Research examines post 9-11 identity crises in children


$81 million in federal funding for research on topics ranging from health to immigration to sports

A unique new study funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) will help ease the emotional conflict experienced by Muslim-Canadian children living in today's post 9-11 world.

Led by Cécile Rousseau, a research psychiatrist at McGill University, this $124,000 study is just one of 969 research projects announced today that will benefit from $81 million of federal research funding.

Rousseau, who is also the director of the Transcultural Child Psychiatry Clinic at the Montreal Children's Hospital, will be working closely with parents, teens and children from local Muslim communities to explore how negative images and stereotypes of Islam damage young people's sense of self-worth and belonging, both at home and at school.

This research will benefit school boards and ministries of education across the country. It will help schools develop programs that raise awareness about the inter-community tensions experienced by these children, and find strategies to protect their emotional health and development.

Today's funding is part of SSHRC's Standard Research Grants program. Besides supporting essential research on a wide range of topics, these grants will help to train a new generation of Canadians for careers in research, as well as in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

"This research will see enormous benefits for all Canadians," said Camille Limoges, SSHRC council member. "From psychology and education to archaeology and law, research in the social sciences and humanities delves into every corner of our lives. It helps us understand the world around us and allows Canada to take a strong leadership role on important global issues."

Today's announcement also highlighted the work of two other McGill researchers who are making a difference in the lives of Canadians.

Laurence Kirmayer will uncover how using psychiatric medications—such as Ritalin, Prozac and other mood stabilizers—can change teenagers' sense of self and influence their social and psychological development. His work will help fill current knowledge gaps about the effects of these drugs on young people.

Anthropologist Allan Young will investigate how people respond psychologically to acts and threats of terrorism. His research will help find new ways to assess and prevent the emotional damage caused by this type of violence.

"I am delighted by the achievements of our researchers," said Denis Thérien, McGill's vice-principal of research and international relations. "This year alone McGill was awarded 63 standard research grants from SSHRC. This is higher than the national average and is a testimony to the excellence of our faculty."

Every year, SSHRC funds leading-edge research in the social sciences and humanities at universities and colleges across the country. To ensure that only the best projects receive funding, each application is evaluated by a team of independent experts for academic excellence and importance.

Note to editors: SSHRC is an independent federal government agency that funds university-based research and graduate training through national peer-review competitions. SSHRC also partners with public and private sector organizations to focus research and aid the development of better policies and practices in key areas of Canada's social, cultural and economic life.

For additional information on this release and other SSHRC research projects, please contact:

Contact Information

Jennifer Towell
Office of the Vice Principal-Research, McGill University
jennifer.towell [at]
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