Community Based Research
Health, Well-being and Parenting Experiences of Young Mothers Who Participate in the Women Moving Forward Program
Research Team: Beryl Pilkington (co-PI), Nazilla Khanlou (co-PI), Christine Kurtz-Landy (Co-I)
Research Personnel: TBA
Community Collaborators: Wanda MacNevin and Heather Miller, Jane/Finch Community and Family Centre
This descriptive study will explore the experiences of young mothers who participate in the 'Women Moving Forward' (WMF) program. WMF is a program for young single mothers between the ages of 20-29 who reside in the Jane-Finch community. Started in 2005, the program is operated by the Jane-Finch Community and Family Centre. The study will focus in particular on how the program affects the participants' health and well-being, sense of agency, parenting, and the wellbeing of their children.
Funded by: York University Leave Fellowship Fund (Pilkington's sabbatical)
Research Team: Nazilla Khanlou (PI), Deborah Davidson
(Co-I), Mahdieh Dasterjerdi (Co-I), Michaela Hynie (Co-I), Jane Philpott
(Co-I), Marcia Rioux (Co-I), Charmaine Williams (Co-I)
Research Personnel: Sheila Jennings and Alexis Buettgen
Community Collaborators: Rabia Khedr,
Nimo Bokore, Disability Rights
Promotion International Canada, Tahira Gonsalves, & Meenu
Knowledge Translation: Dr. Mavis Jones,
Knowledge Translation Specialist,
Echo: Improving Women's Health Ontario
Our recruitment poster can be viewed here.
Our literature review demonstrates that while mothering a child with disability entails great rewards, it also incurs significant stressors. There is insufficient research or policy focus applied to immigrant mothers in particular.This research applies an intersectional perspective and intersectoral approach towards gaining a better understanding of social support for immigrant mothers of children with disabilities.
Our goal is to gain in-depth information regarding facilitators and barriers to social support through interviews with both mothers and stakeholders from diverse sectors (such as health, education, social services). Our hope is that findings and our subsequent policy and programming recommendations will contribute to positive changes in the social support of mothers with children with disabilities.
Funded by: Faculty of Health, York University
The Newcomer Youth Mental Health Project
Research Team: Nazilla Khanlou (PI), Yogendra Shakya (co-PI) & Carles Muntaner (co-Investigator)
Funded by: The Provincial Centre of Excellence for
Child and Youth Mental Health at CHEO (Children's Hospital of Eastern
The Newcomer Youth Mental Health Project focuses on newcomer youth (those
who arrived in Canada within the last 5 years, and are between the ages of
14-18) from Afghan, Colombian, Sudanese, and Tamil communities. It looked
at how youth understand and conceptualize mental health, and what their diverse
mental health needs, help-seeking behaviours, and promotion strategies are, with
a view to making program and policy recommendations that reduce barriers and
improve access for mental health services for newcomer youth.
Exploring the Link between Neighbourhood and Newcomer Immigrant Health
Research Team: Nasim Haque (PI), Nazilla Khanlou (co-PI), Brenda Roche (co-Investigator) & Stephanie Montesanti (Research Associate)
Funded by: Wellesley Institute
This qualitative research examined both the “place-based” characteristics of SJT and individual-level factors, including newcomer immigrants’ perceptions of the neighbourhood, their social relations, and their access to health and social services in the neighbourhood. This study was based on focus groups and individual interviews with three ethno-racial immigrant populations: Tamil, Filipino, and Chinese (Mandarin speaking). It compares their experiences with those of Canadian-born residents in the neighbourhood. The study also interviewed health and social service providers in SJT and the surrounding area. The results indicate that SJT newcomer immigrant residents experience a range of challenges relating to physical, mental, and social health and well-being. Health outcomes and well-being are the result of a complex web of causation where risks are related to individual behaviour, neighbourhood, access to social and health services, and social support. Responses and experiences were similar across the ethnic groups and non-immigrant residents in SJT.
Exploring How Immigrant Women Conceptualize Activism: Implications for Mental Health Promotion
Research Team: Judith MacDonnell (PI), Notisha Massaquoi, Nimo Bokere, Wangari Tharao, Mahdieh Dastjerdi & Nazilla Khanlou (co-Investigator).
Community Partner: Women's Health in Women's Hands
Funded by: CERIS (2010) and Faculty of Health (2009), York University
women as a group often experience a disproportionate share of mental
health concerns and mental illness, yet there is limited understanding
of strategies to foster their mental health. This participatory policy
study explores the relationship between immigrant women's activism and
mental health promotion. This grounded theory study explores how
immigrant women themselves express their agency and describe their
political activism and the meanings it has for them in relation to the
settlement process. The findings will inform relevant policy and
program support which can facilitate meaningful life experiences and
welcoming communities, foster social integration, and thus promote
health and well-being.
A Pilot Study to Customize the Child and Youth Resilience Measure (CYRM)
Research Team: Beryl Pilkington, Nancy Johnston & Nazilla Khanlou (co-Investigator).
Funded by: Faculty of Health, York University.
The purpose of the pilot study
is to customize Ungar's Child and Youth Resilience Measure (CYRM) for
use with youth residing in a Priorty Area as designated by the City of
Toronto and the United Way. Participants will be 10 - 15 youth (males and
females, aged 16 - 20) and 5-10 adults living in a designated Priority
Neighbourhood, who volunteer to participate in a focus group (one each,
for male and female youth, and one for adults) about what it means to be
resilient. Participants will be recruited with the assistance of the York-TD
Engagement Centre. Focus group data will be used to generate up to ten
site specific questions to be used along with the CYRM in future research.
Health and Social Service Utilization Among Childbearing Chinese New Immigrants in Canada
Research team: Tsorng-Yeh Lee (PI), Christine Kurtz Landy (co-PI), Olive Wahoush (co-PI) & Nazilla Khanlou (co-PI)
Funded by: Minor Research Grant & Junior Faculty Funds, Faculty of Health, York University
This study will explore how Chinese women who immigrated to Canada in the last 5 years access and use maternity care services and evaluate their perinatal health and birth outcomes. Culturally and linguistically appropriate health care is suggested by many researchers as a necessity for all immigrants in Canada. Language, culture and ethnicity are three major factors that influence immigrant women’s choice of health care provider and health management strategies in the host society (Wang, Rosenberg, & Lo, 2008). Relatively little research examines the access and use of maternity care services by immigrant women in Canada, especially Chinese immigrants-the largest recent immigrant population to migrate to Canada. Chinese practice special culture-based behaviors and eat a special diet during pregnancy and postpartum. The so called “doing the month” or “Zuo Yuezi” is one of those practices. Exploring these cultural practices and preferences will contribute to the body of knowledge related to immigrant women’s self care and health outcomes and will help inform culturally sensitive maternity care for Chinese women who live in Canada.