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Magdalena Janus


Dr. Magdalena Janus is a Professor at the McMaster University’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences where she holds the Ontario Chair in Early Child Development. Since joining the Offord Centre for Child Studies at McMaster in 1997, Magdalena, together with the late Dr. Dan Offord, developed the Early Development Instrument (EDI), a measure of children's readiness to learn at school entry. This initiative has generated interest at national and international levels, from academic and social policy perspectives. Magdalena and her team support the implementation of the EDI in Canada, and its adaptation in many international sites. Magdalena's research interests also include the transition to school, with a particular emphasis on children with special needs, and communities' engagement in children's early development and health. Magdalena has an associate appointment in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and is on faculty in the Graduate program in Health Research Methodology. She is an active educator, being directly involved in teaching, supervising, or tutoring students, as well as in development of new curricula, with special relevance to early child development.

Featured Publications

  • Janus, M., Brownell, M., Ried-Westoby, C., Bennett, T., Birken, C., Coplan, R., … & Santos, R. (2018). Establishing a protocol for building a pan-Canadian population-based monitoring system for early childhood development for children with health disorders: Canadian Children’s Health in Context Study (CCHICS). BMJ Open, 1-10. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-023688
  • Janus, M., Mauti, E., Horner, M., Duku, E., Siddiqua, A., & Davies, S. (2017). Behaviour profiles of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Kindergarten: Comparison with other developmental disabilities and typically developing children. Autism Research. doi: 10.1002/aur.1904
  • Janus, M., Labonté, C., Kirkpatrick, R., Davies, S. & Duku, E. (2017). The impact of speech and language problems in kindergarten on academic learning and special education status in grade three. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. doi: 10.1080/17549507.2017.1381164
  • Janus, M., Harrison, L. J., Goldfeld, S., Guhn, M., & Brinkman, S. (2016). International research utilizing the Early Development Instrument (EDI) as a measure of early child development: Introduction to the Special Issue. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 35, 1-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2015.12.007

Clinical and Research Interests

  • Monitoring of child development at school entry with the Early Development Instrument (EDI) – measuring five core areas of early child development known to be good predictors of adult health, education and social outcomes
  • Pan-Canadian Examination of Social Determinants of Children’s Developmental Health - examining the association between developmental health outcomes and socioeconomic and demographic variables according to local geographic areas where children spent their early years
  • Fit for School, Fit for Life-Child Health and School Readiness – investigating association between BMI and other health and developmental trajectories (e.g. physical activity, sedentary behaviours, sleep, nutritional risk, etc.) and emotion regulation trajectories in early childhood and school readiness at school entry
  • Forum for Early Child Development Monitoring - is a Canada-wide network of researchers, practitioners and organizations building a comprehensive, population-based early child development monitoring system
  • 2014 Ontario Child Health Study – examining the mental health and functioning of 10,530 children in families and neighbourhoods across Ontario
  • 2014 Ontario Child Health Study School Mental Health Surveys – a component of the larger 2014 OCHS that will enlist schools across Ontario to study school-level influences on student mental health


  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Toronto
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto
  • Ph.D., Cambridge University, UK
  • M.Sc., Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland

Research Areas

  • Population-level measurement of children’s developmental health at school entry: methodology, outcomes and correlates
  • Individual, neighbourhood, community and policy impact on children’s development
  • Transition to school for children with special needs

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