Students in the Lab

Amanda Krysman

Dr. Amanda Krygsman is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Brain and Behaviour Lab at the University of Ottawa supervised by Dr. Tracy Vaillancourt and Dr. Irene Vitoroulis. Her fellowship is entitled: Development of psychopathology: Associations with mental health and interpersonal relationships. Dr. Krygsman’s research emphasises the interpersonal context of mental health in the development, and maintenance of mental health symptoms.

Selected Publications:

  1. Krygsman, A. & Vaillancourt, T. (2019). Peer victimization, aggression, and depression symptoms in preschoolers. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 47, 62-73. doi:10.1016/j.ecresq.2018.09.006
  2. Krygsman, A. & Vaillancourt, T. (2018). Peer victimization and depression symptoms: The moderating role of gender non-normative aggression and school transition. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 28, 2531-2542. doi:10.1007/s10826-018-1119-z
  3. Krygsman, A. & Vaillancourt, T. (2017). Longitudinal associations between depression symptoms and peer experiences: Evidence of symptoms-driven pathways. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 51, 21-34. doi: 10.1016/j.appdev.2017.05.003
  4. Wright, R., Burgos, G., Krygsman, A., Brown, J. (2015). Tracking and retaining participants of an afterschool arts program in a follow-up Canadian study. Intervention, 142, 93-102.
  5. Vaillancourt, T., Brittain, H.L., McDougall, P., Krygsman, A., Boylan, K., Duku, E., & Hymel, S. (2014). Predicting borderline personality disorder symptoms in adolescents from childhood physical and relational aggression, depression, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Development and Psychopathology, 26(3), 817-830. doi:10.1017/S0954579414000418
  6. Wang, W., Vaillancourt, T., Brittain, H., McDougall, P., Krygsman, A., Smith, D., Cunningham, C., Haltigan, J.D., & Hymel, S. (2014). School climate, peer victimization, and academic achievement: Results from a multi-informant study. School Psychology Quarterly, 29(3), 360-377. doi:10.1037/spq0000084
  7. Wright, R., Alaggia, R. & Krygsman, A. (2014). Five-year follow-up study of the qualitative experiences of youth in an afterschool arts program in low-income communities. Journal of Social Service Research, 40, 137-146. doi:10.1080/01488376.2013.845130
  8. Wright, R., Krygsman, A., Ilango, P., & Levitz, N. (2013). Tamil Nadu Child and Family Health Study: A Preliminary Study. Journal on Social Work, 3(8), 85-102.

Heather Brittain

Heather Brittain is a Vanier Scholar who is completing her doctoral degree in the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa. She obtained masters degrees in education and statistics. Ms. Brittain is investigating how the experience of being bullied is associated with academic functioning (grades, standardized test scores, and learning skills) over four academic periods (elementary, middle, secondary, and postsecondary) and how these experiences relate to postsecondary educational success and other functional outcomes during adulthood such as job stability.

Selected publications

  1. Vaillancourt, T., & Brittain, H. (2019). Longitudinal associations among primary and secondary psychopathic traits, anxiety, and borderline personality features across adolescence. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 10(4), 354-364.
  2. Vaillancourt, T., Brittain, H., Haltigan, J.D., Ostrov, J. M., & Muir, C. (2018). Cortisol moderates the relation between physical peer victimization and physical aggression in preschoolers attending high quality daycares: Evidence of differential susceptibility across informants. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 64, 101-134.
  3. Vaillancourt, T., Brittain, H., McDougall, P., & Duku, E. (2013). Longitudinal links between childhood peer victimization, internalizing and externalizing problems, and academic functioning: Developmental cascades. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 41, 1203-1215.  
  4. Vaillancourt, T., Brittain, H., Bennett, L., Arnocky, S., McDougall, P., Hymel, S., Short, K., Sunderani, S., Scott, C., Mackenzie, M., & Cunningham, L. (2010). Places to Avoid: Population-Based Study of Student Reports of Unsafe and High Bullying Areas at School. Canadian Journal of School Psychology, 25(1), 40-54.

Adam C. Davis

Adam is a fourth year Ph.D. Education candidate. His principal research interests involve using an evolutionary perspective to study dark personality traits, jealousy, gossip, and aggressive behaviour among youth. He often uses sexual selection theory to examine the ways in which people compete for mates and resources that contribute to reproductive success, such as status.

Selected publications

1. Davis, A. C., Vaillancourt, T., & Archer, J. (2020). Evolutionary roots of women’s aggression: Causes, contexts, and consequences. In F. M. Cheung & D. F. Halpern (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of the international psychology of women (pp. 258–272). Cambridge University Press.

2. Davis, A. C., Vaillancourt, T., & Arnocky, S. (2020). The Dark Tetrad and male clients of prostitution. Frontiers in Psychology, 11.

3. Davis, A. C., Vaillancourt, T., Arnocky, S, & Doyle, R. (2019). Women’s gossip as an intrasexual competition strategy: An evolutionary approach to sex and discrimination. In F. Giardini & R. Wittek (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of gossip and reputation (pp. 303–321). Oxford University Press.

4. Davis, A. C., Desrochers, J., DiFilippo, A., Vaillancourt, T., & Arnocky, S. (2018). Type of jealousy differentially predicts cost-inflicting and benefit-provisioning mate retention. Personal Relationships, 25(4), 596–610.

5. Davis, A. C., Dufort, C., Desrochers, J., Vaillancourt, T. & Arnocky, S. (2018). Gossip as an intrasexual competition strategy: Sex differences in gossip frequency, content, and attitudes. Evolutionary Psychological Science, 4(2), 141–153.

Dr. Ann Farrell

Dr. Ann Farrell is a Banting Fellow in Counselling Psychology, Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa. Her research examines the longitudinal development of youth bullying and aggression. Her primary interests include examining the personality traits and social contexts that contribute to youth bullying and the long-term outcomes of these associations, such as the continuity of aggression.

Selected Publications:

  1. Farrell, A. H., & Vaillancourt, T.(2021; in press). Examining the joint development of antisocial behavior and personality: Predictors and trajectories of adolescent indirect aggression and Machiavellianism. Developmental Psychology.
  2. Vaillancourt, T.& Farrell, A. H. (2021; in press). Mean kids become mean adults: Trajectories of indirect aggression from age 11 to 22. Aggressive Behavior. doi: 10.1002/ab.21950
  3. Farrell, A. H., & Vaillancourt, T. (2020; online first). Adolescent empathic concern and perspective taking: Heterogenous developmental trajectories and childhood social and psychological factors. Journal of Personality, 1-17. doi: 10.1111/jopy.12607
  4. Farrell, A. H., & Vaillancourt, T.(2020). Bullying perpetration and narcissistic personality traits across adolescence: Joint trajectories and childhood risk factors. Frontiers in Psychiatry: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 11, Article 483229. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2020.483229
  5. Farrell, A. H., Volk, A. A., & Vaillancourt, T. (2020). Empathy, exploitation, and adolescent bullying perpetration: A longitudinal social-ecological investigation. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 42(3),436-449. doi: 10.1007/s10862-019-09767-6

Charlotte Hammill

Charlotte is a first year M.A. Ed., Counselling Psychology student at the University of Ottawa and is currently working as a research assistant for Dr. Vaillancourt and the Brain and Behaviour Lab. She received her Honours Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2019 from Western University in London, ON. Her current research interests include the impact of social media on youth mental health, and specifically, it’s impact on youth self-esteem. For her thesis, Charlotte hopes to create a preventative or intervention based cognitive behavioural therapy program for young girls that mitigates the tendency to engage in social comparisons when using social media. When she is not studying, Charlotte likes yoga, hiking, travelling, and creative writing.

Rachael Morgan

Rachael is a first-year M.A. Counselling Psychology student at the University of Ottawa and research assistant in the Brain and Behaviour Lab. She completed her Honours B.A. in Psychology at Nipissing University in 2020 under the supervision of Dr. Steven Arnocky. Her Master’s research focuses on the links between bullying and mental and physical health outcomes in sexual minority youth. Aside from her studies, Rachael enjoys spending time at the lake, exercising, and reading. She is also a passionate advocate for eating disorder awareness, education, and prevention.

Sarah Grace Karasz

Sarah Grace Karasz is a Master of Arts/Education student in the Counselling Psychology program at the University of Ottawa. Her research interests include relational aggression, social anxiety, ADHD, OCD, and neuroscience of mental health among youth and young adults. Sarah’s Master’s thesis will examine the longitudinal effects of relational aggression among adolescent friendships. In addition to her academics and research assistantship within the Brain & Behaviour Lab, Sarah works as a part-time relief counsellor at a residential addiction-treatment center for marginalized women.

Carleigh Sanderson

Carleigh is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Psychology.  Throughout her time with the Brain and Behaviour Lab, Carleigh became a member of PREVNet’s Graduate Student Executive Committee, was a representative for the Graduate Association for Students in Psychology, and has presented at numerous scientific conferences. Her doctoral research examines the longitudinal associations between mental health, physical health, and involvement in bullying from childhood to young adulthood. 

Selected Publications:

  1. Brown, A., Millman, H., Easterbrook, B., Heber, Park, R., A., Lanius, R.A., Nazarov, A., Jetly, R., Stanley-Aikens, R., Sanderson, C., Hutchins, C., Darte, K., Hall, A., Brémault-Phillips, S., Smith-MacDonald, L., Doak, D., Oakley, T., Nicholson, A.A., Pichtikova, M., Smith, P., Mulligan, A., Byerlay, C. & McKinnon, M.C. (submitted). Working together to address sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces. The Journal of Military, Veteran and Family Health
  2. Sanderson, C., Vaillancourt, T., Swearer, S., Cornell, D., Sawyer, J., & Hyzer, R. (2019, August 11). Bullying Behaviour Among Adolescents: A Complex Problem Requiring a Multifaceted Solution. Chicago, Il.: American Psychological Association.
  3. Vaillancourt, T., Sanderson, C., Arnold, P., & McDougall, P. (2017). The neurobiology of peer victimization: Longitudinal links to health, genetic risk, and epigenetic mechanisms. In C.P. Bradshaw (Ed,), Handbook of bullying prevention: A life course perspective. National Association of Social Workers Press.