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Experts in: Parent-child attachment

Cyr, Mireille

CYR, Mireille

Professeure titulaire

My research projects concern the sexual abuse of children and teens, and fall into three main categories. They are carried out under the aegis of the Interdisciplinary Research Centre on Intimate Relationship Problems and Sexual Abuse (CRIPCAS), the Marie-Vincent interuniversity research chair on child sexual abuse, and the sexual violence and health team (ÉVISSA).

The first category is the examination of repercussions on victims and their ability to adapt depending on the nature of the abuse, the relationship with the abuser, the family and the services received.

A second research category consists in seeking a better understanding of the mothers and fathers of child victims of sexual abuse and determining the impact on them of the reporting of the abuse. This research also seeks to verify the importance and impact of support for victims on the adaptation of the child or teenager.

The last category involves interviews with children suspected of having experienced sexual abuse. This research has made it possible to verify the effectiveness of the NICHD (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) guide in reducing interviewers' suggestive and directive behaviour (so as to preserve the integrity of the forensic interview process) and in increasing the credibility of the child's testimony in terms of the quality and quantity of details given relating to the sexual abuse. Current research is aimed at increasing our knowledge of the child's personal factors and the family factors that can influence his or her testimony.

I am also the co-holder of the Marie-Vincent Foundation interuniversity research chair on child sexual abuse.

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Mageau, Geneviève

MAGEAU, Geneviève

Professeure titulaire

My current research focuses on the definition, the determinants and the outcomes of autonomy support (Grolnick & Ryan, 1989; Mageau & Vallerand, 2003) in hierarchical relationships in general, and in parent-child interactions in particular.

  • To be autonomy supportive is to consider another (e.g., a child) as a separate individual who has unique needs and feelings and who deserves respect and self-determination (Deci & Ryan, 1985, 2000). 
  • Autonomy support has often been operationalized using the following behaviors: (1) to acknowledge the other’s feelings, (2) to give a rational for rules and demands, and (3) to provide choice and opportunities for initiative taking (Grolnick, Frodi, & Bridges, 1984; Koestner, Ryan, Bernieri, & Holt, 1984).

I am also interested in looking at the other key interpersonal dimensions (i.e., involvement and structure) and how they combine with autonomy support to foster optimal functionning.

Finally, I am co-leader of the How to Project, whose goal is to evaluate the effects of the parenting program called "How to talk so kids will listen & how to listen so kids will talk". This program teaches parents how to offer a clear and consistent structure to their children, while supporting their autonomy and maintaining a warm interpersonal relationship.

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