Canadian Institutes for Health Research Funds Two ARCH Lab Studies

The ARCH Lab has received funding from Canadian Institutes for Health Research to conduct two longitudinal studies on the health outcomes of youth and emerging adults.

1. Multimorbidity in Children and Youth Across the Lifecourse (MY LIFE): Dr. Ferro is the Principal Investigator on a five-year, $1.2M study that builds on the ARCH Lab’s successful REACH Study. The MY LIFE Study will explore the course of psychopathology in a large sample of youth with chronic physical conditions. The MY LIFE study is needed to advance knowledge on the etiology and course of psychiatric disorder in a large vulnerable child population and to identify windows of opportunity for intervention. We will focus on modifiable determinants and will work with knowledge users to inform targeted interventions and risk-reduction strategies to reduce psychiatric disorder in youth with chronic conditions. Identifying determinants of youth multimorbidity, as well as contrasting the predictive value of individual, family, community, and health system factors, will inform the development of a brief clinical checklist used to identify at-risk youth. Clarifying patterns of psychiatric service use will refine our understanding of how youth with multimorbidity influences interaction with the health system which will inform initiatives to improve integrated pediatric physical and mental healthcare.

2. Applying Behavioral Economics to Predict Alcohol Trajectories during the Transition to Adulthood: Dr. Ferro is also co-investigator on a $1.2M longitudinal study that will examine alcohol misuse among emerging adults. In this study led by Dr. James MacKillop, behavioural economics will be used to examine why most youth ‘mature out’ of alcohol misuse over time, while others do not.