York psychologist receives new researcher award

York psychology Professor Jonathan Weiss (MA ’02, PhD ’07) has recently been awarded a Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) President’s New Researcher Award in recognition of his contribution to psychological knowledge in Canada.

The award is, in part, based on the researcher’s record of early career achievement. For Weiss, that  Jonathan Weissencompasses the research on developmental disabilities that he’s conducted over the last three or more years. He is one of two recipients of the award this year, handed out by the CPA.

Right: Jonathan Weiss

“The award is really recognition for the type of research I’ve been able to do prior to and since beginning at York,” says Weiss, a clinical psychologist in York’s Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health. “It’s been great to be recognized by psychologists, not just in the field of developmental disabilities, but by colleagues from other fields.”

He is co-investigator for three Canadian Institutes of Health Research-funded projects, two of which look at children with developmental disabilities and the third at understanding pathways to emergency health care for adolescents and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Weiss also received a three-year New Investigator Fellowship from the Ontario Mental Health Foundation in 2010 to study people with developmental disabilities, who make up between one and three per cent of the Canadian population. At least one in three people with developmental disabilities will have mental health problems or serious challenging behaviours as an adolescent or young adult, says Weiss.

His goal for this project is to learn what leads a young person with developmental disability to have mental health problems, and how it is related to their service use, their skills, academic success and family functioning.

For more information about the President’s New Researcher Award, visit the Canadian Psychological Association website.