Bonnie Leadbeater

Bonnie Leadbeater
Emeritus Professor
Office: COR A241

Ph.D. 1986 (Columbia) joined Department in 1997

Area of expertise

Lifespan development

Dr. Bonnie Leadbeater is a professor in psychology and holds degrees in Nursing and Educational Psychology from the University of Ottawa and in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University, New York.

She has made internationally recognized contributions to research on adolescent parenting, emerging adulthood, adolescent depression, resilience in high-risk youth, and the prevention of peer victimization in elementary school children.

She is the director of the Victoria Healthy Youth Survey research - a 10 year longitudinal study assessing health during transitions to young adulthood. She is also an author and evaluator of the WITS and WITS LEADS elementary school programs for the prevention of peer victimization (  

She is highly committed to efforts to translate theory and research into training, policy, and programs – all actions that can improve the lives of children, youth, and their families.

Dr. Leadbeater's CV.


  • Lifespan development

Faces of UVic Research video

In this video, Bonnie Leadbeater discusses the WITS program, which has been developing for 14 years. The program aims to create responsive communities and environments to prevent the bullying of young children.

The WITS resources are online at and she explains their future goal of nation-wide dissemination of the program.


Trajectories of Marijuana use Across a Decade: Their predictors in
adolescence and impact on the health, academic, social and economic
outcomes of Canadian Young Adults

Thompson, K., Merrin, G. J., Ames, M. E., & Leadbeater, B. (2018). Marijuana trajectories in Canadian youth: Associations with substance use and mental health. Canadian Journal Of Behavioural Science / Revue Canadienne Des Sciences Du Comportement, 50(1), 17-28. doi:10.1037/cbs0000090

Leadbeater, B. J., Ames, M. E., & Linden, C. A. N. (2018). Age‐varying effects of cannabis use frequency and disorder on symptoms of psychosis, depression and anxiety in adolescents and adults. Addiction.
Leadbeater, B., Thompson, K., Sukhawathanakul, P., & Merrin, G. J. (2018). How Program Users Enhance Fidelity: Implementing the WITS Programs in Rural Canadian Elementary Schools. Prevention Science: The Official Journal of the Society For Prevention Research, 19(8), 1066–1078.

Leadbeater, B. J., Dishion, T., Sandler, I., Bradshaw, C. P., Dodge, K., Gottfredson, D., … Smith, E. P. (2018). Ethical challenges in promoting the implementation of preventive interventions: Report of the SPR task force. Prevention Science. 1-13.

Leadbeater, B. (2010). The fickle fates of push and pull in the dissemination of mental health programs for children. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie Canadienne, 51(4), 221-230.

Banister, E., Leadbeater, B. & Marshall, A. (2011). Knowledge Translation in Context, Indigenous, Policy, and Community Settings. University of Toronto Press.

Leadbeater B. J., & Sukhawathanakul, P. (2011). Multi-component programs for reducing peer victimization in early elementary school: A longitudinal evaluation of the WITS® Primary program. Journal of Community Psychology, 39(5), 606-620.

Desjardins, T., & Leadbeater, B.J. (2011). Relational victimization and depressive symptoms in adolescence: Moderating effects of mother, father, and peer emotional support. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 40(5), 531-544.