Christine Wekerle

Christine Wekerle
McMaster University | McMaster · Department of Pediatrics

Ph.D., Clinical Psychology

About

200
Publications
197,500
Reads
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6,333
Citations
Citations since 2017
78 Research Items
2842 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500
Additional affiliations
July 2009 - present
McMaster University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
September 2001 - May 2004
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Position
  • Scientist; Scientific Leader, Aggression Research Initiative

Publications

Publications (200)
Article
Full-text available
This systematic scoping review synthesizes the recommended approaches for providing culturally safe family violence interventions to Indigenous peoples in health care and social service settings. A total of 3783 sources were identified through our electronic database searches, hand-searching of Indigenous-focused journals, and backward and forward...
Article
Full-text available
Given colonial genocide, Indigenous peoples are rightfully reticent to disclose their experiences of family violence to practitioners working within mainstream health care and social services. Health care and social service providers (HSSPs) have varied formal education on providing trauma-and-violence informed care to Indigenous and non-Indigenous...
Article
Full-text available
Self-reflection is often viewed positively; paradoxically, however, it is also associated with distress, potentially because of its relationship with rumination. Focusing self-reflection on positive themes may be one way to promote adaptive self-reflection. This study examined whether the disposition to engage in self-reflection motivates use of a...
Article
Full-text available
Considering the increased risk of revictimization, adolescents who have experienced child sexual abuse (CSA) are a priority subpopulation for the prevention of dating violence. Yet, intervention programs often focus on psychological symptomology associated with CSA; few tackle issues specific to relational violence. Addressing the relational trauma...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: To explore literature regarding youth with Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), their potential reactivity to research, and research trauma mitigation protocols. Methods: A systematic scoping review was conducted in APA PsychInfo, CINAHL, Embase, and OVID Medline. 2 reviewers screened each article for 12 eligible studies. Quantitative a...
Article
The social-ecological resilience framework posits that the development of negative psychological outcomes (NPO) following alcohol-involved sexual assault (AISA) is influenced by the interaction of sociocultural and individual risk and protective factors. AISA survivors may be particularly vulnerable to AISA stigma (e.g., victim-blaming rape myths),...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Focusing on youth (ages 15-24), our scoping review aims to address these questions: (1) What is the relationship between self-compassion (SC) and psychological distress in youths with child maltreatment (CM) histories? and (2) How does this relationship differ across child maltreatment types? Methods: Eight databases were screened: OVI...
Chapter
Full-text available through doi or at https://xutongzhang.weebly.com/cv--updates.html. Child maltreatment (CM) includes all forms of abuse or neglect against minors that result in measurable harm or injury, or risk thereof, to the child or adolescent. There are five main classifications of CM: physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, neglect, and ex...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) contributes to depression in several populations. However, there is a significant lack of longitudinal research on depressive symptoms among sexually abused adolescents involved in Child Protection Services (CPS). Given the systemic challenges in CPS research, it is also unclear as to whether depressive sym...
Article
Full-text available
Relative to non-Indigenous youth, Indigenous youth have been under-represented when studying pathways to mental wellness. Yet, a broad range of adversity is acknowledged, from intergenerational and ongoing trauma arising from colonial policies. This scoping review explores resilience definitions, measures, key stressors, and what Indigenous youth i...
Article
Background Alongside deficits in children's wellbeing, the COVID-19 pandemic has created an elevated risk for child maltreatment and challenges for child protective services worldwide. Therefore, some children might be doubly marginalized, as prior inequalities become exacerbated and new risk factors arise. Objective To provide initial insight int...
Article
To date, Indigenous youth in Canada face significant socio-political risks and threats to their mental wellness, such as intergenerational trauma, water insecurity, environmental degradation, and lack of safe housing. Given the need for mental wellness resources for Indigenous youth, there has been a rising interest in technology-based intervention...
Article
In Canada, Indigenous populations have an increased prevalence of psychiatric disorders and distress. Mental health mobile applications can provide effective, easy-to-access, and low-cost support. Examining grey literature and academic sources, this review found three mobile apps that support mental health for Indigenous communities in Canada. Impl...
Article
Full-text available
Adverse effects of childhood maltreatment experience and adolescent depression symptoms are theorized to be more profound for adolescents who have suffered multiple maltreatments (polyvictimization). New theoretical insights into the study of polyvictimization suggest that it must be studied using a multiplicative logic, particularly when maltreatm...
Preprint
UNSTRUCTURED To date, Indigenous youth in Canada face significant socio-political risks and threats to their mental wellness, such as intergenerational trauma, water insecurity, environmental degradation, and lack of safe housing. Given the need for mental wellness resources for Indigenous youth, there has been a rising interest in technology-based...
Article
Full-text available
Maternal exposure to childhood maltreatment (CM) is associated with offspring behavioral problems, however, little work has examined these associations longitudinally across child development. This study examined the effects of maternal history of CM on trajectories of child internalizing and externalizing behavior measured from toddlerhood to pres...
Article
Full-text available
The WHO defines child maltreatment as any form of neglect, exploitation, and physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, committed against children under the age of 18. Youth involved in the child welfare system report more maltreatment experiences and environmental turbulence (e.g., number of moves, caseworkers), placing them at greater risk for poorer...
Article
Background A year has passed since COVID-19 began disrupting systems. Although children are not considered a risk population for the virus, there is accumulating knowledge regarding children's escalating risk for maltreatment during the pandemic. Objective The current study is part of a larger initiative using an international platform to examine...
Article
Background Many adolescents in group care have experienced higher rates of traumatic event exposure, behavior problems, and severe trauma sequelae compared to those outside of group care. Yet, little research has examined from a person-centered perspective their diverse trauma profiles and corresponding service needs. Objective This exploratory st...
Article
Self-compassion is associated with greater well-being and lower psychopathology. There are mixed findings regarding the factor structure and scoring of the Self-Compassion Scale (SCS). Using confirmatory factor analysis, we tested and conducted nested comparisons of six previously posited factor structures of the SCS. Participants were N = 1,158 Ca...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This global systematic review explored the published and grey literature about the sexual exploitation of boys. Findings from 69 qualifying publications from 37 countries around the world are reviewed. The report presents common characteristics across the studies of boys’ experiences.Key correlates with boys victimisation include: Homelessness Sub...
Book
Full-text available
This eBook details the need for an evidence-based application that is focused on the resilience and positive emotionality of youth. It discusses the JoyPop™ app design process and its features. There is a considerable focus on the research projects being performed within different subgroups to demonstrate an increase in mental wellness for diverse...
Article
Full-text available
In Canada, Indigenous youth have remained resilient despite being confronted with a wide range of structural and systemic risks, such as long-lasting boil water advisories, over-representation in the child welfare system, and injustices related to land treaties. As people of the land, all disruptions to ecological health are a disruption to persona...
Article
Background COVID-19 has become a worldwide pandemic impacting child protection services (CPSs) in many countries. With quarantine and social distancing restrictions, school closures, and recreational venues suspended or providing reduced access, the social safety net for violence prevention has been disrupted significantly. Impacts include the conc...
Article
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Background: Resilience is the capability, resources, and processes that are available to a person or system to adapt successfully in the face of stress or adversity. Given that resilience can be enhanced, using advances in technology to deliver and evaluate the impact of resilience interventions is warranted. Evidence supports the effectiveness of...
Preprint
BACKGROUND Resilience is the capability, resources, and processes that are available to a person or system to adapt successfully in the face of stress or adversity. Given that resilience can be enhanced, using advances in technology to deliver and evaluate the impact of resilience interventions is warranted. Evidence supports the effectiveness of t...
Article
Background Despite a range of interventions available to treat mental health symptoms experienced by youth with a history of child sexual abuse (CSA), limited empirical work has examined practitioner delivery of these interventions in real-world practice. Objective This paper aimed to qualitatively explore the delivery of trauma-based intervention...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on mental health, self-regulatory capacities, and overall resilience are well-known. Given such effects, ACEs may play a role in how individuals adjust to challenges later in life. Of interest in this study is the transition to university, a time of heightened stress when adapting to c...
Article
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child confirmed child and youth rights globally. Their right to participation is a critical driver for the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Youth prioritize the need to end violence against them, charging adults with safeguarding, and identify gender inequality as an underlying cause of c...
Article
Background The effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on mental health, self-regulatory capacities, and overall resilience are well-known. Given such effects, ACEs may play a role in how individuals adjust to challenges later in life. Of interest in this study is the transition to university, a time of heightened stress when adapting to ci...
Article
Full-text available
Resilience has always been present across human history, as we have contended with the wide array of adversities. Resilience research has gained significantly increasing momentum as a core principle of the trauma-informed approach to service. Resilience research supports not only targeting psychopathology symptom reduction, but also recognizing a p...
Article
Background A growing body of literature on the concept of trauma-informed care (TIC) has emerged in response to greater recognition of the prevalence of childhood trauma. Currently, no review has examined the conceptualization of TIC in various child-serving systems, specifically TIC as a standard of care, the outcomes examined relevant to care, an...
Article
Full-text available
Resilience has always been present across human history, as we have contended with the wide array of adversities. Resilience research has gained significantly increasing momentum as a core principle of the trauma-informed approach to service. Resilience research supports not only targeting psychopathology symptom reduction, but also recognizing a p...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: Social media (SoMe) is globally prevalent, but its relevance for disseminating sensitive topics, such as violence victimization and mental health among adolescents and emerging adults, remain under-researched. Youth-dominate platforms may be well-suited for resilience messaging on safety, health, and well-being, and exploratory knowledg...
Article
Objective: We investigate the potential therapeutic application of virtual reality (VR) technology as an aid to meditation practice among persons varying in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Method: In this within-group mixed-methods study, 96 young adults practiced both VR- and non-VR-guided meditations and reported on their experien...
Article
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Across three studies, we provide a proof-of-concept evaluation of an integrative psychotherapeutic application of virtual reality (VR) technology. Study 1 (n = 36) evaluated an unguided “safe-place” imagery task, where participants were instructed “to create a safe space… [such as] a scene, item, design, or any visual representation that makes you...
Article
Adolescence is a period of development characterized by risk-taking, sensation-seeking, emotionally-influenced and independence-seeking behaviours. There is a move away from family and towards the social influences of peer groups. Emotionally-driven behaviours may override adolescents’ higher cognitive functioning during this time. Especially vulnera...
Article
This paper presents one model for building and sustaining a research partnership between researchers and professional staff in child protection (CPS) agencies. The Maltreatment and Adolescent Pathways (MAP) study was designed to assess the health and well-being of the population of adolescents involved in the child welfare system of a major urban a...
Article
The social, cultural and political contexts of vulnerability need to be considered in defining, understanding, and reducing substance abuse among maltreated youth with an Aboriginal background (MacNeil, 2008; Tatz, 1999). Aboriginal cultures tend to incorporate an ideology of collectivism that manifests in shared childrearing responsibilities withi...
Article
Given the unique history and culture of the Aboriginal heritage, research evidence and evidence-based practice guidelines/recommendation derive from the general population are not sufficient in informing the practices of Child Protective Services’ caseworkers who are caring for Aboriginal youth in the child welfare system. Special attention should...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: Approximately half of sexual assaults involve alcohol; these assaults tend to be more severe and may be more likely to result in negative emotional outcomes like anxiety and depression (Ullman & Najdowski, 2010). Self-compassion (SC; extending kindness and care towards oneself) may promote resilience from the negative emotional conseque...
Article
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child confirmed child and youth rights globally. Their right to participation is a critical driver for the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Youth prioritize the need to end violence against them, charging adults with safeguarding, and identify gender inequality as an underlying cause of c...
Article
Childhood maltreatment is associated with increased risk of alcohol misuse. Posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) and coping motives have both been identified, separately, as mediators of the relation between childhood maltreatment and alcohol misuse but have yet to be examined as serial mediators in a high‐risk population. A total of 564 adolescent...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives The present study evaluated focused attention, affective response, and other subjective experiences during a mindfulness meditation exercise, relative to participant exposure to lifetime trauma, life stress experienced in the past year, and trauma-related symptoms experienced over the past month. Methods Participants were recruited from...
Article
Full-text available
Background Child sexual abuse (CSA) is a prevalent exposure with potentially serious, negative health consequences, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and its symptomatology. Objective To conduct a systematic and critical review in order to investigate the relationship between CSA disclosure patterns and PTSD. Participants and settin...
Article
Full-text available
Objective There is a well-documented link between child maltreatment and poor health across the lifespan. This provides a strong case for ongoing research with youth involved in the child welfare system to reduce negative outcomes and support resilience while being inclusive of youth voices. However, detailed inquiries about maltreatment history an...
Article
Full-text available
https://futurumcareers.com/dr-christine-wekerle-finding-joy-in-an-app Focusing on the positives and joyful moments in our lives can help us to build resilience, cope with challenges and be the best we can be. But can an app help us to do that? Researchers at McMaster University think it can. Life is a journey full of challenges, triumphs and all...
Article
Full-text available
Alcohol intoxication is often involved for both victims and perpetrators of sexual victimization. Yet, alcohol-involved sexual victimization research has mainly focused on female victims, excluding male victims. The current study addresses gaps in the literature by focusing on sex differences in the emotional harms (anxiety and depression symptomat...
Article
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https://us.hogrefe.com/spotlights-on/psychotherapy-clinical-psychology-counseling/child-adolescent-mental-health Helping male victims of child sexual abuse speak out and asking ourselves as professionals some serious questions: Are we ready to hear about boys’ sexual violence victimization? Are we ready to ask the question and prepared to offer th...
Book
The new edition of this popular, evidence-based guide compiles and reviews all the latest knowledge on assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of childhood maltreatment – including neglect and physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional abuse. Readers are led through this complex problem with clear descriptions of legal requirements for recognizing,...
Article
Full-text available
Researchers in violence prevention areas seek to disseminate work for impact to practice and policy. Knowledge transfer, exchange, and mobilization are common terms for research knowledge utilization where public communication platforms are playing an increasing role, having unique capacity to connect stakeholders in advocacy and lived experience,...
Article
Full-text available
Although infants less than 18 months old are capable of engaging in self-regulatory behavior (e.g., avoidance, withdrawal, and orienting to other aspects of their environment), the use of self-regulatory strategies at this age (as opposed to relying on caregivers) is associated with elevated behavioral and physiological distress. This study investi...
Article
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A key, under-attended issue is sexual violence victimization among children and youth, and its contribution to trauma, in the context of non-sexual violence and other adverse childhood events. This Part II of special content explores important target ages (preschool), target systems (justice, military), and under-served groups (black males). Clearl...
Article
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It is well-established that childhood sexual abuse (CSA) increases risk for later substance abuse. However, less is known about the mechanisms by which CSA increases risk of substance abuse, including problem drinking. Research points to negative emotions as potential explanatory links between CSA and problem drinking, and suggests that pathways ma...
Article
Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) is associated with multiple negative outcomes, including increased risky sexual behavior. To date, the majority of research on the relationship between CSA and risky sex in adolescence has been limited, with a lack of focus on males and youth receiving child welfare services. Participants in the current study were 297 y...
Article
Full-text available
This chapter is oriented toward the importance of the parent-child relational context and the developmental traumatology model of child maltreatment. First, the chapter presents the historical context, definitions, and epidemiology of maltreatment. Next, each type of child maltreatment is discussed in terms of its influence on domains in child deve...
Article
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Article
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While mattering to others is regarded as an essential element of personal adjustment, relatively little is known about the developmental origins and psychosocial correlates of mattering. The current research examined the extent to which a reported history of childhood maltreatment contributed to feelings of not mattering to others. We also examined...
Article
Full-text available
Indigenous communities have sustained multiple layers of trauma across generations in their lands and social ecology. Considering services utilization as a potential resilience process and cultural as a resilience resource, Western mental health approaches have been modified and applied to Indigenous youth. A scoping review framework was utilized t...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: Although it is well established that resilience moderates the effects of child maltreatment on mental health, less is known about the effects of resilience on pathways from child maltreatment to depression symptoms and alcohol problems. Previous researchers have found that difficulties with relationships, identity and affect control (i....