Christina Robillard

Christina Robillard
PhD (2020-2025)
Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Clinical Psychology

Recipient of the Roy Watson Traffic Safety Award (2021) and the Myer Horowitz Award (2019).

Christina Robillard is a PhD student in Clinical Psychology within the Risky Behaviour Lab at the University of Victoria. Before her graduate studies, Christina completed a Bachelor of Science (Honors) at McGill University where her research focused on how parenting style influences the development of perfectionism in elementary school-aged children. Since then, Christina’s research has continued to incorporate developmental principles but has shifted to investigating when and why some young people engage in self-damaging behaviours, including self-injury, disordered eating, and substance misuse. In particular, her research aims to understand how family-adolescent interactions contribute to the emergence and maintenance of self-damaging behaviours, as well as how social support networks can bolster recovery from these behaviours. To do so, she uses epidemiological surveys, longitudinal designs, and ecological momentary assessment to identify how these associations unfold over days, months, and years. Her doctoral research is supported by a Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship.

Most recently, Christina published an article in Psychiatry Research examining self-injury among adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Briefly, this study found that youth who felt more stressed about the personal, social, and societal impacts of COVID-19 engaged in more frequent self-injury during the pandemic, and this was explained by the fact that these youth tended to be nonaccepting of their emotional responses and had limited access to emotion regulation strategies. Furthermore, these associations were particularly pronounced among youth who engaged in more social distancing, highlighting the critical role of social interactions in protecting against self-injury.

To date, the Centre for Youth and Society has supported Christina’s research through two scholarships. In 2019, Christina received a Myer Horowitz Award to present her master’s research on perfectionism and depression at the Association for Psychological Science in Washington, DC. In 2021, Christina received a Roy Watson Traffic Safety Award to investigate risk factors for alcohol-impaired driving. Using a large sample of 704 first-year undergraduate students, Christina found that impulsivity, mental health difficulties (e.g., depression, stress), and binge drinking predicted elevated odds of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Christina hopes that her research will contribute knowledge that can guide prevention and intervention programs to reduce self-damaging behaviours among young people. You can learn more about Christina’s research by visiting her Linkedin.

Christina, a young woman with brown hair, standing in front of a research poster
Christina presenting her master's research on perfectionism and depression at the Association for Psychological Science in 2019 with support from the CFYS's Myer Horowitz Award.

Recent publications

Robillard, C., Turner, B., Ames, M., & Craig, S. (2021). Deliberate self-harm in adolescents during COVID-19: The roles of pandemic-related stress, emotion regulation difficulties, and social distancing. Psychiatry Research. 114152. 10.1016/j.psychres.2021.114152

Robillard, C., Turner, B. & Helps, C. (2021). Testing a diathesis-stress model during the transition to university: Associations between self-criticism, stress, and internalizing problems. Journal of American College Health. 1-11. 10.1080/07448481.2021.1947837.

Robillard, C., Dixon-Gordon, K. & Turner, B. (2021). Teaching dialectical thinking to enhance graduate trainees’ competence in outpatient psychotherapy for adolescents experiencing suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Canadian Psychology. 10.1037/cap0000297.

More publications