Our Research Initiatives


The Centre for Child Well-Being is proud to be involved in a number of innovative projects and initiatives with academics, community partners, parents and caregivers, students, and practitioners that span a wide variety of areas. From disaster response practices to early years physical literacy, to establishing external and internal learning collectives, the Centre promotes child well-being in a variety of ways. Read more about our past and current research projects below.

Research Projects

Project Team Members: Lynne Lafave, Scott Hughes, Sonya Jakubec, Judy Gleeson, Andrea Shippey

In summer 2018, the Centre for Child Well-Being at Mount Royal University launched this exciting three-year community-engaged research project. The 2018 pilot — alongside our community partner Calgary's Urban Project Society (CUPS) explored the nutritional, mental and social well-being benefits of a 12-week gardening and food literacy program for preschool aged children and their caregivers. Learn more about this project.

Project Team Members: Michelle Briegel, Paxton Bruce, Sonya Jakubec, Ana Gerado, Diana Mendoza, Andrea Shippey, Keisha DeCoste

A unique and often underrepresented group of post-secondary students are parents.  This project aimed to investigate the services and supports offered, and potential gaps of those services and supports, for students who are also parents on Mount Royal University’s campus. The investigation focused on integrating past knowledge with current research to prepare information that will inform potential recommendations and best practices to Mount Royal’s policy.

Project Team Members: Heather Pollard, Paxton Bruce and Sonya Jakubec

Data has been collected using the Benchmark study, ongoing testimonials, and a qualitative survey understanding the use of the Child Development Lab as a space and it's impact on student practice in the practicum setting.

Project Team Members: Paxton Bruce, Andrea Shippey and Sonya Jakubec

An executive summary and analysis was conducted around the literature of the impact of technology. The purpose of this review was to explore the impact of the use of technology in professional development and student learning environments by way of reflective practice. The review spoke to the value and impact of reflective practice and technology in teacher education and student education, and served to guide recommendations towards the development of a technology impact framework for the Centre for Child Well-Being and the Child Development Lab’s technology.

Project Team Members: Keisha DeCoste, Paxton Bruce, Sonya Jakubec

Phase one of this project explored the meaning of a ‘Community of Practice’ (CoP). Phase one intended on gathering the contextual definitions, critical attributes, and consequences of the community of practice phenomenon. Once the information from phase one was gathered, phase two of the project aimed to pilot a prototyped community with a select group of key stakeholders to gain commitment, test assumptions, refine the strategy, and establish future directions. Using the data from both the literature review as well as the prototyped community, future directions for the Centre of Child Well-Being’s CoP launch on May 23rd could be explored.

Project Team Members: Dawne Clark, Nancy Ogden, Katie Jewitt, Paxton Bruce

A five-year collaboration between the Centre for Child Well-Being and the Early Years Physical Literacy Research team resulted in the development of a suite of materials to build the capacity of preschool educators in physical literacy.

Check out the APPLE Seeds Program here, and stay updated by checking out the physical literacy news here

Project Team Members: Michelle Briegel, Heather Pollard, Paxton Bruce, Heather Jackson, Lisa Conroy, Lisa McManes

In partnership with Mount Royal University Child Care Centre (MRUCC), a yoga curriculum was created, piloted and tested for children age 3 to 6. The curriculum was designed for the sole purpose of engaging these children in activities to promote self-regulation and mindfulness through a yoga practice. A key objective of this program was to introduce new language and skills to children to help them increase self-awareness and skill development when coping with a range of normal emotions experiences on a daily basis. The early childhood educators of MRUCC then completed an extensive yoga training which included reflective practices through use of the Child Development Lab's technology.

Project Team Members: Cathy Smey Cartson, Michelle Briegel, Paxton Bruce, Robyn Bolink, Sheri Easterbrook, Sh'Vaun Nosworthy

In response to disasters in Alberta, and in partnership with Mount Royal University's Centre for Community Disaster Research, the Centre for Child Well-Being sought to fill the gaps in disaster response practices and policy for child and families. Protocols preparing to respond to future disasters in supporting children and families based at Mount Royal are now in development as a result of this project.

Project Team Members:Nancy Ogden, Katharin Pritchard, Dawne Clark

In 2013, with financial support from The Calgary Foundation’s Community Grant Program, the Centre for Child Well-Being and Integrative Health Institute at Mount Royal University together with community partners facilitated a year-long investigation into the feasibility of developing a Calgary-wide shared data system or data sharing initiative for child, youth, family, and human service providers.

Over the course of 2014, data was collected from twelve participating community-based organizations in Calgary and area. The data was examined to determine factors affecting a variety of areas related to ‘positive relationships’ – the pilot indicator, and its impact on child and family well-being. Emergent themes were identified and are being used to demonstrate the viability of the data management system.

View the 2013 report here.

Project Team Members: Dawne Clark, Nancy Ogden

Start Smart Stay Safe (S4) began in 2010 as a collaborative three-year pilot project between the Calgary Police Service, Calgary Board of Education, Calgary Catholic School District, and Mount Royal University’s Centre for Child Well-Being. It was funded through Alberta Justice Safe Communities Innovation Funding. In September 2013, S4 began the city-wide rollout in all Calgary elementary schools and will

The intention is to support schools and families in a meaningful way and to move the focus of community policing toward education and prevention and away from the perception of policing as limited to law enforcement.