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Offord Centre

Offord Centre for Child Studies

The Offord Centre is a multi-disciplinary research institute established in 1992.  Through collaboration across fields such as child psychiatry, psychology, epidemiology, pediatrics, policy development, social work, and nursing, the Centre’s aim is to better understand children’s mental health problems with the overall goal of improving the lives of children and youth.


Research at the Offord Centre for Child Studies is focused on early child development. We work to understand why some children grow up to be healthy, well-adjusted adults while others do not, and to find solutions that will help to prevent, or ameliorate, emotional and behavioural problems in children and youth that can result in a lifetime of suffering and disadvantage.

Our researchers have earned worldwide recognition for their work, building Canada’s reputation for excellence in health research and confirming the Centre’s status as an international leader in the scientific study of the important issues that have an impact on children’s mental health and development.

The Offord Centre has a diverse group of researchers with varied academic backgrounds and research interests.  These research interests can be roughly categorized into the following 4 areas of focus (click on the specific area to learn more):

  • Child mental health & neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Influences on child health & development
  • Treatments, interventions, screening & services
  • Knowledge translation & community connections

Application to Consumer

The Offord Centre conducts research on how best to provide treatment and services for children experiencing difficulties. This includes studies on how services are used, how service usage can be improved, how disorders can be measured and how interventions can be implemented. Offord Centre research could not be done without partnerships and participation from numerous organizations, such as international health organizations, academic institutions, various levels of government, and at a more local level, schools and clinical service providers. The knowledge produced is then moved from the lab, research journal and academic conference to the people and organizations who can put the information to practical use.


Key Partnerships

  • Child and Youth Mental Health Program, McMaster Children’s Hospital
  • Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care
  • Ministry of Education
  • Ministry of Child and Youth Services

Other Faculty

  • James MacKillop, PhD
    • Application of behavioral economics and neuroeconomics to addictive disorders
  • Zena Samaan, MD, PhD
    • Determinants of opioid use disorder treatment response
  • Suzanne Archie, MD
    • Intersection of psychosis risk and cannabis use
  • Jennifer Brasch, MD
    • Overlap between suicidality and substance abuse
  • Joey De Leo, PhD
    • Evidence-based treatment of concurrent disorders

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