Alison Niccols

  • žProfessor, Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences
  • žClinical Director, Infant-Parent Program, McMaster Children's Hospital

Dr. Niccols is a registered psychologist with experience working with young children and their families. She has skills in assessment, intervention, program development, community collaboration, and teaching. Examples of her work in early intervention include developing and evaluating “COPEing with Toddler Behaviour” (an 8-session parent workshop to prevent disruptive behaviour disorders), “New Choices” (a multi-agency service for mothers with substance abuse issues and their young children), and “Right from the Start”, an 8-session attachment-based parent workshop that has been recommended as a leading practice by Accreditation Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canadian Association of Family Resource Programs, and the Swedish National Institute of Public Health.

Dr. Niccols was the principal investigator on a CIHR Emerging Team Grant to study ways to improve services across Canada for women with substance abuse issues and their children. She is currently the Clinical Director of the Infant-Parent Program at Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre, an early intervention program for at-risk infants, and a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University.

Current Activities


  • Niccols, A., Smith, A., & Benoit, D.  (2015).  The Working Model of the Child Interview:  Stability of the disrupted classification in a community intervention sample.  Infant Mental Health Journal, 36(4), 388-398.
  • Sword, W., Niccols, A., Yousefi-Nooraie, R., Dobbins, M., Lipman, E. & Smith, P. (2013).  Partnerships Among Canadian agencies serving women with substance abuse issues and their children. International Journal of Mental Health & Addition, 11(3), 344-357.
  • Niccols, A., Milligan, K., Smith, A., Sword, W., Thabane, L., & Henderson, J. (2012). Integrated programs for mothers with substance abuse issues and their children: A Systematic review of studies reporting on child outcomes. Child Abuse & Neglect, 36, 308-322.

For further publications click here.

Contact Alison


Research Interests

  • Infant/child development
  • Parent-child interaction
  • Early intervention effectiveness

Education, Memberships & Certifications

  • Ph.D. in Clinical Developmental Psychology
  • Registered Psychologist (Ontario)