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The British Columbia Research Institute
for Children's & Women's Health

Areas of Focus

Centre for Community Child Health Research

Faculty & Staff
B.C. Injury Research & Prevention Unit

B.C. Research Institute for Children's & Women's Health

First Call: Child & Youth Advocacy Movement

Located in Vancouver, British Columbia, with links throughout the province, the Centre for Community Child Health Research focuses on identifying factors that influence and support the healthy development of children and youth. Housed at Children's & Women's Health Centre of British Columbia (C&W), it is a core research centre of the British Columbia Research Institute for Children's & Women's Health which operates as a partnership of C&W, the University of British Columbia, and the community.

The British Columbia Injury Research and Prevention Unit is a core research program within the Centre for Community Child Health Research. The Unit was established in 1997 as part of a province-wide partnership between the Centre, the British Columbia Ministry of Health, and C&W. The Unit's primary goal is to reduce unintentional injuries among children and youth in BC through surveillance, research, education, and dissemination.

The Centre also supports the activities of the First Call: British Columbia Child & Youth Advocacy Coalition by providing space and infrastructure, and collaboration on joint projects. A coalition of 40 provincial organizations and hundreds of community groups and individuals around BC, First Call advocates working together to ensure that the needs of children and youth are a top priority.

Our Mission Statement

To improve the health and well-being of children and youth by understanding the social and behavioural determinants of child health and applying this knowledge to community-based prevention and health promotion strategies.



Our Goals

  • To foster and maintain an environment of interdisciplinary expertise.
  • To provide leadership through innovative and effective individual and population-based research which will make a major contribution to increasing scientific knowledge about the range of influences on children's physical, emotional, and behavioural development.
  • To promote the dissemination of research findings that will influence child and youth health policy and practice.
  • To facilitate community-based child health research throughout B.C. by developing a province-wide network of collaborative links with other academic centres, health institutions, and community researchers.
  • To be a resource for education and training in community child health research.


Areas of Focus

Today, the major threat to the health of children in North America is not disease but social, environmental and behavioural factors which compromise children's health and their emotional and physical development.

The Centre brings together interdisciplinary expertise in child development, health promotion, epidemiology and clinical research. Activities at the Centre focus on five key research areas:

Health Promotion

Develops and implements effective risk-prevention strategies, community-based initiatives and public policy to improve lives and health of children and youth. This includes strategies for changing individual and organizational behaviours that compromise health and well-being in areas such as tobacco use, sun exposure, injury prevention, physical activity and nutrition.

Bio-Behaviour Interface

Explores the links between biologic and behavioural influences on child development, including the influence of prolonged pain and exposure to drugs during the fetal or newborn period on subsequent growth and development, behavioural interactions (infant-maternal, peers) and factors that promote resiliency.

Family & Community Systems

Children grow and develop within the framework of families and communities. Understanding how families and communities operate, how they change and may be influenced is critically important for implementing effective community-based strategies to sustain healthy development. Research involves evaluation of support programs for families in need, suicide and identity formation in youth, and the family and community issues associated with the risk of fetal alcohol syndrome.


Children with disabilities face special challenges. Research is focused on better understanding the process of development in children with disabilities and developing and evaluating approaches to facilitate healthy development. Initiatives include research exploring social development in children with disabilities and understanding the natural course of growth in children with specific disabilities.


Focuses on understanding the population-based determinants of health among children and youth to help develop and implement interventions that promote child health and improve future life prospects. Current research involves understanding determinants of prematurity and birth outcomes, patterns of ritalin use in treatment of hyperactivity-attention deficit, and injury prevention.

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  • Research designs related to behavioural measurement, health promotion methodologies, population identification, monitoring & intervention, and social & cultural research issues.
  • Design and implementation of behavioural intervention clinical trials, including pharmacologic interventions.
  • Biobehavioural assessment of infants and children including physiological recording, behavioural coding, and cognitive testing.


  • Graduate student and post-doctoral training opportunities.
  • *
  • Summer student projects.
  • Ideas and work-in progress seminars.
  • Methodology workshops relating to biobehavioural measurement, health promotion, and population health.

Room L-408
4480 Oak Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
V6H 3V4

Tel: (604) 875-3570
Fax: (604) 875-3569


Last updated: March 11, 1999

©1996-1999 Centre for Community Child Health Research

Address comments about this page to: Jacqueline Smit Alex


This page has been accessed times since November 3, 1998.