LaMarsh in the News

Congratulations to LaMarsh member Debra Pepler!  On  December 28, 2019, Professor Debra Pepler was inducted into the Order of Canada. Her appointment was awarded by Governor General Julie Payette. “The Order honours people whose service shapes our society, whose innovations ignite our imaginations, and whose compassion unites our communities,” reads the Governor General website.Professor Pepler was recognized “for her innovative, community-based research on social issues involving children and youth, which changed the way psychologists study bullying.” Since 1984 Pepler has “conducted research that has been embedded in clinical, educational, and community settings.” “The link between the quality of relationships that children and youth experience and their development has emerged in every project that I have done over the past 40 years,” adds Pepler.  Pepler also developed a method of observing behaviour of children on school playgrounds using cameras and microphones. “We were able to step into children’s worlds and see the complexity of bullying interactions. By understanding the nature of these interactions, we were able to work with educators to develop strategies and programming to prevent and address bullying problems,” says Pepler.
Pepler has been a member of the Department of Psychology at York since 1988 and is now a Distinguished Research Professor of Psychology.  Most notably, in 2006, Pepler created PREVNet (Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network) in cooperation with Dr Wendy Craig, who was Pepler’s first York PhD student. Craig obtained her PhD from York in 1993 and is now a department head and professor at Queen’s University. PREVNet is a national network comprised of 120 researchers, 150 graduate students, and 62 youth-serving organizations. “Through education, research, training and policy change, PREVNet aims to stop the violence caused by bullying – so every child can grow up happy, healthy, and safe.”It is all of this work that has led to Professor Pepler being nominated and inducted into the Order of Canada. “I know that I have been immensely privileged to be able to pursue research that I care about deeply. To be recognized for it is truly an honour, not only for me but for all of those with whom I have worked to improve the lives of children and families,” says Pepler.

Professor Pepler is now an Officer of the Order of Canada which recognizes national service or achievement. Professor Pepler and the other inductees will be invited to accept their insignia at a ceremony to be held in Rideau Hall in Ottawa at a later date

Pepler is currently working with the Red Cross in developing “a website to share a timeline of the historical traumas that Indigenous peoples have experienced in Canada since contact in the 1500s” and is planning to start a blog “Growing Healthy Children” based on the link between quality relationships and youth development.

Congratulations to Post Doctoral Fellow Veronica Allan, working in Dr. Jessica Fraser-Thomas' lab, for her research and article on "Play-to-win attitudes in youth hockey sacrifice personal development for victory" in the Vancouver Sun. This research builds on fellow lab mate Cassidy's research (PhD graduate Fall 2018). Vancouver Sun Article "Play to Win"

Congratulations to Dr. Alison Macpherson and her on-going research on safety in schools.  New measures in Ontario hoping to better concussion safety in school Concussion safety is top-of-mind for Ontario schools as Rowan's Law takes effect. Source:  New measures in Ontario hoping to better concussion safety in school Concussion safety is top-of-mind for Ontario. Select this link for Alison Macpherson interview


Congratulations to LaMarsh member Christine Till & her colleagues for their latest publication, "Experts challenge study suggesting children exposed to higher levels of fluoride in utero may have lower IQ scores", in the Globe and Mail. This work continues to shine a light on a key public health topic.  Christine Till - full article


  • August 2019.  Pain and gain:  Bodybuilding is an increasingly popular sport among women. The competitors are passionate and push their bodies to the limit for months, all for the satisfaction of getting on stage and showing off their hard work for a few thrilling minutes. But, as some have discovered, after the training and the competition comes the crash.  Rebecca Bassett-Gunter article


  • Angela Belcastro, "Get active and help Markham win $150K for physical activity initiatives - You can be part of healthy effort". June 2019. See full article here


  • The Globe and Mail: April 23, 2019
  • Radio Canada International: April 26, 2019
  • CBC SPARK: May 5, 2019
  • CBC: May 9, 2019


  • Connolly, February 2019.  "Social Support Prevents Further Distress in Victims of Violence".  Psychiatry Advisor Article
  • Connolly, Preventing Harassment and Sexual Assault in High Schools, Interview, Huffington Post, November 2018.
  • Connolly, Adolescent Girls, Sexual Assault and Media Idols. Interview, Chatelaine Magazine, March 2018
  • Gord Flett was interviewed by Radio Canada International on the increasing of perfectionism and its destructiveness: Perfectionism Article
  • Gord Flett was interviewed for this Bottom Line Inc. article titled, Is Being a Perfectionist Making You Sick?:
    See full article here
  • Gord Flett was interviewed by CNN "Searching for the 'perfect' meditation to fight perfectionism."  CNN Article here.


  • Sarah Flicker, "Should Ontario's sex-ed curriculum be changed?" August 2019. Sex ed Article
  • Sarah Flicker,"Ford government’s new sex-ed curriculum is ‘pretty much the same,’ education experts say". August 2019. See Article
  • March 29, 2019 Teachers 'walking on eggshells': confusion, controversy dog Ontario's sex education: York University researcher finds teachers struggle with uncertainty over controversial subject matter York Region Article
  • July 2018. Doug Ford reverting Ontario back to 1998 sex-ed curriculum is ‘dangerous’ for kids, experts say, Global News


  • Fraser-Thomas, J. (2018, November). Invited Webinar Presentation: Making Multisport Work, Sport for Life Society (~100 coaches and practitioners logged in across Canada).
  • Fraser-Thomas, J. (2018, August 10). Reference/quote in Today’s Parent. What rep sports are really doing to kids, by Courtney Shea. Retrieved from Today's Parent Article


  • York University shares research on gender-based violence against refugee youth. YFile. June 19 2019. See Article
  • Workshop features research on understanding Asian Canadian youth identity. YFile. September 4 2018. See Article
  • Research Study: Equity-based health promotion framework for racialized black mothers of children with developmental disabilities. ASD Mental Health Blog. June 18 2018. Autism Mental Health Article
  • Racism and ableism stack up against black moms, study finds. Blooms Magazine. February 15, 2019. Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. Holland Bloorview Article
  • Mothering at the Margins: Towards an equity-based health promotion framework for racialized mothers of children with developmental disabilities. Funded by Women’s College Hospital – Women’s Xchange 15K Challenge. See video here


  • Alison Macpherson,"Impact of concussions reduced in children with more years of sport experience".  April 4, 2019. See article here


  • Debra Pepler, "Canada’s bullying problem — and why we can’t seem to fix it." Global News, October 9, 2019. See Article
  • Debra Pepler,"St. Michael’s College committee calls for football program’s reinstatement".May 29, 2019.  Globe and Mail Article
  • Debra Pepler,"When kids dread recess, we have a problem".  Feb 21,2019. Globe and Mail Article
  • Deb Pepler was quoted in this Toronto Star article about a Calgary family saying that school bullying drove their 9-year-old to suicide: See Article
  • Deb Pepler was quoted in this CBC News article about the psychology of child 'mob' violence and bullying after an attack in Saskatoon: ​See Article
  • Deb Pepler will be part of the St. Michael's College School Respect & Culture Review committee to ensure respect and safety for students: See Article
    Deb Pepler was interviewed for CBC Radio's Metro Morning segment about changing the culture of bullying in light of the assaults at St. Michael's College School: See Article
    Deb Pepler was quoted in this Canadian Press story on how disturbing bullying reports can be used to teach kids about bystander intervention: See Article

Pillai Riddell

  • Rebecca Pillai Riddell, September 2019. "Why some challenges are now banned from YouTube". See Article
  • Rebecca Pillai Riddell, September 2019. "Afraid of Needles? You May Want to Blame Your Genes -You might have your relatives to thank for some specific fears."Full Article


  • Maggie Toplak,"Intelligence Vs. Rationality".  June 6, 2019. See Article


  • The main KM project for me is the development of a video related to fluoride exposure during early development (Funded by SHHRC Partnership Grant)
  • Water Economics, Policy and Governance Network (WEPGN); Project title: Developing a strategy to address knowledge gaps related to early life exposure to fluoride.
  • Environmental Health News. news (released 10/10/2018) by Brian Bienkowski
  • We add it to drinking water for our teeth — but is fluoride hurting us? York University (released 10/10/2018) by Anjum Nayyar See Article
  • Fluoride levels in pregnant women in Canada show drinking water is primary source of exposure to fluoride, York University (released 10/11/2018) by Anjum Nayyar See Article
  • Study shows potential effect of fluoride on thyroid function for some Canadians Radio International (released 10/10/2018) See Article
  • Fluoride in pregnant women shows water is the primary source, University of Toronto (released 10/10/2018) See Article

  • U of T-led study finds link between 'ADHD-like symptoms' and high fluoride levels during pregnancy, University of Toronto See Article


  • Featured in Y-File, York University News Source, January 7, 2019: Year in Review 2018: Top headlines for York University, April to June. Retrievable from: See Article
  • Featured in York University’s Faculty of Health Impact Report 2018-2019: Leading Autism Spectrum Disorder Research. Retrievable from: See Article
  • Featured in Newswire, September 25, 2018: Autism Speaks Canada Launches Connect, Canada’s First Virtual Platform to Engage and Inform the Autism Community. Retrievable from: See Article
  • Featured in The Globe and Mail, July 13, 2018: A Games pioneer, a leading light in research. Retrievable from: See Article
  • Featured in The Canadian Psychology Association, June 30, 3018: Educational and School Psychology, Section of the CPA’s Spring 2018 Newsletter. Retrievable from: See Article
  • Featured in Fragile X News Today, May 31, 2018: Cognitive behavioral therapy may help kids with autism, including Fragile X, manage emotions. Retrievable from: See Article
  • Featured in The National Elf Service’s The Mental Elf, May 9, 2018: CBT may help to improve emotion regulation in children with autism. Retrievable from: See Article