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New Fulbright Canada Research Chair developing ways to better interpret comprehensive mental health assessments among children, youth, and adults

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: August 7, 2020 1:00 p.m.

Dr. Andres De Los Reyes, Professor of Psychology at the University of Maryland at College Park, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, and new Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Mental Health.
Dr. Andres De Los Reyes, Professor of Psychology at the University of Maryland at College Park, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, and new Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Mental Health. Photo: courtesy Ronald Flores

Child and youth mental health is a significant concern in Canada. According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, an estimated 10 to 20 per cent of Canadian children and youth may develop a mental disorder. 

More than nine per cent of youth living in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are dispensed at least one medication intended to treat a mood or anxiety disorder. 

Yet, there are many discrepancies in how diagnostic data and treatment assessments are interpreted. 

For example, a teacher might see disruptive behaviour in a child which their parents do not; a child may disclose anxiety or mood concerns which their parents and teachers are not aware of; and a parent may report a child as showing levels of hyperactive behaviour which other people may not observe. 

“This is a key issue in the delivery of mental health care services,” says Professor of Psychology at the University of Maryland at College Park, Dr. Andres De Los Reyes, who, following a May 1, 2020 announcement by the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, will be joining the University of Regina (U of R) as the 2020-21 Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Mental Health. 

Dr. Andres De Los Reyes has spent the greater part of the past 20 years trying to figure out how to use the discrepancies in the ways different adults in a child’s life view the child’s mental health as a tool for understanding where to target treatment services, and monitor treatment progress. 

08-071.jpg

Dr. De Los Reyes looks forward to
collaborating with U of R Professors of
Psychology, Dr. Gordon Asmundson,
Registered Doctoral Psychologist and
Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Anxiety
Disorders
and Clinical Psychology Review,
and Dr. R. Nicholas Carleton, Scientific
Director of the Canadian Institute for
Public Safety Research and Treatment.
Photo: Hide Okuno 

“The key goal of my research program is to improve our understanding of the inconsistent outcomes that commonly arise from multi-informant mental health assessments, and I select mental health domains that I think are great examples of where these differences in perceived behaviour happen,” says Dr. De Los Reyes. 

Dr. De Los Reyes received his PhD in 2008 from Yale University and began his career as an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland at College Park, where he currently serves as Professor and Director of the Comprehensive Assessment and Intervention Program and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. 

He has published more than one hundred peer-reviewed articles in academic journals such as the Psychological Bulletin, Psychological ReviewJournal of Abnormal PsychologyPsychological Assessment, and Annual Review of Clinical Psychology. 

Dr. De Los Reyes says that The Early Career Researcher’s Toolboxhis recent book on research training, helps early career researchers attain "street smarts" ─ the strategies successful academics use to build a research program and launch an academic career, while they learn the necessary "book smarts" their future career demands. 

"Our research community is thrilled to welcome Dr. De Los Reyes," says U of R's Vice-President (Research), Dr. Kathleen McNutt. "Mental health research is a priority for the U of R, and we look forward to having this distinguished scholar join us to research on child and youth mental health and well-being."

While with the U of R, Dr. De Los Reyes will be collaborating primarily with two U of R Professors of Psychology, Dr. Gordon Asmundson, Registered Doctoral Psychologist and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Anxiety Disorders and Clinical Psychology Review, and Dr. R. Nicholas Carleton, Scientific Director of the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment. 

“I am thrilled about the opportunity to work with Drs. Asmundson and Carleton. Their Anxiety and Illness Behaviour Lab (AIBL) has an internationally recognized expertise in describing how adults struggle with anxiety disorders and identifying treatment services that best meet their needs, and I look forward to extending my work on these important assessment issues as they manifest in clinical work with adults,” Dr. De Los Reyes says. 

“We are very fortunate to have an opportunity to host such a prominent and influential international researcher and to collaborate with him and his team to try to better understand such an important and practical mental health issue,” says Dr. Asmundson. 

While at the University of Regina, in addition to his plan to deliver workshops and consultations, and establish a strong collaboration with U of R scholars and students, Dr. De Los Reyes also hopes to “take occasional breaks from this work and take leisurely walks along the serene pathways of the beautiful Wascana park,” he says. 

“Dr. De Los Reyes is one of more than 800 U.S. citizens who will teach, conduct research, and/or provide expertise abroad for the 2020-21 academic year through the Fulbright program,” writes the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. 

“Established in 1946, the Fulbright program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries,” explains the bureau. 

For further information about the Fulbright program, please visit http://eca.state.gov/fulbright.