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Front cover of children's book about stress titled: "Desserts Spelled Backwards is Stressed But There's Not Much Sweet About It".
Stress Workshop for Children

The Strong Families lab at McMaster University has developed and will be facilitating psychoeducational stress workshops, ‘DESSERTS spelled backwards is STRESSED, but there’s not much sweet about it!’ that are targeted for children aged 7-12 years.

Our goal is to work with organizations to provide opportunities for children to learn about where stress comes from, good stress versus bad stress, and strategies on how children can help themselves work through their own stress.

Title and initial process icons of scoping review infographic. Title is: "Analyzing the engagement of racial and ethnic minority children in mental health services: A focus on barriers and facilitators".
Scoping Review

Analyzing the Engagement of Racial and Ethnic Minority Children in Mental Health Services: A Focus on Barriers and Facilitators.

The objective of this scoping review was to identify barriers and facilitators related to the engagement of racial and ethnic minority children and their caregivers in mental health services.

  • 2 independent reviewers assessed each article
  • 7286 articles were screened and assessed
  • 18 articles met the inclusion criteria

Click here to see the full infographic

Mental Health Inequities Knowledge Mobilization
Research Question:

How do we improve engagement of marginalized families in mental health services?

For the past 3 years researchers from McMaster University’s Offord Centre for Child Studies have been exploring why most community organizations are struggling to engage marginalized families in services through:

  • Health Equity Impact Assessments
  • Scoping Review
  • Parents under Pressure (PuP)
Health Equity Impact Assessments (HEIAs)

Health Equity Impact Assessments (HEIAs) should be conducted prior ti implementing new policy, programming, or initiatives.

McMaster’s Offord Centre for Child Studies evaluated two group-based parenting programs to access health equity of caregivers to young children.

Conducting a HEIA:
  1. A review of the published literature and unpublished agency documents.
  2. Interviews with the agency and community members.
  3. A synthesis of findings.
  4. An evaluation of the impact of strategies.
Parents under pressure logo
Parents under Pressure (PuP)

Pregnancy to early years – A qualitative examination of barriers and facilitators to perinatal services for at-risk women.

Social determinants of health (SDoH) are social;, economical, and structural factors that affect health and may increase health inequities for mothers and children.

  • Pregnant individuals facing SDoH seek prenatal care late and are at increased risk of mental health issues.
  • In Canada, pathways to services and provisions of evidence-based programming are not well articulated.


  • Conduct an environmental scan of organizations
  • Agencies respond to questions
  • Scan highlighted a lack of consistent programming for at-risk perinatal individuals
MIRA-iGen Study

The McMaster Institute for Research on Aging – Intergenerational Study (MIRA-iGeN) has officially launched in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area (GTHA). The study aims to create an intergenerational cohort that includes grandparents, their children, and their grandchildren. This intergenerational research platform will enable us to gain a better understanding of the origin, progression, and transmission of disease and help us develop interventions to improve health and well-being of individuals across many generations.

Promoting Healthy Families

The Promoting Healthy Families study has completed participant recruitment for the parenting programs offered at various agencies in Ontario.

We have a total of 517 participants, who have either completed the parenting programs and study visits; are currently attending the parenting programs or are in one of the follow-up stages of the study. We are so appreciative of every participant for taking part in this study on whether and how parenting programs help families, which in turn will help other caregivers and children in the future.

The purpose of the study is to understand if families with children between 2-6 years old benefit from one of two parenting programs, the Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) or the Circle of Security. Both programs offer ways for caregivers to develop practical skills which can help decrease challenging behaviours and emotions in young children, and help caregivers have a better relationship with their child.


Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs): Impact on brain, body and behaviour.