is forcing the animal into areas that pose dangers to them.
Michael Pisaric, Associate Professor, Geography and Tourism Studies

‘Smart Girls’ explores challenges faced by young women

Research investigates how girls deal with stress, the ‘supergirl’ drive for perfection, race and class issues, and the sexism that is still present in schools.
Shauna Pomerantz, Associate Professor; Rebecca Raby, Professor, Child and Youth Studies

Sleep impacts perception

Our ability to process emotions in other people becomes impaired when sleep is restricted.
Kari Lustig, Graduate Student, Psychology

Brock Healthy Youth Project

Brock receives $1.43 million grant to examine the link between health-risk behaviours and adolescent brain development
Teena Willoughby, Psychology Professor and research team lead; et al.

First-ever study of animal cruelty investigation work in Ontario

Enforcement officers with the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) are underequipped compared to their police service counterparts and face many instances of disrespect on the job.
Kendra Coulter, Associate Professor, Labour Studies

Walking in nature improves mood

Strolling through green space that was once a landfill has positive impacts on mood and physical health and encourages a feeling of connectedness to nature.
Cheryl McCormick, Psychology Professor and research team lead; Shawn Geniole, graduate student; et al.

The gender wage gap in Ontario’s retail sector

Women are being paid less than men in every occupational category within Ontario’s retail sector.
Kendra Coulter, Associate Professor, Labour Studies

Detecting signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder in infancy

Autism Spectrum Disorder is frequently diagnosed around age but with the proper tools, some indicators can be spotted in infancy.
Maurice Feldman, Professor, Applied Disability Studies and Child and Youth Studies