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Marie-Hélène Pennestri

Title: 
Dr.
Academic title(s): 

Assistant Professor

  • Regular Researcher, Hôpital en santé mentale Rivière-des-Prairies (CIUSSS du Nord-de-l'Île-de-Montréal)
  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Psychology, Université de Montréal
  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Université de Montréal
Marie-Hélène Pennestri
Contact Information
Address: 

Education building, Room 546

Email address: 
marie-helene.pennestri [at] mcgill.ca
Department: 
Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology
Biography: 

Dr. Marie-Hélène Pennestri is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, McGill University. She is also a Regular Researcher at the Research Center of Hôpital en santé mentale Rivière-des-Prairies (CIUSSS-NIM). Her research program aims to investigate the development of the sleep-wake cycle in healthy infants and preschoolers from a developmental and familial perspective. She also investigates associations between sleep and mental health in more vulnerable populations (such as social pediatric, foster children and premature birth). Her research program is funded by CIHR, SSHRC, FRQS and FRQSC. In addition, Dr. Pennestri is a clinical psychologist working with children, adolescents and adults (clinical license: Ordre des Psychologues du Québec). She has a multidisciplinary approach and her projects integrate physiological and psychological measures.

Degree(s): 

Postdoctorate Fellowship, Douglas Research Centre / McGill University
Ph.D., Université de Montréal: Research/Clinical Psychology
M.Ps., Université de Montréal: Clinical Psychology

Areas of expertise: 

Development and consolidation of the sleep-wake cycle in infants and children, mental health, parental expectations, families, sleep disorders (children and adults), child development, attachment, polysomnography, autonomic nervous system, heart rate variability, premature birth.

Awards, honours, and fellowships: 

(2021-2026) The associations between infant sleep, parental sleep and the quality of the parent-infant relationship: a longitudinal study in mothers and fathers; Principal investigator; Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) - ($258,561)

(2021-2024) Sommeil après une commotion cérébrale : Impact sur le bien-être et le fonctionnement familial; Co-investigator; Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) - ($221,587)

(2020-2021) Online cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for insomnia and anxiety in older adults: a feasibility study using e-SPACE, a multidomain web platform for health promotion; Co-investigator; Centre de recherche de l'Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal, Programme d’appui à des projets de recherche stratégiques et structurants - ($10,000)

(2019-2022) Améliorer le sommeil de son enfant: une intervention innovante et bénéfique pour les familles vivant en contexte de vulnérabilité; Co-investigator; Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) - ($173,150)

(2018-2023) Transition to parenthood: realistic sleep-related expectations as a protective factor for mothers' and fathers' mental health; Principal investigator; Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR, Project Grant) - ($353,203)

(2018-2022) Mieux comprendre les liens entre le sommeil du nourrisson, les interactions mère-enfant, la santé mentale des parents, et la santé mentale et physique des enfants: une perspective familiale; Principal investigator; Salary Award - Fonds de recherche du Québec-Santé Grant (FRQS) - ($80,000)

(2017-2022) Répondre aux besoins développementaux des enfants qui vivent en situation de vulnérabilité psychosociale et de négligence – Groupe de recherche et d'intervention auprès des enfants vulnérables et négligés (GRIN); Co-investigator; Fonds québécois de recherche société et culture (FRQSC) - ($592,000)

(2016-2019) - Quality of infant and maternal sleep as predictors of the mother-infant relationship: the moderating influence of maternal perceptions and expectations; Principal investigator; Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) - ($63,819)

(2017-2019) - Développement du sommeil du nourrisson, dans le contexte de la transition à la parentalité: qu’en pensent maman et papa?; Principal investigator; Association québécoise pour la santé mentale des nourrissons - ($2,500)

(2018-2019) - Increasing the dissemination of best practices in psychology: Practice guidelines, practice-research networks, clinical tools, progress tracking, and evidence based practice; Co-investigator; Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC, Connection Grant) - ($45,761)

(2018) - Droit de la famille et garde d’enfants en bas âge : comment la loi et les connaissances en psychologie peuvent interagir pour déterminer ce qui est dans le meilleur intérêt de l’enfant; Principal investigator; Fondation du Barreau du Québec - ($4,000)

(2017) - Sleep-related parental perceptions and expectations: differences between mothers and fathers; Principal investigator; McGill Internal Social Sciences and Humanities Emerging Scholars Accelerator - ($10,000)

Graduate supervision: 

Counselling Psychology

Dr. Pennestri welcomes inquiries from students who are interested in her research program (see area of expertise). Please send a CV and a cover letter.

Selected publications: 

Journal Articles

Kalogeropoulos, C., Burdayron, R., Dubois-Comtois, K., Béliveau, M.J., & Pennestri, M.H. Investigating the link between sleep and postpartum depression in fathers utilizing subjective and objective sleep measures. Sleep Medicine. (in press).

Burdayron, R., Butler, B., Béliveau, M.J., Dubois-Comtois, K., Pennestri, M.H. (2021) Perception of Infant Sleep Problems: The Role of Negative Emotionality and Maternal Depression. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Mar 4. doi: 10.5664/jcsm.9188. Online ahead of print. 

Robillard, R., Dion, K., Pennestri, M.H., Solomonova, E., Lee, E., Saad, M., Murkar, A., Godbout, R., Edwards, J., Quilty, L., Daros, A., Bhatla, R., Kendzerska, T. (2021). Profiles of sleep changes during the COVID-19 pandemic: Demographic, behavioral and psychological factors. Journal of Sleep Research. Feb;30(1):e13231. doi: 10.1111/jsr.13231. Epub 2020 Nov 17. 

Robillard, R., Daros, A. R., Phillips, J. L., Porteous, M., Saad, M., Pennestri, M.H., Kenderska, T., Edward, J.D., Solomonova, E., Bhatla, R. Godbout, R., Kaminsky, Z., Boafo, A. & Quilty, L. C. (2021). Emerging New Psychiatric Symptoms and the Worsening of Pre-existing Mental Disorders during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Canadian Multisite Study. Nouveaux symptômes psychiatriques émergents et détérioration des troubles mentaux préexistants pendant la pandémie de la COVID-19: une étude canadienne multisite. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. Jan 19:706743720986786. doi: 10.1177/0706743720986786. Online ahead of print.PMID: 33464115. 

Kenny, S., Burdayron, R., Lannes, É., Dubois-Comtois, Béliveau, M.-J., & Pennestri, M.-H. (2020). Mothers' and fathers' sleep: Is there a difference between first-time and experienced parents of 6-month-olds? Journal of Sleep Research. Dec:e13238. DOI: 10.1111/jsr.13238. 

Pennestri, M.H., Burdayron, R., Kenny, S., Béliveau, M.J., & Comtois-Dubois, K. (2020). Sleeping through the night or through the nights? Sleep Medicine Oct 10;76:98-103. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2020.10.005. Online ahead of print. 

Pennestri, M.H., Petit, D., Paquet, J., Desautels, A., Touchette E., Côté, S., Tremblay, R.E., Boivin, M., & Montplaisir, J. (2020). Childhood restless legs syndrome: a longitudinal study of prevalence and familial aggregation. Journal of Sleep Research. Aug 11:e13161. doi: 10.1111/jsr.13161. Online ahead of print. 

Laganière, C., Pennestri, M.H., Rassu, A.L. Barateau, L., Chenini, S., Evangelista, E., Dauvilliers, Y., & Lopez, R. (2020). Disturbed nighttime sleep in children and adults with rhythmic movement disorder. Sleep, May 27:zsaa105. doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsaa105. Online ahead of print. 

Burdayron, R., Kenny, S., Dubois‐Comtois, K., Béliveau, M. J., & Pennestri, M. H. (2020). Infant sleep consolidation: a preliminary investigation of parental expectations. Acta Paediatrica. Jun;109(6):1276-1277. doi: 10.1111/apa.15151. Epub 2020 Jan 9. 

Robillard, R., Saad, M., Edwards, J., Solomonova, E., Pennestri, M.H., Daros, A., Veissiere, S., Quilty, L., Dion, K., Nixon, A., Phillips, J., Bhatla, R., Spilg, E., Godbout, R., Yazji, B., Rushton, C.H., Gifford, W., Gautam, M., Boafo, A., Kendzerska, T. (2020). Social, financial and psychological stress during an emerging pandemic: observations from a population survey in the acute phase of COVID-19. BMJ Open 2020;10:e043805. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-043805. 

Chénier-Leduc, G., Béliveau, M. J., Dubois-Comtois, K., Butler, B., Berthiaume, C., & Pennestri, M. H. (2019). Sleep Difficulties in Preschoolers with Psychiatric Diagnoses.International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(22), 4485. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16224485. impact factor: 2.468

Dubois-Comtois, K., Pennestri, M. H., Bernier, A., Cyr, C., et Godbout, R. (2019). Family Environment and Preschoolers' Sleep: The Complementary Role of Both Parents. Sleep Medicine, Jun;58:114-122. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2019.03.002. Epub 2019 Mar 19.

Laganière, C., Gaudreau, H., Pokhvisneva, I., Atkinson, L., Meaney, M., et Pennestri, M. H. (2019). Maternal characteristics and behavioral/emotional problems in preschoolers: how they relate to sleep rhythmic movements. Journal of Sleep Research. Jun;28(3):e12707. doi: 10.1111/jsr.

Pennestri, M. H., Laganière, C., Bouvette-Turcot, A.A., Pokhvisneva, I., Steiner, M., Meaney, M., et Gaudreau, H. (2018). Uninterrupted infant sleep, development, and maternal mood. Pediatrics. 142(6). pii: e20174330. doi: 10.1542/peds.2017-4330. Epub 2018 Nov 12.

Tessier, M.P., Pennestri, M. H., et Godbout, R. Heart rate variability of typically developing and autistic children and adults before, during and after sleep. (2018). International Journal of Psychophysiology, 134, 15-21. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2018.10.004.

Dubois-Comtois, K., Cyr, C., Pennestri, M. H., & Godbout, R. (2016). Poor quality of sleep in foster children relates to maltreatment and placement conditions. SAGE Open, 1-7. doi:10.1177/2158244016669551

Pennestri, M. H., Moss, E., O'Donnell, K., Lecompte, V., Bouvette-Turcot, A. A., Atkinson, L., MAVAN Team, M. R. (2015). Establishment and consolidation of the sleep-wake cycle as a function of attachment pattern. Attach Hum Dev, 17(1), 23-42. doi:10.1080/14616734.2014.953963

Pennestri, M. H., Gaudreau, H., Bouvette-Turcot, A. A., Moss, E., Lecompte, V., Atkinson, L.,  Mavan Research Team. (2015). Attachment disorganization among children in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: Preliminary results. Early Hum Dev, 91(10), 601-606. doi:10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2015.07.005

Petit, D., Pennestri, M. H., Paquet, J., Desautels, A., Zadra, A., Vitaro, F., Montplaisir,J. (2015). Childhood Sleepwalking and Sleep Terrors: A Longitudinal Study of Prevalence and Familial Aggregation. JAMA Pediatr, 169(7), 653-658. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.127

Bouvette-Turcot, A. A., Pluess, M., Bernier, A., Pennestri, M. H., Levitan, R., Sokolowski, M. B., MAVAN team. (2015). Effects of Genotype and Sleep on Temperament. Pediatrics, 136(4), e914-921. doi:10.1542/peds.2015-0080

Pennestri, M. H., Montplaisir, J., Fradette, L., Lavigne, G., Colombo, R., & Lanfranchi, P. A. (2013). Blood pressure changes associated with periodic leg movements during sleep in healthy subjects. Sleep Med, 14(6), 555-561. doi:10.1016/j.sleep.2013.02.005

Dauvilliers, Y., Pennestri, M. H., Whittom, S., Lanfranchi, P. A., & Montplaisir, J. Y. (2011). Autonomic response to periodic leg movements during sleep in narcolepsy-cataplexy. Sleep, 34(2), 219-223. 

Dauvilliers, Y., Pennestri, M. H., & Montplaisir, J. Y. (2011). Comments on the Letter to the Editor by Ferri et al. on Autonomic Response to Periodic Leg Movements in Sleep in Narcolepsy-Cataplexy (Letter to the Editor). Sleep, 34(4), 411-412.

Lanfranchi, P. A., Pennestri, M. H., Fradette, L., Dumont, M., Morin, C. M., & Montplaisir, J. (2009). Nighttime blood pressure in normotensive subjects with chronic insomnia: implications for cardiovascular risk. Sleep, 32(6), 760-766. 

Pennestri, M. H., Montplaisir, J., Colombo, R., Lavigne, G., & Lanfranchi, P. A. (2007). Nocturnal blood pressure changes in patients with restless legs syndrome. Neurology, 68(15), 1213-1218. doi:10.1212/01.wnl.0000259036.89411.52

Dauvilliers, Y., Pennestri, M. H., Petit, D., Dang-Vu, T., Lavigne, G., & Montplaisir, J. (2007). Periodic leg movements during sleep and wakefulness in narcolepsy. J Sleep Res, 16(3), 333-339. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2869.2007.00601.x

Richard, M., LeBlanc, A. R., Pennestri, M. H., Montplaisir, J., Carrier, J., Lavigne, G., & Lanfranchi, P. A. (2007). The effect of gender on autonomic and respiratory responses during sleep among both young and middle-aged subjects. Sleep Med, 8(7-8), 760-767. doi:10.1016/j.sleep.2006.12.004

Whittom, S., Dauvilliers, Y., Pennestri, M. H., Vercauteren, F., Molinari, N., Petit, D.,& Montplaisir, J. (2007). Age-at-onset in restless legs syndrome: a clinical and polysomnographic study. Sleep Med, 9(1), 54-59. doi:10.1016/j.sleep.2007.01.017

Pennestri, M. H., Whittom, S., Adam, B., Petit, D., Carrier, J., & Montplaisir, J. (2006). PLMS and PLMW in healthy subjects as a function of age: prevalence and interval distribution. Sleep, 29(9), 1183-1187. 

Book chapters

 

Pennestri, M. H., Burdayron, R., & Desautels, A. (2021). Restless leg syndrome, periodic limb movements and dysautonomia. Autonomic nervous system and sleep: Order and disorder. In S. Chokroverty & P. Cortelli (Eds.), Chap 15, 15 pages, New York, NY: Springer International Publishing. (In press)

Pennestri, M. H., Burdayron, R., &. Gaudreau, H. (2021). Prenatal stress and children’s sleeping behaviour. Prenatal stress and child development. In A. Wazana, E., Szekely, & T. Oberlander (Eds.), Chap 18, 50 pages, New York, NY: Springer International Publishing. (In press).

Pennestri, M.H. (2015), « Lorsque la vie arrive trop tôt : répercussions psychosociales de la naissance prématurée sur l’enfant et ses parents » In Y. Tremblay, A.M. Gagné & M.H. Pennestri. Réflexions sur la réanimation du bébé grand prématuré : une approche transdisciplinaire. Quebec, Canada : Centre de recherche du CHU de Québec. http://collections.banq.qc.ca/ark:/52327/2431155

Pennestri, M.H., Kaczmarczyk, M., & Bouhaddioui, W. (2015) » Réflexion transdisciplinaire sur la réanimation du bébé prématuré ». In Y. Tremblay, A.M. Gagné & M.H. Pennestri. Réflexions sur la réanimation du bébé grand prématuré : une approche transdisciplinaire. Quebec, Canada : Centre de recherche du CHU de Québec. http://collections.banq.qc.ca/ark:/52327/2431155

Lanfranchi, P.A., Pennestri, M.H., Postuma, R., & Montplaisir, J. (2013). « Autonomic evaluation in sleep-related movement disorders”. In S, Chokroverty., R.P. Allen. A.S. Walters & P. Montagna. Sleep and Movement Disorders, Second Edition. New York: Oxford University Press.

Montplaisir, J., Michaud, M., Pennestri, M.H., & Lanfranchi, P. (2009). « Sleep Laboratory Diagnosis of Restless Legs Syndrome”  In W.A. Hening, R.P. Allen, S. Chokroverty & C.J. Early. Restless Legs Syndrome. Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier.

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