Laidlaw Chair in Patient-Centered Care
Division Lead in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in the Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University
Dr. Teresa (Terry) Bennett is a child and adolescent psychiatrist and Associate Professor in the McMaster University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences. Dr. Bennett’s research focuses on translating longitudinal research findings about childhood risk and protective factors into translational clinical models of child and youth mental health care that are more proactive, accessible and centered in the everyday lives of kids and families. Her research work includes randomized controlled trials of family-centered clinical and preventative psychosocial interventions and longitudinal cohort studies.
Some Active Research Projects:
“Making the Race Fair”: A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Targeted Prevention Program in Child and Youth Mental Health: The Family Check-Up® (FCU) is a brief, evidence-based, assessment-driven intervention that uses a strength-based and motivational interviewing approach to engage caregivers in the prevention and treatment of child emotional and behavioural problems (EBP). It has been extensively studied in the U.S. and more recently in Europe. Together with clinical, research and administrative colleagues at the Offord Centre for Child Studies and at McMaster Children’s Hospital Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre, we are the first research group to investigate the effectiveness of the FCU program in a Canadian setting. “Making the Race Fair” is a randomized controlled trial examining the effects of participation in the FCU by caregivers (e.g., parents) of children aged 2-4 years showing early signs of emotional and behavioural problems (manuscript under review).
FAIR Study: Autistic children and youth and their family members are more likely to experience mental health challenges and significant life stressors. However, family-centered programs that address mental health as well as known risk and protective factors, are rarely offered within Canadian autism services. In this mixed–methods randomized controlled trial, we are investigating whether the Family Check-Up shows promise for 80 families of autistic children and youth aged 6-17 and obtaining feedback from families, clinicians and clinical leaders related to the acceptability and feasibility of this program within an Ontario Autism Service setting. This project will provide invaluable insight into the critical components to consider when implementing and adapting established intervention for a new population (i.e., Autism) as well as areas that require additional consideration when embedding a new intervention into a new healthcare system.
Family Check-Up® Canada – Implementation, Training and Scale-Up: In 2015, a beginning team of 16 McMaster Children’s Hospital clinicians and trainees (psychiatry, psychology, social work) were trained by U.S. developers at Arizona State University’s REACH Institute. Team leads Dr. Bennett and Dr. Pires have since become credentialed trainers and supervisors. In this project, we are working to develop implementation and training pathways to sustained implementation of the FCU within Canadian child healthcare. We have trained over 25 clinicians who have provided the FCU to over 400 children and families in clinics and research studies within McMaster Children’s Hospital, with additional training to a small number of community partners. For more information on the Family Check-Up Internationally, see: https://fcu.uoregon.edu/execgoverningboard.
Pathways Phase 3: This longitudinal cohort study is investigating the development of the core symptoms and outcomes in Autistic children, which will provide essential information on their prognosis. The study will also lead to a better understanding of the factors associated with developmental health in children with special needs and typically developing children. There is a focus on the critical period after diagnosis at 2 to 4 years of age, the transition into school, a time period during which there is wide variability in the development course of Autistic children, continuing as they grow and develop into their teen and early adulthood years.
Five Most Impactful Publications:
Szatmari Pdoi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.2530Cost KT Duku E, Bennett T, et al. Association of Child and Family Attributes With Outcomes in Children With Autism. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(3):e212530.
Bennett, T. A., Szatmari, P., Georgiades, K., Hanna, S., Janus, M., Georgiades, S., Duku, E., Bryson, S., Fombonne, E., Smith, I. M., Mirenda, P., Volden, J., Waddell, C., Roberts, W., Vaillancourt, T., Zwaigenbaum, L., Elsabbagh, M., Thompson, A., & Pathways in ASD Study Team (2015). Do reciprocal associations exist between social and language pathways in preschoolers with autism spectrum disorders?. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines, 56(8), 874–883. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcpp.12356
Bennett, T.A., Szatmari, P., Georgiades, K., Hanna, S., Janus, M., Georgiades, S., Duku, E., Bryson, S., Fombonne, E., Smith, I., Mirenda, P., Volden, J., Waddell, C., Roberts, W., Vaillancourt, T.Z. Language impairment and early social competence in preschoolers with autism spectrum disorders: A comparison on DSM-5 profiles. J Autism Dev Disord. 2014 Nov;44(11):2797-208. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-014-2138-2.
Bennett, T. A., Szatmari, P., Georgiades, K., Hanna, S., Janus, M., Georgiades, S., Duku, E., Bryson, S., Fombonne, E., Smith, I. M., Mirenda, P., Volden, J., Waddell, C., Roberts, W., Vaillancourt, T., Zwaigenbaum, L., Elsabbagh, M., Thompson, A., & Pathways in ASD Study Team (2014). Language impairment and early social competence in preschoolers with autism spectrum disorders: a comparison of DSM-5 profiles. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 44(11), 2797–2808. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-014-2138-2
Bennett, T., Boyle, M., Georgiades, K., Georgiades, S., Thompson, A., Duku, E., Bryson, S., Fombonne, E., Vaillancourt, T., Zwaigenbaum, L., Smith, I., Mirenda, P., Roberts, W., Volden, J., Waddell, C., Pathways in ASD Study Team, & Szatmari, P. (2012). Influence of reporting effects on the association between maternal depression and child autism spectrum disorder behaviors. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines, 53(1), 89–96. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7610.2011.02451.x
To read more from Dr. Terry Bennett: https://experts.mcmaster.ca/display/bennetta