Tracy Desjardins

Research interests

I am primarily interested in both hurtful and supportive interpersonal relational processes, and the developmental role these play in affecting youth’s and young adults’ adjustment. My master’s thesis examined relational victimization (e.g., social exclusion, rumour spreading) as a unique predictor of changes in adolescents’ depressive symptoms, as well as the buffering effects of emotional support from parents and peers on depression (Desjardins & Leadbeater, 2011). My dissertation extends the understanding of parent-child relational processes to the transition to adulthood, which is a key developmental period for elucidating the mechanisms that promote adaptive functioning in later adulthood. Specifically, it examines two potential parental responses to the lengthening transition to adulthood—emotional support and psychological control—and their prospective effects on young adults’ later educational, occupational, and financial adjustment. Internalizing symptoms are investigated as a mechanism by which these relational processes affect adjustment.

I am also interested in program evaluation and developmental research methods.

Representative publications

Leadbeater, B., Gladstone, E., Yeung Thompson, R. S., Sukhawathanakul, P., &Desjardins, T. (in press). Getting started: Assimilatory processes of uptake of mental health promotion and primary prevention programs in elementary schools. Advances in School Mental Health Promotion.

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.

Desjardins, T., & Scoboria, A. (2007). 'You and your best friend Suzy put slime in Ms. Smollett's desk': Producing false memories with self-relevant details. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. 14(6), 1090-1095

Representative presentations

Leadbeater, B., Sukhawathanakul, P., & Desjardins, T. (2012, July). Assessing positive peer influences across developmental transitions and changing ecologies. Paper presented at the International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development biennial meeting, Edmonton, AB, Canada.

Leadbeater, B., Gladstone, E., Sukhawathanakul, P., Desjardins, T., & Yeung Thompson, R. S. (2012, June). Discovering, adopting, and facilitating a school-based mental health promotion program. Poster presented at the Society for Prevention Research meeting, Washington, DC, USA.

Desjardins, T., Sukhawathanakul, P., Homel, J., Gruppuso, V., & Leadbeater, B. J. (2012, March). Trajectories of alcohol-related risky driving in adolescence and young adulthood. Poster presented at the Society for Research on Adolescence biennial meeting, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Recent awards

  • President’s Distinguished Service Team Award, University of Victoria
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGS): Doctoral Scholarship
  • Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) Research Trainee Award: Junior Graduate Assistantship
  • President's Research Scholarship, University of Victoria
  • Exceptional Merit Award, University of Victoria
  • SSHRC CGS: Master's Scholarship