Associate Professor in the Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University
Associate Member in the Dept. of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact, at McMaster University
Medical Director, CYMHP - Outpatient Service McMaster Children’s Hospital

Dr. Khrista Boylan is a clinician researcher who studies the development and treatment of emotional dysregulation (ED) in children and adolescents. Her research examines the measurement and validation of the construct of ED as well as the impact of interventions that may help ED. She also conducts research about screening and early intervention for borderline personality disorder in youth and suicide risk behaviours.  

She leads or participates in several studies with clinical and community participants. These studies focus on identifying predictors of suicide risk such as ED, and how to help reduce this risk in community and hospital-based settings. She is also a recognized speaker and advocate for improving systems of care for adolescents and families experiencing mental health crises.  

Current Activities

Some Active Research Projects:

I AM SAFE: A Focused Suicide Prevention Strategy for Youth Presenting to the Emergency Department with Suicide-Related Behaviour: A Multi-Site Randomized Controlled Trial: This study focuses on youth who have needed emergency department care for suicide risk and their caregivers. The intervention is a structured 6 week intervention coaching on communication and safety plan optimization. 

Teenage Girls Emotion Regulation Study (TiGER): This project examines linkages between mental health, peer and family functioning on mental health outcomes in adolescent girls, specifically emotion dysregulation. 

D-PSYPHER: In this study, adolescent patients with depression and behavioural manifestations are compared to depressed only youth and unaffected peers on brain based (EEG) and cognitive measures of emotion regulation. 

The Use of Artificial Intelligence to Predict Suicide Attempts Among Youth: A Machine Learning Approach: Various neuro-cognitive parameters will be collected in youth 16-25 to examine their relationship to lived experience of suicide thoughts and behaviours using AI. 


Five Most Impactful Publications:

Waldman, I.D., Rowe, R., Boylan, K. et al. External validation of a bifactor model of oppositional defiant disorder. Mol Psychiatry 26, 682–693 (2021).  

Boylan, K., MacQueen, G., Kirkpatrick, R. et al. A systematic review of interventions for treatment resistant major depressive disorder in adolescents. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry 29, 433–443 (2020).  

Pillay, J., Boylan, K., Carrey, N., et al. First- and second-generation antipsychotics in children and young adults: Systematic review update. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US), Rockville (MD); 2017. PMID: 28749632

Boylan, K., MacPherson, H., Fristad, MA. Examination of disruptive behaviour outcomes and moderation in a randomized psychotherapy trial for mood disorders. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 52 (7) 699-708 (2013), ISSN 0890-8567, 

Boylan, K., Vaillancourt, T., Boyle, M. et al. Comorbidity of internalizing disorders in children with oppositional defiant disorder. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry 16, 484–494 (2007). 

To read more from Dr. Khrista Boylan:

Khrista Boylan

Contact Khrista

Research Interests

adolescent and family emotional dysregulation, borderline personality disorder, suicide risk treatment

Education, Memberships, Certifications

M.D., Dalhousie University, PhD, Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (McMaster University), FRCPC (psychiatry)

Additional Information

The ALERT (Adolescents Learning Emotion Regulation Treatments) Research Lab

The ALERT Research Lab studies emotion regulation processes in youth at risk of mental disorders and tests interventions that help adolescents regulate emotions better.

Scroll to Top