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Clinical Development Psychology Program

Area Background & Mission Statement

York University’s Clinical Developmental Psychology Program is one of seven areas of specialization in Canada’s largest graduate program in psychology. The Clinical Developmental Psychology Program is accredited by the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA; date of last accreditation was 2009). The main objective of the Program is to train graduate students to meet the requirements for registration as psychologists and to work as psychologists in clinical, school, academic, and research positions. The goal of the Program is to train skilled and ethical professionals who demonstrate competence in the areas of interpersonal relationships, assessment and evaluation, intervention and consultation, and research. Students are trained to conceptualize disorders of childhood and adolescence from both clinical and developmental perspectives.

Mission Statement
The mission of the Clinical Developmental Psychology Program is to prepare graduate students for professional practice as clinical psychologists in community, hospital, academic, and research settings. Following a training philosophy based in the scientist-practitioner model, the research, teaching, and clinical components of the program incorporate theoretical, empirical, and applied knowledge and skills. In adhering to the highest standards of professionalism, graduates of the Program are trained to help children, adolescents, and their families who are in need of various psychological services.

Program Highlights

  • Scientist-practitioner based training in clinical psychology, designed to meet the rigorous accreditation standards set by the Canadian Psychological Association
  • Opportunities to be involved in cutting-edge research through conducting and publishing independent and collaborative studies
  • Opportunities for interdisciplinary research training across seven areas of specialization in psychology
  • Exposure to teaching and supervision by distinguished faculty committed to the pursuit of excellence in research and student development
  • Clinical training opportunities in the newly opened, state-of-the-art clinic integrated into the Program
  • Access to diverse practicum placements in prominent community mental health agencies, renowned hospitals, and school boards across the Greater Toronto Area

Faculty Profiles by Areas of Specialization

  • Brain, Behaviour and Cognitive Sciences
  • Clinical
  • Clinical Developmental
  • Developmental Science
  • History and Theory of Psychology
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Social and Personality
  • Clinical Neuropsychology

Magdalena Wojtowicz
(PhD Dalhousie University)

Clinical Developmental
Faculty Member Research Interest Other Affiliations
James M. Bebko
(PhD York)
Cognitive and attention skills in children with autism, developmental disabilities and children who are deaf. Roles of metacognition (awareness of self) and language proficiency (e.g., English or signed systems) in the cognitive development of these groups. Early identification; assessment methods; intervention effectiveness. Brain, Behaviour and Cognitive Sciences, Clinical, Developmental Science
Yvonne Bohr
(BSc, Ed.D. Toronto)
Infants, children and families at risk. Cognitively based interventions at the interface between attachment and parental attributions. Cross-cultural parenting. Cognitivebehavioural interventions for children. Children with special needs.
Jennifer Connelly
(PhD Concordia)
Peer and romantic relationships in adolescence. Romance and sexuality in early adolescence; intimacy and autonomy development in adolescence romantic relationships; dating violence; school-based prevention of dating violence; peer and media influences on dating violence. Clinical
Mary Desrocher
(PhD Toronto) e-mail
Neuropsychology. Cognitive, behavioural, and emotional functioning of children with diabetes and epilepsy. Spatial and working memory. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and congenital hypothyroidism. Clinical Neuropsychology, Developmental Science
Timothy Moore
(Chair/Professor Department of Psychology,Glendon College
Forensic Psychology, especially issues pertaining to child witnesses, memory, language comprehension, suggestibility, police investigative practices, and interrogations. Clinical, Developmental Psychology
Robert T. Muller
(PhD Michigan State)
Child and adult survivors of abuse; effective models for the treatment of psychological trauma; understanding child and adult attachments to help guide appropriate interventions; the role of social support in recovery from abuse. Clinical, Developmental Science
Debra Pepler
(PhD Waterloo)
Children in families at risk; peer relations of aggressive children; bullying and victimization in childhood and adolescence; girls' aggression; prevention and intervention. Developmental Science
Adrienne Perry
(PhD York)
Assessment/diagnosis of autism and developmental disabilities, evaluation of the effectiveness of interventions (including especially intensive behavioural intervention), and the positive and negative impacts on families in terms of stress and coping (parents and siblings). Developmental Science
Rebecca Pillai Riddell
(PhD University of British Columbia)
Understanding how young child and parents interact in painful situations; infant and preschool negative affect regulation, academic performance and social-emotional well-being Developmental Science
Jennine S. Rawana
(PhD Lakehead University)
Broadly adolescent health promotion and risk reduction; major depression in adolescents; emergence of seasonal depression in adolescents, cognitive vulnerability to depression, relationship between mood and risk behaviours, developing and evaluating strength-based prevention programs for Aboriginal youth.
Christine Till
(PhD University of Toronto)
Clinical neuropsychology, impact of neurodegenerative disease on neuropsychologic function (multiple sclerosis, Huntington disease), children's environmental health (impact of early exposure to chemicals on child development), and cognitive rehabilitation.  Clinical Neuropsychology
Maggie Toplak
(PhD OISE/University of Toronto)
Assessment, diagnosis and treatment of attention and learning disorders in children and adolescents; understanding how cognitive and affective processes develop in clinical and healthy populations; dual process models of human reasoning in clinical and healthy populations. Clinical, Developmental Science
Jonathan Weiss
(PhD York)
Prevention and treatment of mental health problems in people with autism spectrum disorders and/or intellectual disabilities across the lifespan. Experience of family caregivers. Mental health services for people with developmental disabilities. Program development and evaluation, the impact of Special Olympics on the psychological well-being of participants, and of cognitive-behavioural and social skill interventions.
Maxine Gallander Wintre
(PhD York)
Social & emotional development, including gender differences & immigrant/generational status. Currently investigating transitions of emerging adults (e.g. transition to university, domestic and international students, the army, etc). Also interested in developmental changes (from preschoolers to young adults) in social relations, consultant choices, social support, social participation skills & emotion cognition. Clinical, Developmental Science
Magdalena Wojtowicz
(PhD Dalhousie University)
The overall objective of my research program is to improve our understanding of cognitive dysfunction, psychological functioning, as well as mechanisms of compensation and recovery, in patients suffering from neurological disorders.

My current research efforts are focused on mild traumatic brain injury and sport-related concussion in civilians, service members and veterans, as well as student and professional athletes. I am pursuing projects focused on 1) understanding how pre-morbid factors influence concussion risk and recovery, and (2) examining potential long-term consequences of multiple concussions and exposure to repetitive head trauma over the lifespan.

Clinical Neuropsychology

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Faculty from other areas affiliation with the Clinical Developmental area
Faculty Member Primary Affiliation Research Interest
John Eastwood
(PhD Waterloo)
Clinical Explores how the emotional state of an observer, and also the emotional significance of environmental information, influences the deployment of attention. Exploring the experience of boredom, and individual differences that impact on susceptibility to boredom. Focused on gaining a better understanding of basic psychological processes, as well as examining issues that relate more specifically to clinical psychology.
Joel Katz
(PhD McGill) (Canada Research Chair)
Clinical Psychological, emotional, and biomedical factors involved in acute and chronic pain with a particular emphasis on (1) understanding the psychological and physiological processes and mechanisms involved in the transition of acute, time-limited pain to chronic, pathological pain; (2) identifying factors involved in the establishment and reactivation of pain memories after amputation (phantom limb pain) and other traumatic events; (3) pre-emptive analgesia and other preventive pharmacological interventions designed to minimize acute post-operative pain and to elucidate the mechanisms involved in post-operative sensitization; (4) developing pharmacological and nonpharmacological interventions to minimize pain and stress in hospitalized infants; and (5) gender differences in acute post-operative pain and analgesic consumption.
David M. Regan
(PhD DSc London); (Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus); FRSC
Brain, Behaviour and Cognitive Sciences Human brain research. Visual psychophysics: spatial form vision, figure-ground, depth vision, motion, colour, spatial discriminations. Auditory psychophysics: AM and FM channels, auditory localization, speech perception. Human evoked potentials and magnetic brain responses (sensory), visual and auditory. Somatosensation. Application of visual and auditory psychophysics and brain recording to medicine (multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, glaucoma, amblyopia). Vision in aviation and driving. Eye movements.
Irwin Silverman
(PhD Rochester) (Professor Emeritus)
Brain, Behaviour and Cognitive Sciences Human ethology and evolutionary psychology.
Gerald Young
(PhD Montreal)
Developmental Science Lifespan developmental theory, including cognitive-affective stages. Pain, posttraumatic stress disorder, and traumatic brain injury - causality considerations. The development of manual lateralization/hemispheric specialization.
Fredric Weizmann
(PhD Ohio State); (Professor Emeritus)
History and Theory of Psychology History of child development and psychology, including the influence of eugenics and ideas of race. Normal and atypical development and the influence of evolutionary theory and biology on psychological models of development. Personality theory and its history. The conceptual and historical basis of classification and classificatory systems.

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CD Area Statistics

We typically make offers to 10%-15% of applicants to the program.






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Areas of Specialization

  1. Links to Useful Internal Websites
    Practicum Website
    Find useful information about practicum sites and how to apply for your assessment and intervention practica.
    York University Psychology Clinic (YUPC)
    YUPC is a new, state-of-the art community mental health and training centre associated with the Department of Psychology in the Faculty of Health at York University. The clinic provides a range of leading edge, effective mental health services to keep people of all ages living healthy, productive lives.
    Psychology Resource Centre
    The PRC can provide valuable resources and assistance to York psychology fourth-year undergraduates, graduate students and departmental faculty members in teaching, for psychological assessment(s) and for research purposes. If you’re wondering what psychological tests, books, or other offerings the PRC has on hand, use the search box above or check our catalogue to do an advanced search. You can also check out our Research / Resources section for advice and information on finding and using tests and other resources in your work. If you have any questions feel free to contact us or drop in during our scheduled hours.
    York Library
    Psychology Graduate Student Association
    All graduate students in the department of psychology are automatically members of the PGSA.
    Institute for Social Research
    Information on stats consulting, stats courses, and other research courses offered at York. The Institute for Social Research houses the largest university-based survey research centre in Canada. We provide expert consulting in social statistics, teach a range of short courses on statistics and social research, and operate York's Research Data Centre.
  2. Links Related to Pre-Doctoral Internship
    The Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC)
    APPIC has organized and coordinated the internship matching process since 1968 by organizing and identifying quality internship.
    Time2Track is a web-based solution developed to help psychology graduate students track clinical training experiences for practica, internship, and licensure.
  3. Links to Professional Associations
    Canadian Psychology Association
    The College of Psychologists of Ontario
    Ontario Psychological Association

How to Apply to Clinical Development Area

Information for Applying the Clinical Developmental (CD) Psychology Graduate Program

Applicants who wish to be considered for admission to the CD Area must specify “Clinical Developmental” as their primary area of interest. Other Areas in the Department of Psychology (e.g. Clinical) can be specified as a secondary area of interest. However, an applicant's file is not automatically forwarded to another area, unless arranged by the applicant or the file is forwarded by the CD area. Once admitted, shifting from one area to another is not normally permitted. Review our Tips to Improve Your Application. Students who are interested in specialized training in clinical neuropsychology can apply to the Clinical Neuropsychology stream after being admitted to the CD area.

If you have questions regarding the application process, please contact the York University Office of Admissions (Graduate; contact information below) or Ms. Lori-Anne Santos, administrative assistant to the Graduate Program, Department of Psychology. If you have questions regarding the CD Area, please contact Dr. Mary Desrocher, Director of Clinical Training.

Admission Requirements for students applying for a Masters of Arts (MA)

Applicants are expected to have achieved a minimum A- grade point average (GPA) in the last two years of a four-year undergraduate honours degree (or equivalent) in Psychology. Applicants with an average that is lower than an A- may still apply; however, an explanation for why the average is low should be provided in the Statement of Interest.

Applicants to the Clinical Developmental (CD) Area are expected to have a general background and knowledge in core content areas of psychology. Applicants should have taken at least:

  1. One full-course in Introductory Psychology;
  2. One full-course in Research Design and Statistical Analysis; and,
  3. The equivalent of six other full-courses in psychology that cover the following core areas:
    * biological bases of behaviour (e.g. physiological psychology, neuropsychology, sensation, psychopharmacology, health psychology)
    * cognitive-affective bases of behaviour (e.g. learning, memory, perception, cognition, emotion)
    * social bases of behaviour (e.g. social psychology, cultural, ethnic and group processes, sex roles, organizational and systems theory)
    * individual behaviour (e.g. personality theory, human development, individual differences, abnormal psychology)

Applicants with insufficient breadth from their undergraduate training may be asked to demonstrate competence in these major areas of psychology by enrolling in undergraduate courses before beginning the graduate program.

In addition to meeting the graduate admission requirements, a student can only be admitted if there is a faculty member available and interested in serving as the applicant’s supervisor. For this reason, applicants are strongly encouraged to determine whether a faculty member with compatible research interests is available for supervision.

Students who plan to limit their studies to the Masters of Arts (MA) degree in the CD Area are discouraged from applying to the program. MA students in our graduate program are expected to proceed to and complete the requirements for the PhD degree. However, students completing their MA at York are not automatically accepted into the PhD program; they must make a formal, but internal, application for advancement into the PhD program.

Admission Requirements for students applying for a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Admission to the CD area is generally at the MA level, unless the applicant is from another CPA/APA-accredited clinical graduate program. In this circumstance, the applicant may be considered for admission to the PhD level. GRE scores are not required for those applying to the PhD program in psychology. Students with a Master’s degree from a non-accredited graduate program (e.g. Experimental Psychology) will be considered for MA-level entry to the CD area. These students will be expected to complete an MA thesis and the core CD area courses to obtain an MA degree at York University, prior to entry into the PhD program. Students with a former Master’s degree may be exempt from some courses (e.g. statistics) if they declare competence in a particular area from a previous graduate course taken.

Submitting your Application
All application documents are submitted online. Click here to access the application and for more information: Graduate Admissions.

Updated on October 20th, 2017.