Adolescence is a time of change…

It is a remarkable developmental period in which children are transformed neurobiologically, cognitively and interpersonally as they prepare for adult roles and relationships. The confluence of these diverse changes makes adolescence a “sensitive” developmental period, where vulnerability increases but opportunities for growth are also heightened. In our lab we are interested in factors that increase risk and provide protection during pre-adolescence and adolescent development. Our work integrates research on both normative and atypical developmental trajectories with the goal of understanding how we can support healthy development and intervene during critical transitions to reduce risk. Over the past decade we have focused on understanding risk and protective factors among adolescent girls and boys at high risk for violence and victimization. Our eight-year longitudinal study with these teens has produced important findings on the complexity of their mental health needs, the social contexts that place them at risk and the personal and relational factors that buffer them from adversity. We are strongly committed to knowledge translation, and the development of evidence based interventions to prevent and reduce risk. Together with community partners in mental health and education, we have developed, delivered and evaluated programs that provide important benefits to youth and their families and cost saving measures to society.
Research & Current Projects
Connect Parent Group
AHL will be presenting at Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) Biennial Virtual Conference 2021
SRCD is an international, multidisciplinary, nonprofit professional association whose primary goal is to promote the understanding of child development through research and dissemination. Two posters,...
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Check-out Our Recent Publications!
We have recently updated our publication list, click here to learn more about the research contributions of the Adolescent Health Lab.    
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AHL will be Presenting at ABCT’s 54th Annual Convention, November 2020
A systematic review investigating the association between parental depression, adolescent attachment, and adolescent mental health outcomes conducted by AHL member Sherene Balanji and Dr Marlene...
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Introducing eConnect Online!
The eConnect Online program is an adaptation that builds on the strong evidence of the broadly implemented in-person Connect program. We have adapted the program...
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Dr Marlene Moretti was an Invited Keynote Presenter at the 2020 OVC Applied Research & Best Practice Symposium
Dr Marlene Moretti was an Invited Keynote Presenter at the 2020 OVC Applied Research & Best Practice Symposium taking place virtually on May 6th. The...
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Recent Research Evaluating Connect for Kinship and Foster Parents Published in Child Welfare
Research evaluating the Connect for Kinship and Foster Parents program has been published in a recent special issue of Child Welfare Journal (Vol. 97, No....
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Julia Vernon, B.A.

Masters Student

Julia earned her BA in Psychology and International Development Studies at McGill University in 2013. After graduation, she worked at the HIV Prevention Lab in the Department of Psychology at Ryerson University for five years, where she coordinated multiple research studies, including clinical trials evaluating individual and group-based motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioural therapy treatment protocols. Julia joined the Adolescent Health Lab in September 2018 as a Master’s student in the Clinical Psychology program. She looks forward to developing her clinical and research skills and contributing to the literature on adverse childhood experiences, internalizing symptoms, resilience, and attachment.