Expert Details

Bonnie Leadbeater

Contact Information

Bonnie Leadbeater
Phone Number:(250) 721-7523
Languages: English

Research Information

Research Description

-Lead evaluator for WITS
-Violence and bullying prevention
-Youth resilience
-Adolescent parenting
-Emerging adulthood
-Adolescent depression

Expertise Profile

Between 15 to 20 per cent of Canadian children are affected by bullying, and those who are chronically bullied are at risk of becoming aggressive or depressed, says developmental psychologist Bonnie Leadbeater.

Dr. Leadbeater is co-creator of the WITS Programs. WITS stands for Walk away, Ignore, Talk it out and Seek help. It takes a proactive approach to creating responsive schools and communities to prevention of bullying and peer victimization. The program engages police, teachers, children and parents.

Today, through the leadership of Leadbeater and the help of PREVNet, the Rock Solid Foundation, the Red Cross and the RCMP's National Youth Officer Program, WITS is spreading to schools across Canada--more than 600 by 2014. "WITS programs provide a common language to open conversations about bullying and makes help is the norm and the right thing to do," she says.

Through community partnerships, Dr. Leadbeater has developed and evaluated the WITS programs, leading to measurable, sustained reductions in bullying.

Dr. Leadbeater is internationally recognized for her research on youth resilience, and she is leading the Victoria, Healthy Youth Survey (V-HYS), a 10 year study starting in 2003 that is contributing to our understanding of the pathways of that young people take in the transition from adolescence to young adulthood. She is the founding director of the UVic-based Centre for Youth and Society--the first interdisciplinary research centre in Canada to focus specifically on adolescent health and development in the community. She was also the first director of the Centre for Addictions Research and spearheaded its inception.

Her students often work under her guidance in WITS and on the V-HYS, engaging in research that informs policy and practice to improve lives of children and youth in Canada.

Related Links

Dr. Leadbeater's Faces of UVic Research video:

Research Keywords