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Current Research Projects

Social Media use during the pandemic 

How are individuals using social media during the pandemic? Does that social media use have a positive or negative effect on their mental health? An online survey in 2020-2021 of 1398 adults revealed promising benefits such as community connection and reduction of loneliness. However, many negative impacts on mental health were noted such as ‘toxic positivity’, ‘digital drama’,
and stress.

Children's art during the Pandemic

Artistic expression is beneficial for mental health and a possible method of empowerment for children during times of crisis. Exploring how children engaged with the creative arts and the artifacts they created shed light on their experiences during the pandemic. The study, in 2021, included workshops for children and parents to learn how to use the arts as a coping strategy to support mental health (4 workshops held 2020-2021). 

Digital Wellness 

Digital citizenship and digital literacy are a focus in many schools across Canada. Although some models focus on digital wellness there is no current model or framework for digital wellness from a positive psychology and mental health perspective. This current grounded theory research examines a new model for digital well-being to be used across the lifespan

Digital Self Intelligence

This study explores a framework for digital-self intelligence. When a person is aware of how they represent themselves in a digital world, technologies’ impacts on their well-being, and have ways to manage their online behavior in a healthy and productive manner they are demonstrating digital-self intelligence. This framework is modeled after theories of emotional intelligence

TikTok: the danger of fads, trends, and challenges

This paper explores the double edge sword of Tik Tok. Both risks and benefits of this popular social media app are explored in relation to youth mental health and development. Public data from social media and the news provides case studies. Recommendations for parents and educators are provided

The double edge sword of social media (book):

This book consists of various chapters on the mental health impacts of various social media apps such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat and Twitter. Benefits, risks ,and moderating variables are explored from case studies, and interviews with experts in the mental health and technology field, parents, educators, and youth

Trauma informed practices in schools

This research explores how therapeutic based practices for trauma can be integrated into a classroom setting for various grade levels

Virtual Reality 

Being mindful of the risks of trauma exposure. VR is used in schools for the purpose of education and even in therapy to support mental health problems. However, there are several risks for VR creating trauma reactions. Educators and schools should be aware of these risks to ensure careful use of this promising technology tool

Mental Health Supports for Students Transitioning to Post-secondary: A Collaboration with the Future Institute of Chicago

This study explores the mental health supports for students transitioning to post secondary education. Data collected from high school students, and first year students provides insight to mental health struggles students may experience and the type of supports they see valuable. 

The Creative Arts for at Risk Youth in Maker Program

Myself and graduate student are writing a paper on how creativity, play and maker sessions could support at risk youth. 

Mindfulness Apps to support student learning 

Using archived data, myself and graduate students are exploring various mindfulness apps and their use in the classroom to support student learning.

Ageism: Media's role in perpetuating negative stereotypes and discrimination of seniors 

Agism is a real problem in Canada. A review of media reports from 2010- 2020 reveals startling insight to the damaging words used to describe seniors in Canada. This paper focuses on recommendations for shifts in thinking, policy development and education. 

Exploring Creativity in Education: An international research study with OECD

This international research project is led by The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) an international organisation that works to build better policies for better lives. As part of a research team for Ontario Tech University. The project explores creativity as a process and skill that can be developed in students to promote wellness and success. Ontario Tech is one of 14 post-secondary institutions across the globe involved in the project with OECD

Mental Health in the Digital Age (edited book for IGI Global)

requested a partnership for an edited book on Mental Health in the Digital Age. The book explores how moderators and mediators needs to be explored in mental health research relating to technology use. Chapters include topics on Cyberbullying, social media, gaming, Internet of Things, and youth suicide.

Bringing Principles of Eco-therapy into the classroom 

As a licensed Eco-therapist that imbeds nature research into her private practice for 25 years, Dr. Laffier is researching how principles of Eco-therapy can be successfully integrated into the classroom setting for K – Post-secondary. 

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