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Few studies have investigated the role that housing plays in a child's emotional and physical safety and well-being. Children growing up in the slums of Nairobi represent their everyday lives through participatory visual methods.

Aboriginal youth "take action" through the the medium of graffitti to produce HIV/AIDS awareness messages on an unused building in the centre of their community.

Dr. Shaheen Shariff and her Define The Line research team discuss and investigate the ways in which digital and social media have become central to concerns about human development and well-being.

Predictors of and contributors to academic success, social adaptation, and emotional well-being are studied among youths in Aboriginal communities in northern Quebec with an emphasis on the role of their identification with their own culture.


Making people healthier requires action at all levels of society. It means creating environments that protect and actively promote health and well-being and encouraging and enabling people to make healthy choices for themselves and their families.

Youth-initiated DIY activities along with interventions in the form of community and school-based projects are drawing on digital media (video, photos, digital storytelling and cellphilms) in ways that "give voice" to young people on critical issues.


The McGill Institute for Human Development and Well-Being (IHDW) reflects McGill’s commitment to understanding and maximizing human development and well-being and is dedicated to teaching, innovative research, and responding to the needs of societies.

IHDW is committed to encouraging a transdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approach to the study of human development and well-being.  It aims to foster the development of networks in the study of human development and well-being and to facilitate informed discussion about public policy. It also aims to encourage community engagement through the various activities originating in the Institute.

The proposed Institute is guided in its mandate by research across three axes, (1) functioning across the life-span; (2) family, community and school, and society; and (3) social policy and planning. The Institute hosts an interdisciplinary team of axes co-directors, and sponsors a Seminar Series, and other events linked to the work of its members, along with symposia and conferences.