Tracy Vaillancourt

University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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Publications (75)157.78 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: School-level school climate was examined in relation to self-reported peer victimization and teacher-rated academic achievement (grade point average; GPA). Participants included a sample of 1,023 fifth-grade children nested within 50 schools. Associations between peer victimization, school climate, and GPA were examined using multilevel modeling, with school climate as a contextual variable. Boys and girls reported no differences in victimization by their peers, although boys had lower GPAs than girls. Peer victimization was related to lower GPA and to a poorer perception of school climate (individual-level), which was also associated with lower GPA. Results of multilevel analyses revealed that peer victimization was again negatively associated with GPA, and that lower school-level climate was associated with lower GPA. Although no moderating effects of school-level school climate or sex were observed, the relation between peer victimization and GPA remained significant after taking into account (a) school-level climate scores, (b) individual variability in school-climate scores, and (c) several covariates-ethnicity, absenteeism, household income, parental education, percentage of minority students, type of school, and bullying perpetration. These findings underscore the importance of a positive school climate for academic success and viewing school climate as a fundamental collective school outcome. Results also speak to the importance of viewing peer victimization as being harmfully linked to students' academic performance. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
    09/2014; 29(3):360-377.
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    ABSTRACT: Adaptive choice-based conjoint analysis was used to study the anti-cyberbullying program preferences of 1,004 university students. More than 60% reported involvement in cyberbullying as witnesses (45.7%), victims (5.7%), perpetrator–victims (4.9%), or perpetrators (4.5%). Men were more likely to report involvement as perpetrators and perpetrator–victims than were women. Students recommended advertisements featuring famous people who emphasized the impact of cyberbullying on victims. They preferred a comprehensive approach teaching skills to prevent cyberbullying, encouraging students to report incidents, enabling anonymous online reporting, and terminating the internet privileges of students involved as perpetrators. Those who cyberbully were least likely, and victims of cyberbullying were most likely, to support an approach combining prevention and consequences. Simulations introducing mandatory reporting, suspensions, or police charges predicted a substantial reduction in the support of uninvolved students, witnesses, victims, and perpetrators. Aggr. Behav. 9999:XX–XX, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Aggressive Behavior 09/2014; · 2.25 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Steven Arnocky, Tracy Vaillancourt
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    ABSTRACT: Little is known about the unique challenges faced by male victims of intimate partner violence. We explored sex differences in perception of male versus female victims, as well as in one’s willingness to identify as a victim, to minimize or conceal victimization, and to seek help for perceived victimization in a sample of 166 (89 female, 77 male) undergraduates. Results indicated that participants held more negative attitudes toward male versus female victims. Males were less likely than females to consider hypothetical aggressive acts perpetrated against them as abusive. When asked to think about how they would respond if they felt “abused” by their partner, male participants reported being more likely to minimize and less likely to disclose and seek help compared to females. Results are discussed in terms of the social emphasis on male dominance and highlight the need to consider the unique challenges faced by male victims.
    Journal of Aggression Maltreatment & Trauma 08/2014; 23(7):705 - 724.
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    ABSTRACT: This study assessed sensory processing differences between 24-month infants at high-risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), each with an older sibling with ASD, and low-risk infants with no family history of ASD. Sensory processing differences were assessed using the Infant/Toddler Sensory Profile, a parent-reported measure. Groups were compared based on 3-year outcomes: (a) high-risk infants subsequently diagnosed with ASD; (b) high-risk infants without an ASD diagnosis; and (c) low-risk infants without an ASD diagnosis. Analyses showed that high-risk infants diagnosed with ASD have more difficulty with auditory processing (i.e., responses to auditory stimuli) and lower registration (i.e., lacking sensation awareness) compared to controls. Thus, behavioral responses to sensory input represent early risk markers of ASD, particularly in high-risk infants.
    Journal of autism and developmental disorders. 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The latent class structure of autism symptoms from the time of diagnosis to age 6 years was examined in a sample of 280 children with autism spectrum disorder. Factor mixture modeling was performed on 26 algorithm items from the Autism Diagnostic Interview - Revised at diagnosis (Time 1) and again at age 6 (Time 2). At Time 1, a "2-factor/3-class" model provided the best fit to the data. At Time 2, a "2-factor/2-class" model provided the best fit to the data. Longitudinal (repeated measures) analysis of variance showed that the "2-factor/3-class" model derived at the time of diagnosis allows for the identification of a subgroup of children (9 % of sample) who exhibit notable reduction in symptom severity.
    Journal of autism and developmental disorders. 06/2014;
  • 05/2014: pages 107 - 126; , ISBN: 978-1-10700-885-4
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    ABSTRACT: Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and structural language impairment (LI) may be at risk of more adverse social-developmental outcomes. We examined trajectories of early social competence (using the Vineland-II) in 330 children aged 2-4 years recently diagnosed with ASD, and compared 3 subgroups classified by: language impairment (ASD/LI); intellectual disability (ASD/ID) and ASD without LI or ID (ASD/alone). Children with ASD/LI were significantly more socially impaired at baseline than the ASD/alone subgroup, and less impaired than those with ASD/ID. Growth in social competence was significantly slower for the ASD/ID group. Many preschool-aged children with ASD/LI at time of diagnosis resembled "late talkers" who appeared to catch up linguistically. Children with ASD/ID were more severely impaired and continued to lag further behind.
    Journal of autism and developmental disorders. 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Path analysis within a structural equation modeling framework was employed to examine the relationships between two types of parent stress and children's externalizing and internalizing behaviors over a 4-year period, in a sample of 184 mothers of young children with autism spectrum disorder. Parent stress was measured with the Parenting Stress Index-Short Form and child behavior was measured with Child Behavior Checklist/1.5-5. Across all time points, parent general distress predicted both types of child behaviors, but not vice versa. In addition, there was modest evidence of a bidirectional relationship between parenting distress and both types of child behaviors from 12 months post-diagnosis to age 6. Results are compared to previous work in this area, with implications for early intervention.
    Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 02/2014; · 3.06 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Tracy Vaillancourt, Patricia McDougall
    Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 09/2013; · 3.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) is a gold standard assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) symptoms and behaviours. A key underlying assumption of studies using the ADI-R is that it measures the same phenotypic constructs across different populations (i.e. males/females, younger/older, verbal/nonverbal). The objectives of this study were to evaluate alternative measurement models for the autism symptom phenotype based on the ADI-R algorithm items and to examine the measurement equivalence of the most parsimonious and best fitting model across subgroups of interest. Data came from the Autism Genome Project consortium and consisted of 3,628 children aged 4-18 years (84.2% boys and 75% verbal). Twenty-eight algorithm items applicable to both verbal and nonverbal participants were used in the analysis. Measurement equivalence of the autism phenotype was examined using categorical confirmatory factor analysis. A second-order model resembling the proposed DSM-5 two-factor structure of the phenotype showed good overall fit, but not for all the subgroups. The autism symptom phenotype was best indexed by the first-order, six-factor measurement model proposed by Liu et al. (2011). This model was well fitting and measurement equivalent across subgroups of participants (age, verbal ability and sex). The autism symptom phenotype is adequately characterized by a six-factor measurement model; this model appears to be measurement equivalent across subgroups of children and youth with ASD that differ in age, sex and verbal ability. The two-factor model provides equally good fit for the sample as a whole, but comparison of these two dimensions between subgroups that might differ in terms of age, sex or verbal ability is challenged by lack of measurement equivalence.
    Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 08/2013; · 5.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Developmental cascade models linking childhood peer victimization, internalizing and externalizing problems, and academic functioning were examined in a sample of 695 children assessed in Grade 3 (academic only) and Grades 5, 6, 7, and 8. Results revealed several complex patterns of associations in which poorer functioning in one domain influenced poorer outcomes in other areas. For example, a symptom driven pathway was consistently found with internalizing problems predicting future peer victimization. Support for an academic incompetence model was also found- lower GPA in Grade 5, 6, and 7 was associated with more externalizing issues in the following year, and poor writing performance in Grade 3 predicted lower grades in Grade 5, which in turn predicted more externalizing problems in Grade 6. Results highlight the need to examine bidirectional influences and multifarious transactions that exist between peer victimization, mental health, and academic functioning over time.
    Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 08/2013; · 3.09 Impact Factor
  • Eric Duku, Tracy Vaillancourt
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    ABSTRACT: The Behavior Rating Inventory for Executive Function-Preschool (BRIEF-P) is an instrument designed to assess preschoolers' executive function (EF) in the context of where the behavior occurs. The present study examined the psychometric properties and measurement structure of the BRIEF-P using parents' and teachers' reports on 625 typically developing children aged 25 to 74 months. Results indicated that the BRIEF-P scales had good internal consistency and convergent validity in this sample of children. However, the measurement models examined exhibited poor fit statistics and showed that the EF construct was not unidimensional but rather multidimensional with interrelated subconstructs. Further analyses showed that three of the clinical scales (Emotional Control, Plan/Organize, and Working Memory) were unidimensional and invariant across informant. The other two clinical scales (Inhibit and Shift) were multidimensional and differed by informant. Results support a multidimensional construct of EF and, accordingly, different measurement models are proposed by informant.
    Child Neuropsychology 05/2013; · 2.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to examine the measurement properties of the Social Responsiveness Scale in an accelerated longitudinal sample of 4-year-old preschool children with the complementary approaches of categorical confirmatory factor analysis and Rasch analysis. Measurement models based on the literature and other hypothesized measurement models which were tested using categorical confirmatory factor analysis did not fit well and were not unidimensional. Rasch analyses showed that a 30-item subset met criteria of unidimensionality and invariance across item, person, and over time; and this subset exhibited convergent validity with other child outcomes. This subset was shown to have enhanced psychometric properties and could be used in measuring social responsiveness among preschool age children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
    Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 04/2013; 43(4):860-8. · 3.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: Exposure to child maltreatment is associated with physical, emotional, and social impairment, yet in Canada there is a paucity of community-based information about the extent of this problem and its determinants. We examined the prevalence of child physical and sexual abuse and the associations of child abuse with early contextual, family, and individual factors using a community-based sample in Ontario. METHODS: The Ontario Child Health Study is a province-wide health survey of children aged 4 through 16 years. Conducted in 1983, a second wave was undertaken in 1987 and a third in 2000-2001. The third wave (N=1,928) included questions about exposure to physical and sexual abuse in childhood. RESULTS: Males reported significantly more child physical abuse (33.7%), but not severe physical abuse (21.5%), than females (28.2% and 18.3%, respectively). Females reported significantly more child sexual abuse (22.1%) than males (8.3%). Growing up in an urban area, young maternal age at the time of the first child's birth, and living in poverty, predicted child physical abuse (and the severe category), and sexual abuse. Childhood psychiatric disorder was associated with child physical abuse (and the severe category), while parental adversity was associated with child sexual abuse and severe physical abuse. Siblings of those who experienced either physical abuse or sexual abuse in childhood were at increased risk for the same abuse exposure; the risk was highest for physical abuse. CONCLUSIONS: These findings highlight important similarities and differences in risk factors for physical and sexual abuse in childhood. Such information is useful in considering approaches to prevention and early detection of child maltreatment. Clinicians who identify physical abuse or sexual abuse in children should be alert to the need to assess whether siblings have experienced similar exposures. This has important implications for assessment of other children in the home at the time of identification with the overall goal of reducing further occurrence of abuse.
    Child abuse & neglect 01/2013; · 2.34 Impact Factor
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    Steven Arnocky, Shafik Sunderani, Tracy Vaillancourt
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    ABSTRACT: It has been suggested that mate-poaching behavior is an evolutionarily-adaptive mating tactic. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between lifetime number of mate-poaching attempts and mating success in a sample of 271 (147 women and124 men) heterosexual undergraduate students. Results indicated that for both men and women, the number of mate-poaching attempts predicted having more lifetime sex partners, more lifetime casual sex partners, and more lifetime dating partners. Mate poaching attempts did not however, predict differences in the attractiveness and social dominance of one’s most recent partner. These results provide evidence of the efficacy of mate-poaching in predicting mating success.
    Journal of Evolutionary Psychology 01/2013; 11(2):65-83.
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    Tracy Vaillancourt
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    ABSTRACT: Indirect aggression includes behaviours such as criticizing a competitor's appearance, spreading rumours about a person's sexual behaviour and social exclusion. Human females have a particular proclivity for using indirect aggression, which is typically directed at other females, especially attractive and sexually available females, in the context of intrasexual competition for mates. Indirect aggression is an effective intrasexual competition strategy. It is associated with a diminished willingness to compete on the part of victims and with greater dating and sexual behaviour among those who perpetrate the aggression.
    Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences 01/2013; 368(1631):20130080. · 6.23 Impact Factor
  • Matilda Nowakowski, Tracy Vaillancourt, Louis A. Schmidt
    11/2012: pages 28-55; , ISBN: 9781107411753
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    ABSTRACT: Two common subtypes of aggression (physical and indirect) have been shown to develop concurrently throughout childhood and to uniquely predict maladjustment. However, nothing is known about psychiatric outcomes of joint trajectories of physical aggression (PA) and indirect aggression (IA) in emerging adulthood. Trajectories of PA and IA across ages 10 to 15 were modeled using 2,338 youth drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Children and Youth. The identified trajectories were then used to predict delinquency problems, depressive symptoms, and emotional intelligence in emerging adulthood. Three groups of children with distinct developmental trajectories of PA (no PA, 32.5%; moderate-declining PA 52.2%; and high-increasing PA, 15.3%) and three distinct developmental trajectories of IA (low-declining IA, 29.9%; moderate-declining IA, 65.5%; and high IA, 4.6%) were identified. Joint trajectories indicate that the largest group of children (41.6%) followed a moderate-declining IA trajectory and moderate-declining PA trajectory. Virtually no children were high on one type and low on the other. The proportion of boys was higher in the low IA-moderate declining PA and moderate IA-high increasing PA groups, whereas girls were more likely to be in the low IA-low PA and moderate IA-low PA groups. Individuals who followed elevated trajectories of IA and PA had significantly more depressive and delinquency symptoms and lower emotional quotient scores in emerging adulthood compared with those with lower trajectories. These results suggest that some children have high PA and IA trajectories from childhood to adolescence and that these trajectories are associated with an increased risk for maladjustment.
    Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 10/2012; 51(10):1037-51. · 6.97 Impact Factor
  • Tracy Vaillancourt
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    ABSTRACT: Laboratory evidence about whether students' evaluations of teaching (SETs) are valid is lacking. Results from three (3) independent studies strongly confirm that "professors" who were generous with their grades were rewarded for their favor with higher SETs, while professors who were frugal were punished with lower SETs (Study 1, d = 1.51; Study 2, d = 1.59; Study 3, partial η(2) = .26). This result was found even when the feedback was manipulated to be more or less insulting (Study 3). Consistent with laboratory findings on direct aggression, results also indicated that, when participants were given a poorer feedback, higher self-esteem (Study 1 and Study 2) and higher narcissism (Study 1) were associated with them giving lower (more aggressive) evaluations of the "professor." Moreover, consistent with findings on self-serving biases, participants higher in self-esteem who were in the positive grade/feedback condition exhibited a self-enhancing bias by giving their "professor" higher evaluations (Study 1 and Study 2). The aforementioned relationships were not moderated by the professor's sex or rank (teaching assistant vs.professor). Results provide evidence that (1) students do aggress against professors through poor teaching evaluations, (2) threatened egotism among individuals with high self-esteem is associated with more aggression, especially when coupled with high narcissism, and (3) self-enhancing biases are robust among those with high self-esteem. Aggr. Behav. 00:1-14, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Aggressive Behavior 09/2012; · 2.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: CONTEXT The presence of autistic-like traits in relatives of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is well recognized, but, to our knowledge, the emergence of these traits early in development has not been studied. OBJECTIVE To prospectively investigate the emergence of autistic-like traits in unaffected (no ASD diagnosis) infant siblings of probands diagnosed as having ASD. DESIGN Two groups of children unaffected with ASD were assessed prospectively-siblings of probands diagnosed as having ASD (high risk [HR]) and control subjects with no family history of ASD (low risk [LR]). Scores on a measure of autistic-like traits at 12 months of age were used in a cluster analysis of the entire sample. SETTING A prospective study of infant siblings of probands with ASD from 3 diagnostic centers in Canada. PARTICIPANTS The study included 170 HR and 90 LR children, none of whom was diagnosed as having ASD at age 3 years. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES The Autism Observation Scale for Infants was used to measure autistic-like traits and derive clusters at 12 months of age. Clusters were compared on ASD symptoms, cognitive abilities, and social-emotional difficulties at age 3 years. RESULTS Two clusters were identified. Cluster 1 (n = 37; 14.2% of total sample) had significantly higher levels of autistic-like traits compared with cluster 2. Within cluster 1, 33 children came from the siblings (19.4% of HR group) and only 4 came from the control subjects (4.5% of LR group). At age 3 years, children from cluster 1 had more social-communication impairment (effect size > 0.70; P < .001), lower cognitive abilities (effect size = -0.59; P < .005), and more internalizing problems (effect size = 0.55; P = .01). Compared with control subjects, HR siblings had a relative risk of 4.3 (95% CI,1.6-11.9) for membership in cluster 1. CONCLUSIONS Study findings suggest the emergence of autistic-like traits resembling a broader autism phenotype by 12 months of age in approximately 19% of HR siblings who did not meet ASD diagnostic criteria at age 3 years.
    Archives of general psychiatry 09/2012; · 12.26 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

814 Citations
157.78 Total Impact Points


  • 2009–2014
    • University of Ottawa
      • Faculty of Social Sciences
      Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    • Uppsala University
      • Department of Psychology
      Uppsala, Uppsala, Sweden
  • 2012
    • Clarkson University
      Potsdam, New York, United States
    • Nipissing University
      • Department of Psychology
      North Bay, Ontario, Canada
  • 2003–2012
    • McMaster University
      • Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences
      Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  • 2011
    • University of British Columbia - Vancouver
      Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    • University of Alberta
      • Department of Pediatrics
      Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    • Brigham Young University - Idaho
      Provo, Utah, United States
  • 2006–2010
    • Université de Montréal
      • School of Psycho-Education
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • 2008
    • Université du Québec à Montréal
      • Department of Psychology
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • 2007
    • Thompson Rivers University
      Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada
  • 2004
    • Keele University
      • School of Psychology
      Newcastle under Lyme, ENG, United Kingdom