Make resilience matter for children exposed to intimate partner violence: Innovations in evaluation—Ramona Alaggia*, Sarah Morton & Cathy Vine

Research contribution framework (RCF) is outlined in this poster as a knowledge mobilization strategy for identifying contextual issues, environmental impact, unexpected developments, and addressing the various complexities of conducting evaluation in resilience studies. We apply this framework to the Make Resilience Matter (MRM) project for children exposed to intimate partner violence conducted in Toronto, Ontario. The overall aim is to foster the development of child and family programming that is “resilience informed”. To this end a RCF develops strategies to mobilize study results in the “real world” of practice. This poster presentation maps the RCF process onto the MRM project as an example of assessing context, planning and implementing multi-methods of evaluation strategies, and recounting lessons learned. An “outcomes chain” is also presented to illustrate activities/outputs; engagement/involvement; awareness/reactions; knowledge/attitudes; and anticipated practice behavior change. Four guiding principles emerged from our experience for future KMb efforts: considering context in planning; relationships and reciprocity; transparency; and adapting to changing conditions. Next steps will build on these process findings in establishing strategies to best accurately identify outcomes.

Prevalence of peer and dating victimization among Canadian children and youth: A systematic narrative review—Sabrina Allarakhia* & Melissa Kimber

Objective: To conduct a narrative review of the quantitative studies reporting on the prevalence of peer-based bullying (PBB) and teen dating violence (TDV) victimization of Canadian youth under 18.

Methods: A systematic search of eight electronic databases was conducted. Primary research in French or English that reported prevalence estimates of PBB or TDV among Canadians under 18 years was included, resulting in 19 papers on TDV and 48 on PBB. Following full-text screening, forward and backward citation chaining (October-to-December 2019) identified an additional 15 (TDV) and 43 (PBB) papers for data extraction.

Results: Results are generally from school-based surveys conducted in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia. A total of 34 articles reporting on TDV were included. Of these, nearly 30% included all-female samples; majority of the papers reported prevalence estimates for physical TDV. Only one study provided prevalence for cyber and emotional victimization, and just one focused on a First Nations population. Of the 88 papers focused on PBB, most examined traditional or cyber bullying. No studies examined PBB due to religion or disability; only one examined racial bullying. Just two of the studies focused on the LGBTQ+ community, and only four focused on Indigenous children.

Conclusion: There is little research focusing on the cyber and emotional victimization of Canadian youth by their dating partners. By contrast, cyber-victimization of Canadian children by peers is well-researched. PBB on the basis of race, religion or disability is under-studied. Research on the Indigenous and LGBTQ+ communities is scarce in both the areas of PBB and TDV.

Impact of household chaos and parenting on child executive functions: A novel, multi-method approach—Krysta Andrews*, James Dunn, Heather Prime, Eric Duku, Leslie Atkinson, & Andrea Gonzalez

Child executive functions can be adversely affected by contextual risks such as chaotic households and parenting challenges. Household chaos also negatively influences parenting. Few studies have examined the impact of parenting on the association between household chaos and child executive functions. The present study: 1) examined direct and indirect (via parenting) effects of household chaos on executive functions; and 2) explored sex differences in the effect of household chaos and parenting on child executive functions. Data were derived from a sample of 137 school-aged children (49% female) and their mothers in the Hamilton, ON region. Household chaos was measured in many, novel ways: Confusion, Hubbub, and Order Scale (CHAOS); reports of residential moves and caregiver changes; and maternal guided home tour, scored for household chaos-related variables via Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count software. Mother-child videotaped interactions were coded for cognitive sensitivity and emotional availability. Dyads completed behavioural assessments measuring executive functions. Structural equation modelling of direct and indirect effects of household chaos on a latent variable of child executive functions were examined using Mplus 8.3. Covariates were income, child sex, maternal depression and maternal executive functions. Household chaos had a significant direct effect on child executive functions (β = -.31, 95% CI [-.59, -.04]) and indirect effect via parenting (β = -.05, 95% CI [-.13, -.01]). For sex differences, a significant indirect effect of household chaos on executive functions was only found in male children (β = -.06, 95% CI [-.25, -.003]). Thus, parenting is an important factor through which household chaos affects the executive functions of school-aged children. Also, male children may be more vulnerable to these contextual risks than females. Future research should explore strategies to strengthen parenting practices that promote resilience in children.

Assessment of trauma informed care at McMaster Children’s Hospital—Gaurav Arora*, Mahrukh Nisar* & Anne Niec

Background: In 2012, ⅓ of Canadian adults reported they had experienced some form of abuse before the age of sixteen. Oftentimes, healthcare institutions that serve victims can play an inadvertent role in triggering damaging, traumatic responses due to a lack of knowledge in providing trauma-informed care (TIC). TIC recognizes the varying factors which may affect one’s exposure to trauma, such as poverty and other social determinants of health, while also understanding potential paths for recovery.

Purpose: This Quality Assurance Pilot Study aimed to assess the level of TIC at McMaster Children’s Hospital by focusing on four unique patient care departments (Nephrology, Eating Disorders, Inpatient Psychiatry, and The Child Advocacy & Assessment Program Team).

Methods: Participants completed the TICOMETER, a validated questionnaire, to assess the level of TIC within their respective departments. This tool uses 35 questions spanning across 5 overarching Domains (Knowledge, Trusting Relationships, Respect, Service Delivery, and Policies/Procedures). Following this, noteworthy trends occurring between an individual’s profession and department in regards to TIC were viewed.

Results: Insufficient scores were obtained across each Domain. Overall, Domain 1 showed the lowest score followed by Domain 5. Domain 1 determined the level of ongoing training regarding trauma and supporting policies. Domain 5 analyzed the promotion of trauma-informed procedures. Moreover, psychologists had the highest TICOMETER score and physicians showed the lowest amongst professions analyzed. Thus, an indication for the need for personalized and regular training regarding trauma and TIC throughout each department, as well as increased awareness of the hospital’s policies regarding trauma, are warranted.

Limitations: The data within this study can be made more generalizable to various healthcare institutions by recruiting more departments and increasing the sample size.

Trauma-informed care as a rights-based “standard of care”: A critical review—Maria Bargeman*, Savanah Smith* & Christine Wekerle

Background: In the decades since the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), trauma and rights have been coupled over the right to not experience violence and, post-trauma, the right to care.

Objectives: Currently, no review has examined the conceptualization of trauma-informed care (TIC) in various child-serving systems, specifically TIC as a standard of care, what outcomes are examined relevant to care, and whether rights are part of the TIC discourse.

Method: A systematic search of twelve health and non-health databases, reviewed for relevance to children and youth specifically, was conducted for a critical review of the literature. Of particular interest was the limited use of a validated assessment tool, such as the adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)-type questionnaire, to measure TIC outcomes, specifically whether trauma symptom reduction was an outcome.

Results: Forty-nine documents were selected, which included articles from child welfare (n=16), education (n=15), juvenile justice (n=8), health (n=7), and multiple sectors (n=3). A common theme across all sectors of care was a lack of clear understanding regarding what is TIC and how to implement it. While trauma symptoms seem to be a good-fit outcome and reflective of a right to rehabilitative health, it is not commonly used. Few studies explicitly included a rights perspective within TIC. The youth right to participation in shaping the TIC experience would seem an under-attended area.

Conclusion: Emerging evidence encourages systematic inquiry into the operationalization of TIC (i.e., youth engagement, clinical and measurement models) to better assess whether it is an established model with consistent measurement. From this expanded rigor, the issue as to whether TIC can evolve to a rights-based standard of care can be addressed. Overall, youth participation in a youth-driven TIC derivation remains to be considered.

“And then we got our houses- that one is mine”: Indigenous children plan for tomorrow—Elizabeth Cooper*

Between 2016-2018, 46 Indigenous children (ages 8-13) and 49 adults living within urban areas of Manitoba and British Columbia participated research that explored current strengths and barriers to achieving optimal health and wellbeing at individual and community levels, with particular emphasis on the role of culture. Children were placed at the forefront of the research, with adults supporting children in the exploration around health, wellbeing and community-resilience. Arts-based, sports-based, participatory action, and Indigenous methods were used to collect data and participants had the opportunity to be involved in initial data analysis. An overarching theme that arose throughout the 70 hours of interaction with children was fear about the future for children, families, other community members, animals and the environment. Children discussed the needs for environmental stewardship, supports for people who are homeless, spaces for education, both formal and informal, resources to improve health and community safety, thoughts about consumerism and concerns about environmental change. One of the children stated that in her perfect neighbourhood, all girls will be able to be brave. Many of the children wanted to ensure that there were nice spaces where parents and families would have the opportunity to be together, and where challenges related to intersectionality would be addressed. This poster will document key points of concern Indigenous children currently face, as well as some of their thoughts about how society can address disparities and improve health equity for all.

Developing a PROM to measure what matters to teens and adults seeking gender-affirming care: The GENDER-Q—Shelby Deibert*, Manraj Kaur, Trisia Breitkopf, Natasha Johnson, Giancarlo McEvenue, Shane Morrison, Margriet Mullender, Lotte Poulsen, Mujde Özer, Will Rowe, Thomas Satterwhite, Kinusan Savard, John Semple, Maeghan van der Meij-Ross, Andrea Pusic, & Anne Klassen

Introduction: There is need for patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) that assess the outcomes of gender-affirming care from the perspective of the transgender and gender-diverse community [1]. Developing PROMs from the perspective of those seeking gender-affirming care is important to understand effectiveness of care and impacts on quality of life (QoL)[1].

Objective: Our research team aims to meet this important need by developing the GENDER-Q, a comprehensive PROM for transgender and gender-diverse teens and adults seeking gender-affirming care. Methods: Our research team is using a three-phased mixed-methods approach that adheres to international best practice guidelines for PROM development and validation to create the GENDER-Q [1]. Phase One involves semi-structured interviewing to gain an in-depth understanding of QoL and create new items. Interviews are audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and line-by-line coded to develop a conceptual framework. The conceptual framework is used to create scales, which are refined through cognitive interviews. In Phase Two, the scales are field-tested within a large international population, followed by additional psychometric testing (Phase Three).

Progress: We have completed 79 semi-structured interviews (CA=19, DK=12, NL=21, US=27). Interview recruitment is ongoing to ensure the voices of a diverse population are included. The preliminary conceptual framework covers Appearance, QoL (Physical, Psychosocial and Sexual Well-Being) and Process of Care domains. Next steps: Interviews will continue until saturation. Once draft scales are formed, they will be modified and finalized through cognitive interviews with patients and experts.

References: [1] Klassen AF, Kaur M, Johnson N, Kreukels BP, McEvenue G, Morrison SD, et al. International phase I study protocol to develop a patient-reported outcome measure for adolescents and adults receiving gender-affirming treatments (the GENDER-Q). BMJ open. 2018 Oct 1;8(10):e025435.

Personality-targeted interventions for building resilience against substance use and mental health problems in youth involved protection services—Hanie Edalati*, Delphine Collin-Vézina & Patricia Conrod

Adolescents involved in Youth Protection Services (YPS) are at high risk of early initiation of substance use and development of substance use problems. However, there is an enormous gap between the needs and availability of trauma-informed substance use early intervention programmes in YPS. The Well-Venture project aimed to adapt an evidence-based personality-targeted drug and alcohol interventions (i.e., Preventure programme) for the needs of adolescents receiving services from YPS by examining the feasibility and proof-of-concept of implementing these interventions for reducing their risk of substance use and related problems. Adolescents were recruited from the YPS in Montreal (N = 62; 52% female; Mean age =16.07). Adolescents who scored high on one of the Substance Use Risk Profile Scale (Woicik et al., 2009) were invited to receive two group-based intervention sessions targeting their dominant personality profile: Anxiety Sensitivity, Hopelessness, Impulsivity, or Sensation Seeking. Adolescents were assessed before and 3 and 6 months after receiving the interventions. At baseline, adolescents reported an average of 6 episodes of binge drinking, consumption of more than 2 drugs, and 2-3 substance-related problems in the past 12 months. 63% of youth participated in the interventions. This presentation will report on the steps for adapting Preventure programme and the feasibility of implementing this programme in adolescents in YPS. We will also present specific sex/gender-related challenges of implementing a mental health program with traumatised youth (e.g., set-up for the screening and intervention groups of girls with sexual abuse history). Targeting personality risk factors has the potential to reduce the risk of substance use problems in victimized adolescents.

Children’s exposure to sex trafficking, sexual exploitation and community-based violence in Canada: An overview—Ayda Ferdossifard* & Melissa Kimber

Children’s exposure to community violence (i.e., intentional acts of interpersonal violence by individuals with no known relationship to the victim), as well as trafficking and exploitation (i.e., the solicitation, recruitment, transportation, transfer, and harbouring of individuals by means of threat, use of force, or coercion) disproportionately affect children living in socioeconomic disadvantage. In addition, their surreptitious characteristics, makes it difficult to estimate the scope of exposure to these forms of violence among children and adolescents. However, given the formidable health and social burdens associated with both forms of exposure, continued investments in determining their risk and protective factors, prevalence, and consequences, constitute an ongoing and important focus for advocates, practitioners and policy makers in countries across the globe, including Canada. This paper provides a comprehensive overview of the current literature evaluating the prevalence, risk and protective factors for exposure to trafficking and exploitation, as well as community-based violence among children (< 18 years) living in Canada. Parallel aims of this work are the incorporation of a human rights framework to consider populations of children for whom a disproportionate risk of exposure to these forms of violence has been identified in Canada and for whom greater investments for protection from these exposures are needed.

Trauma and transitions: Understanding the impact of adverse childhood experiences on university adjustment—Elizabeth Grassia*, Angela MacIsaac, Shakira Mohammed, Aislin Mushquash, Savanah Smith, & Christine Wekerle

Background/Objectives: Exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) during the developmentally critical periods of childhood and adolescence has the potential to negatively impact various outcomes across the lifespan, including physical and psychological health. However, comparably less is known about the impact of childhood trauma on young adults transitioning and adjusting to a novel academic setting, such as university or college. As the transition to post-secondary education presents young adults with a new environment and associated challenges, for some students, particularly those who have experienced adversity, this transition may be marked by increased stress and maladjustment. In particular, the experience of traumatic and adverse circumstances typically presents as a bar to developing resilience, and, therefore, also increases the risk for adjustment difficulties. To understand the impact of early adversity on this transitional period, a model was proposed hypothesizing that ACEs impact adjustment as measured by perceived stress, coping behaviours, resilience, psychological wellbeing, positive affect, emotion dysregulation, and depressive symptoms.

Method: A sample of 113 undergraduate students at Lakehead University were recruited to complete self-report measures of study constructs. Structural equation modeling was used to test the hypothesized model.

Results: Preliminary results will be presented.

Conclusion: A comprehensive understanding of the influence that childhood adversity has on student adjustment and factors impacting adjustment, such as resilience, will help ensure that all students can maximize their potential in an academic setting. This knowledge can aid in the implementation of trauma-informed policies and resources at post-secondary institutions to create a learning environment which supports students who have experienced adversity.

Associations between maternal history of adverse childhood experiences, maternal executive function and emotional availability—Madeleine Harris*, Harriet MacMillan, Krysta Andrews, Leslie Atkinson, Melissa Kimber, Gillian England-Mason, & Andrea Gonzalez

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are traumatic experiences including child abuse, neglect and household dysfunction, occurring before the age of 18 years. The impact of ACEs is evident across the lifespan (e.g., increased risk of mental and physical health disorders in adulthood). These associations may also extend intergenerationally, by influencing parent-child relationships. Much of the current research has focused on cross-sectional associations; however, parenting may be differentially affected by ACEs as a child ages and caregiving demands change. Furthermore, research suggests that underlying mechanisms such as the disruption of cognitive skills essential for nurturing parenting may play a role. Therefore, the objectives of this study are to examine: 1) the effects of maternal history of ACEs and maternal executive function (EF) on maternal and child emotional availability (EA) growth curves, and 2) the mediating role of maternal EF in the association between ACEs and EA. Mother-child dyads (N = 141) were followed longitudinally (2-hr home visits conducted at 3-, 8-, 18-, 36- and 60-months postpartum). At 3-months, mothers completed a self-report measure of ACEs and at 8-months, maternal EF was assessed. At the 18-, 36- and 60-month visits, mother-child interactions were videotaped and coded. Multilevel growth curves were fitted in Mplus 8. Maternal EA was stable across time, while there was an increase in child EA from 18- to 60-months postpartum. Maternal history of ACEs was negatively associated with maternal and child EA, however, this effect decreased overtime. In contrast, there was a persistent, positive effect of maternal EF on EA trajectories. Maternal EF did not mediate the association between ACEs and EA. Results advance our understanding of the transmission process of ACEs over the course of development. This knowledge is important to inform timely and preventative interventions that can be developed for parents impacted by trauma.

Conceptualizing youth resilience from trauma: Focus on sexual victimization—Katherine Kim*, Nikki Wong*, Savanah Smith, & Christine Wekerle

Background: Adolescence is a unique life stage between childhood and adulthood, characterized by distinct physical and social changes. Sexual victimization (SV) encompasses a range of unwanted sexual activities (e.g., coercion, manipulation, and/or violence by the perpetrator(s)) and a range of contexts (e.g., on-line and in-person, intra- and extra-familial, and from peers or dating partners). Compared to non-victims, SV victims are at a significantly higher risk of developing emotional, cognitive, and social problems, including but not limited to poor self-esteem, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and relationship difficulties. However, not all victims experience these problems, but may present as asymptomatic, or may demonstrate positive adjustment after the abuse —known as resilience. It is generally defined as the relative absence of psychopathology, the presence of positive adaptation, and recovery from potential symptoms, despite the experience of adversity. The experience of sexual victimization of adolescence is expected to have unique risk factors, outcomes, and considerations for treatment toward resilience.

Methodology: Four different databases were utilized in our search: MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO and Sociological Abstracts. Inclusion criteria included studies written in the English language and comprised of participants aged 11-18 years old, with no limits set on publication date.

Results & Implications: Preliminary searches gathered 192 studies and a total of 10 studies were included in our review. Across all studies analyzed, four main themes associated with sexually victimized adolescents and resilience included: social support, disclosure experience, self and surroundings, and SV characteristics.

The association between child and youth mental health service urgency and exposure to childhood interpersonal trauma—Catherine Marshall, Valbona Semovski* & Shannon Stewart

Background: Children and youth with a history of maltreatment experience a variety of different developmental, psychiatric and health problems. Ensuring there is streamlined access to services is imperative to their recovery. Yet, there are few reports of standardized methods for direction and prioritizing risk for children seeking services.

Objective: The current study aims to address this gap and explore how mental health personnel triage highly vulnerable cases. More specifically, the goal of the current study is to examine whether experiencing childhood interpersonal trauma (physical and sexual abuse, exposure to domestic violence, death or loss of parent/guardian, parental substance abuse, and bullying) predicts service urgency. Participants and Setting: 19, 645 children and youth, ages 4-18 (M = 11.1 SD = 3.4) were evaluated.

Methods: Retrospective data collected from the interRAI Child and Youth Mental Health Screener (ChYMH-S) was used to explore differences in maltreatment history, gender, and legal guardianship and their impact on service prioritization.

Results: The findings suggested that children and youth who are exposed to some form of interpersonal trauma are more likely to have mental health issues requiring urgent follow-up service than those who are not exposed to trauma. Findings also revealed that gender and legal guardianship impact service urgency.

Conclusions: Children and youth who have experienced maltreatment are significantly more likely to score high on mental health service urgency than those who have not. This provides valuable insight that can support the development of appropriate system-level changes to policy and practice when servicing children and youth with mental health needs in Canada.

Adaptive co-management in an Arctic context—Jeffrey McLean* & Nancy Doubleday

In the context of natural resource governance, a top-down and centralized governance structure is problematic for communities closely dependent on local natural resources. Take the collapse of the Atlantic cod fisheries for example. Adaptive co-management (ACM) is a form of natural resource governance that values Indigenous, government and scientific perspectives. ACM combines two concepts: adaptive management and co-management. Adaptive management follows a “learning by doing” approach that embraces both the scientific method as well as the uncertain and everchanging nature of the environment. Co-management involves user participation in decision making through inclusion of both community and government managers. By combining these two concepts ACM moves beyond top-down governance. ACM is relevant to environmental health because Indigenous perspectives are closely related to the living environment. Leaders in the field of study, Armitage, Berkes and Doubleday (2007), suggest researching emerging themes, in particular conditions of success and failure is a focus. Understanding the conditions that lead to success or failure is important for enabling the production of ACM in lasting and meaningful ways. Here, I present a narrative review of ACM in an Arctic context. The narrative review is a commentary, meaning that it expresses my opinion and is therefore biased. The purpose of this commentary is to provoke scholarly dialog. I aim to answer the following research questions: What is ACM? What conditions enable success or lead to failure when producing ACM? How is ACM produced in an Arctic context?

Screening for child maltreatment: What are the risks?—Jill McTavish*, Andrea Gonzalez, Nancy Santesso, Jennifer MacGregor, Christine McKee, & Harriet L. MacMillan

Background: Child maltreatment affects a large number of children globally and is a significant risk factor for gender-based violence in adulthood. Strategies have been developed to identify children suspected of having been exposed to maltreatment with the aim of reducing further maltreatment and impairment. This poster summarizes the findings of a systematic review that evaluated the accuracy of strategies for identifying children exposed to maltreatment. False positives and negatives of various identification strategies are presented, a calculation which may better assist providers who are considering various identification strategies. When analyzing the results, attention is payed to the micro (e.g., gender) and macro (e.g., institutional racism) implications of identification strategies.

Methods: We conducted a systematic search of six databases. We extracted data about accuracy of identification strategies and calculated false positives and negatives per 100 or 100,000 children.

Results: We included 32 articles that evaluated various identification strategies, including three screening tools (SPUTOVAMO checklist, Escape instrument, and a 6-item screening questionnaire for child sex trafficking). Using a population level estimate (per 100,000), many screening strategies resulted in hundreds of children being missed and thousands of children being over identified yearly.

Discussion: There has been a significant push to implement screening tools across a variety of healthcare and social service settings, despite limited evidence that screening improves the well-being of children and families or reduces recurrence of maltreatment. While screening strategies are often perceived as a technical advance in the identification of children exposed to maltreatment, this poster problematizes screening technology by considering how bias may impact children falsely identified by screening tools.

Child sexual abuse, disclosure and PTSD: A systematic and critical review—Jill McTavish*, Irina Sverdlichenko, Harriet MacMillan, & Christine Wekerle

Background: Child maltreatment affects a large number of children globally and is a significant risk factor for gender-based violence in adulthood. Strategies have been developed to identify children suspected of having been exposed to maltreatment with the aim of reducing further maltreatment and impairment. This poster summarizes the findings of a systematic review that evaluated the accuracy of strategies for identifying children exposed to maltreatment. False positives and negatives of various identification strategies are presented, a calculation which may better assist providers who are considering various identification strategies. When analyzing the results, attention is payed to the micro (e.g., gender) and macro (e.g., institutional racism) implications of identification strategies.

Methods: We conducted a systematic search of six databases. We extracted data about accuracy of identification strategies and calculated false positives and negatives per 100 or 100,000 children.

Results: We included 32 articles that evaluated various identification strategies, including three screening tools (SPUTOVAMO checklist, Escape instrument, and a 6-item screening questionnaire for child sex trafficking). Using a population level estimate (per 100,000), many screening strategies resulted in hundreds of children being missed and thousands of children being over identified yearly.

Discussion: There has been a significant push to implement screening tools across a variety of healthcare and social service settings, despite limited evidence that screening improves the well-being of children and families or reduces recurrence of maltreatment. While screening strategies are often perceived as a technical advance in the identification of children exposed to maltreatment, this poster problematizes screening technology by considering how bias may impact children falsely identified by screening tools.

Sex related differences in longitudinal associations of working memory and cannabis use in adolescents– Sima Noorbakhsh*, Mohammad Afzali & Patricia Conrod

Background: Sex differences in brain structure and endocannabinoid system may create a variable environment for the consequences of substance use. The difference is highlighted specifically during adolescence at which the brain is more vulnerable to structural and functional changes. Although there is a strong body of work on the association between substance use and neurocognitive function, surprisingly little is known about the sex-specific Working Memory impairments as risk factors and consequences of early exposure to cannabis (2). Given previous findings on the different levels of vulnerability of females and males to substance use (2), we hypothesized that there is a sex-related difference in the reciprocal and longitudinal associations of neurocognitive functioning and alcohol and cannabis use during adolescence. The present study aims to compare the cognitive functioning of male and female adolescents before and after cannabis and alcohol use with a longitudinal design.

Methods: Participants of the current study were 151 high school students recruited from Montreal. Adolescents were assessed three times at baseline, 24 and 48 months later, using a large battery of cognitive, substance use, and mental health assessments. Multi-group cross-lagged panel models were used to examine sex-specific associations between consumption and neuro-cognitive functioning.

Results: Preliminary findings will be presented.

Indigenous youth response to a smartphone application for resiliency: Focus group study—Noella Noronha*, Christine Wekerle, Anne Niec, Alex Drossos, Savanah Smith, & Cynthia Lokker

JoyPop is a mental wellness smartphone application used to promote resiliency. This study aims to understand Indigenous youths’ perceptions of JoyPop, and to identify additional features that reflect their cultural needs which will be incorporated into a new iteration of JoyPop. The identified features and themes will build a framework for use in the cultural adaptation of other applications. We are planning focus groups to be conducted in Winter 2020 with Indigenous youth ages 12-25 who reside on the largest First Nation/reserve in Canada, the Six Nations of the Grand River, and attend the co-educational immersion private school, Kawenní:yo/Gawén:niyo. A general conversational and inductive approach will be used following a realist paradigm guided analysis. Our analysis will focus on emerging themes that reflect the unique needs of the participating youth. We anticipate that based on the information we gather, that we will be able to translate these themes into features that can be integrated into the next iteration of the application. Understanding how youth interact and feel about the existing functionalities and gaining details on how they would prefer to interact or have information/activities presented will further allow us to draft an initial framework for adapting mental health applications to reflect the cultural needs of Indigenous youth. Mental health applications should be tailored to meet the needs of specific populations using participant-oriented frameworks. Applying co-design and user needs to these applications can increase user interaction and utilization while also improving the health of users.

The McMaster Demystifying Medicine Program: A student-led platform for scientific communication—Manreet (Sonia) Padwal*, Megan Vierhout, Harleen Padwal, Aaron Hayat, Yousif Eliya, Rajat Bhargava, Parichehr Yazdanshenas, Khaled Nawar, Soumeya Abed, Roma Sehmi, Darren Bridgewater, Renee Labiris, Irwin Arias, & Kjetil Ask

Bridging the gap between scientific research and clinical practice continues to be a challenge and can result in years before discoveries can be integrated into healthcare. Recently, educational programs have begun to emphasize the critical role of knowledge translation as a potential strategy of increasing the flow of information between evidence and practice. We report on the successful McMaster Demystifying Medicine (DM) Program for undergraduate students adapted from the National Institute of Health in Maryland, USA. The McMaster DM Program is an education platform focusing on knowledge translation and is comprised of the health sciences 4DM3 undergraduate course, the DM YouTube Channel and the seminar series. In the cross-disciplinary undergraduate course, students generate educational videos on complex scientific and medical topics for a specified target audience with a recent focus on topics in mental health research. The educational videos are posted onto the DM YouTube Channel which has reached 35 thousand subscribers with nearly 10 million total views worldwide. Approximately 25% of these views come from wide variety of videos under the umbrella of mental health and we are currently expanding this arm of the program not only through the channel but also through the seminar series. The seminar series is
comprised of presentations given by experts in the field including faculty scientists, physicians, patients and trainees for a broad university based audience. These experts provide insight into current advances in basic sciences research while establishing a space for networking and collaboration. Recently, we have expanded the DM program to include a new course where undergraduate students collaborate with community partners to develop educational materials on various topics. Lastly, we have also launched educational research projects in order to assess the learning experience of students within the program. Overall, the success of the DM program holds promise for bridging the evidence-practice gap and this platform the
potential to be applied to other disciplines.

Resilience in the face of health effects of flooding in Indigenous communities in the prairies—Hamidreza Rashidi*, Lalita Bharadwaj, Graham Strickert, Kurt Belcher, Alasdair Morrison, & Lori Bradford

Some Indigenous reserves in the prairie provinces of Canada are vulnerable to flooding and resulting effects on health and wellbeing. This susceptibility is due in part to less than optimal reserve land placement and challenges with watershed-scale management. Our current study, in Treaty 4 and 6 territories focuses on discovering physical, mental, and social health effects of repeated flooding in partnership with James Smith Cree Nation and Yellow Quill First Nation. Systematic reviewing of published health effects from flooding was blended with qualitative data from diverse co-learners including youth and Elders, and was co-analyzed using Nvivo. Results were translated into agent rules for agent-based models of each community which facilitated the exploration of various flood scenarios by co-learners.  Findings indicated people often experience minor injuries during preparation for, and cleanup and evacuation after flooding, and may exacerbate chronic conditions such as heart disease. Community members  suffer from social-psychological issues: a) they are at high risk of isolation, motor vehicle accidents, or evacuations because of deteriorated road quality; b) they experience aggravated health issues from existing health conditions; c) and they report experiencing lasting effects from mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder for years after flood events. All of this happens within a local healthcare system which is under-resourced to manage community health issues arising from repeated flooding. Compounding issues such as mold buildup and contaminated water supplies and cisterns cause a backlog of problems which the community must deal with in the absence of substantial outside help.

With this research we hope to inform policy on inclusion of Indigenous voices in watershed-level of management, health policy on reserves for flooding or other climate-related events, and future research in Indigenous healthcare systems, infrastructure, and disaster planning.

Exploring discourse around male intimate partner violence disclosures through Reddit submissions and replies—Marudan Sivagurunathan*, Tara Pakham, Dave Walton, Richard Booth, & Joy MacDermid

Background: Research on male IPV survivors is limited. The rudimentary research available on responses to male IPV disclosure suggest men receive more negative and less helpful responses from potential sources of formal or informal support. Given the proliferation of social networking sites, support seeking is increasingly occurring on the web. While this may be potentially beneficial for male victims of IPV who are socially isolated, the nature of their emerging experiences in disclosure in this format have not been described.

Objectives: This study examined the nature (supportive/negative) and content of responses to IPV disclosure from male IPV survivors.

Methods: Search of Reddit submissions related to male IPV were carried out using 3 keywords. twelve of 917 submissions met the inclusion criteria (disclosed men’s experiences of IPV). The disclosure and commenters’ responses were analyzed using a convergent mixed methods (quantitative content analysis and qualitative thematic analysis) approach.

Results: Majority of disclosures were of personal experience of IPV (66.7%). Among other findings, disclosure narratives contained sex of perpetrator (100%), types of abuse (58.3%), outcomes of past disclosure (33.3%), and experiences of systemic biases (33.3%). Eight major themes emerged as response to men’s disclosure of IPV: (1) Informational Support, (2) Emotional Support, (3) Esteem Support, (4) Tangible Aid, (5) Negative Behaviour, (6) Network Support, (7) Self-Defence, and (8) Reciprocal Disclosure.

Conclusion: Overall, the response to IPV disclosures were supportive. However, negative responses including criticizing and minimizing the abuse bias are potential risks for men when disclosing through web-based social platforms.

Decision making and the role of gender identity in community-based trauma treatment delivery among sexually abused youth- A qualitative study—Ashwini Tiwari*, Savanah Smith, Christine Wekerle, Melissa Kimber, Harriet MacMillan, & Andrea Gonzalez

Background: Limited clinical guidelines for evidence-based trauma treatment programs address community-based services for youth victims of unique gender identities. While trauma services may be effective in addressing general issues that victimized youth face, it is unclear if community treatment providers adhere to a specific treatment model in practice and whether adaptations are made to address gender-specific concerns.


Objectives: This qualitative study aimed to examine: 1. service provider delivery of trauma-based services for sexually victimized youth across Ontario, Canada; and 2. the role of gender in treatment modifications.

Methods: Individual and group face-to-face and phone, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 51 service providers across eight Ontario community-based organizations offering trauma services to sexually victimized youth. Agencies included child advocacy centres, homeless shelters, and out-patient hospital settings. Qualitative content analysis was employed to examine transcribed interview data.

Results: Providers indicated that they offer multi-model client-centered services to meet the individual needs of youth victims of sexual abuse. In general, they described three major decision-making factors behind delivery: youth-provider collaboration, clinician judgment, and inter-organizational discussions. While providers describe the importance of gender in youth’s traumatic experiences, they highlighted that services may not require modifications based on youth gender identity. Some providers noted the importance of clinician gender-matching for effective youth engagement.

Conclusions. This project takes critical first steps to understand disseminated services across agencies to better serve youth of all gender identities suffering from sexual abuse victimization. Results illustrate complex processes and the convergence of multiple decision-making factors needed in real-world settings to address the unique needs of youth.