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14.05.2012 in Research Bookmark and Share

Two York psychology profs listed in top 11

York psychology professors Jane Irvine and Debra Pepler of York’s Faculty of Health have recently been named two of the most published women in the field of clinical psychology in Canada, according to an article in the Canadian Psychology journal.

“Assessing the Publication Productivity of Clinical Psychology Professors in Canadian Psychological Association-Accredited Canadian Psychology Departments,” looked at publication and citation counts for 255 professors in CPA-accredited Canadian clinical psychology programs. Irvine and Pepler were listed among the top 11 women.

“Research productivity data helps one get a sense of how productive one is relative to one’s peers. Moreover, it also speaks to the Debra Peplerresearch environment of one’s host institution,” says Irvine. “Of the top 11 female professors mentioned, two of us are at York University.”

Debra Pepler

As Pepler, a Distinguished Research Professor at York, notes, “Research is an important aspect of our work in clinical programs because it informs both our teaching and our practice. At the same time our experience of working with clinical populations highlights critical questions for research.”  Pepler is known for her research on bullying and co-leads PREVNet, (Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network), a collaborative and interdisciplinary initiative that brings together 62 researchers from 27 Canadian universities and 49 national organizations.

The authors of the journal paper didn’t just use isolated publication and citation counts – they adjusted for normative data and included ceiling reference points. “This is the first time that normative data for clinical psychologists within academic programs has been summarized from across Canada,” says Irvine.

Jane IrvineUsually, she says, professors typically don’t “know how productive one’s research is relative to one’s peers. Without normative data, such as collected by this study, it is very hard to gauge one’s productivity.”

Jane Irvine

Irvine cautions that, as the article points out, it is important to keep in mind that the research productivity data only speaks to one part of the multiple components that comprise academic work. “They do not take into consideration professors teaching impact or service work. Nor do they reflect the full extent of our research productivity because they don’t take into account all of the means by which our research impacts the fields of science and practice.”

All the same, she is thrilled and pleased that York as an institution is obviously providing the right environment for professors to conduct research. Irvine was a clinical psychologist at the Toronto General Hospital for 17 years before joining York. She has conducted research into stress and the cardiovascular disease, modifying cardiovascular behavioural and psychosocial risk factors, optimizing adherence to medical and behavioural therapies, and enhancing adaptation to medical technologies, such as an implantable cardioverter defibrillator for prevention of sudden cardiac death.

Pepler, former director of the LaMarsh Centre for Child and Youth Research, has previously received the Contribution to Knowledge Award from the Psychology Foundation of Canada, the Educator of the Year Award from Phi Delta Kappa (Toronto), the University of Waterloo Arts in Academia Award, and the Canadian Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Contributions to Public or Community Service.

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