Dr. Marie-Claude Geoffroy and Dr. Maxime Montembeault obtain CIHR funding

March 15, 2024

We are proud to share that two of our researchers, Drs. Marie-Claude Geoffroy and Maxime Montembeault, have obtained CIHR grants to study mental health in young and aging populations, respectively.

Project title: Mental Health of Sexual Diverse Youth
Principal investigator(s): Marie-Claude Geoffroy, Robert Paul Juster
Co-investigator(s): Natalie Castellanos Ryan, Nicholas Chadi, Ian R. Colman, Srividya N. Iyer, Massimiliano Orri, Isabelle Ouellet-Morin
Program: Operating Grant: Data Analysis Using Existing Databases and Cohorts

Keywords: Adolescents; Children; Life-Course Epidemiology; Longitudinal; Medical Service Utilization; Mental Health; Sexual Orientation; Social Support; Suicide; Youth

Abstract/Summary: Struggling with sexual and gender identity, 2SLGBTQI+ youth experience difficulties in childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. They bear a greater burden of mental health concerns, although the extent of this disparity has not yet been documented in Canada using longitudinal data. Further, suicide is preventable, yet it is the second cause of death in youth. A socially supportive and positive environment can help protect mental health and can be leveraged through intervention, but to what extent this applies in 2SLGBTQI+ youth is not clear. Further, patterns of healthcare usage for mental health problems in 2SLGBTQI+ youth are largely unknown but are essential for planning more effective services. Our objectives are fifth fold. First, we will document mental health in 23-year-olds who self-identified as being attracted to same-sex partners at least some of the time. Second, we will capture trajectories of childhood depressive symptoms and suicidality to gain a better understanding of onset and evolution of their symptoms Third, we will determine their use of medical services for mental health issues. Fourth, we will examine whether social support was received and reduced mental health problems. This will help the roll-out of preventive services in the future. Fifth, we will see if there are any differences between those born male and those born female. We will accomplish these goals using the existing Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development, an ongoing population-based study of 2120 participants born in many areas of Quebec, Canada, in 1997-98. About 1500 participants provided information on their sexual attraction and orientation, state of mental health, and support received. Linking this data to Quebec healthcare databases gives a snapshot of the use of medical services with time. Our study will provide a comprehensive portrait of mental health in 2SLGBTQI+ young people in Canada to better understand problems and to plan for more effective services.

Project title: The impact of occupational complexity on cognition in clinical neuropsychology practice with the elderly

Principal investigator(s): Maxime Montembeault

Co-investigator(s): Simon Ducharme, Geneviève Sauvé,Sylvia Villeneuve

Program: Catalyst Grant: Analysis of Canadian Longitudinal Study in Aging (CLSA) Data program

Keywords: Aging, neuropsychology, occupational complexity, sex

Abstract/Summary: In the field of clinical neuropsychology, the use of cognitive tests to identify cognitive impairments is a common practice, especially when working with older individuals who may experience memory difficulties. The clinician then interprets the results while taking into account the patient’s age, sex, and level of education since it is well-established that these factors can influence cognition. However, the current clinical approach may overlook a fourth crucial factor: job complexity. Several unanswered questions remain: Does job complexity have a greater impact on cognition than education? Is the positive influence of occupational complexity on cognition larger in females than males? Will the consideration of occupational complexity in clinical practice result in measurable improvements in test interpretation? These are the questions at the core of this research project.

Congratulations to Drs. Geoffroy, Montembeault, and their collaborators!