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About Graham Reid

Dr. Graham Reid is a psychologist and associate professor researching two areas of study: access and use of mental health services for children and adolescents; and sleep issues, especially among preschool-age children.

Asset Map Keywords: Healthcare Transition, Mental Health, and Sleep --> (see more)
Children's Health Collaborators: Jinette Comeau and Alan Leschied

Unique Keywords: Non-Compliance, Primary Care, and Psychosocial Disorders

About 1 in every 5 children, adolescents, and adults has a clinically significant psychosocial problem (i.e., problems in the areas of cognitive/academic, behavioural, emotional, psychological, or social functioning). However, over 80% of children with psychosocial problems do not receive treatment. Without treatment, about ½ of children continue to have problems years later. We are looking at issues related to access and use of services for children with mental health problems, and new methods of treating and preventing children's psychosocial problems. Two cross-cutting themes in both research programs are: primary health care and measure development. (Click here for selected publications by topic.)


a) Access to care.
This program of research focus primarily on how families access and use mental health services for children or adolescents who have mental health problems. We have studied the process of how parents attempt to access mental health services for children (Shanley, Reid, & Evans, 2008; Reid et al., 2011). In one study of families looking for mental health services for their children, we sought to a) identify where and why families were looking for help, and b) describe the treatment services parents were both offered and accepted. Kyleigh Schraeder (PhD., 2016; Schraeder & Reid, 2015) conducted a study entitled “Why wait? The effects of waiting time on subsequent help-seeking among families looking for children’s mental health services”; using survival analysis, she examined how being placed on a waitlist at a children’s mental health agency alters the probability that families will contact another agency for help. The role of family physicians in helping parents of children with psychosocial problems is also a focus in this line of studies (Reid et. al., 2011). Another project includes how individuals of all ages access care from family physicians (Reid, Freeman et al., 2009).

b) Patterns of Services Use & Transition to Adult Care
The natural history of psychopathology indicates many children will re-experience mental health problems. However, very little is known about service use over extended periods of time. Much of our recent work has focused on exploring and predicting the patterns of service use for children receiving specialized mental health care. Throughout these studies, five patterns of service use have been identified (Reid et al., forthcoming). A new project will extend our understanding of patterns of service use in children’s mental health by linking these data with health care data. This is will allow us to examine mental-health related visits within the health care sector (i.e., family physician, pediatric, psychiatrist visits) before, during, and after children receive specialized mental-health care in a community-based children’s centre.

Some youth who experience ongoing or recurrent mental health problems may require care during their young adult years. We (Schraeder & Reid, 2016) have recently reviewed the developmental psychopathology and treatment response/outcome literature to better understand what youth will require adult mental health care. In the new project examining at mental health visits in health care, we will also be able to examine the prevalence and predictors of those youth with ongoing or recurrent mental health problems who go on to have mental-health related visits within the health care sector as young adults (i.e., 18-20 years of age).


a) Parenting Children with Sleep Problems
We have developed and tested a program called: Parenting Matters: Helping parents with young childrenThe target population is parents of young children (age 2-5 years) seen by family physicians who have concerns about their children's sleeping and bedtime behaviours, or discipline. Treatment consists of brief self-help booklets and support from a telephone coach. A variety of issues and questions will be examined in this line of research including the effects of early intervention for children with mild levels of behaviour problems,  identifying factors that predict who will benefit from brief parenting interventions, primary care models for psychology, and ways of collaborating with family physicians. In a series of randomized clinical trials, over 550 parents were enrolled (Reid et al., 2013).

We were awarded a CIHR Sleep and Circadian Rhythms Team grant, entitled “Better Nights/Better Days: Improving Psychosocial Health Outcomes in Children with Behavioural Insomnia”. This 5-year project is developing, implementing and evaluating web-based sleep interventions for children ages 1-10 years. A randomized clinical trial testing the effectiveness of program has recently been completed. This research brings together an outstanding team of sleep researchers along with a number of important partners. For more information see the Better Nights, Better Days website.

b) Outcomes of sleep problems
Sleep problems have been related to psychopathology among children and adolescents. We examined the relation between sleep and psychopathology in a number of studies. Our Parenting Matters program examined how improvements in the sleep of preschool-age children impacted their behavior. In studies using large community-based samples, we examined the contribution of sleep problems to psychopathology in relation to known correlates of psychopathology such as parenting, family stress, and temperament (Reid, Hong, & Wade, 2009; Coulombe, Reid, Boyle, & Racine, 2010 & 2011).

Kathryn Turnbull (Ph.D. in progress) is taking the lead on a study that is examining the effects of brief sleep restriction and sleep fragmentation (analogous to night waking) on attention and working memory among preschool-age children. This experimental study of healthy children without sleep problems should help us better understand if sleep directly influences preschool children’s cognitive abilities and may help inform the definition of a clinically significant sleep problems in this age group. As a background for her dissertation, we reviewed the literature on behavioral sleep problems and their potential impact on developing executive function in children. (Turnbull, Reid, & Morton, 2013, Sleep).


The role of primary health care and in particular family physicians is part of our work in both access to care and pediatric sleep.  In terms of pediatric sleep problems, the Parenting Matters program was specifically designed for parents seen by family physicians.  A recent thesis by Adam Newton examined where parents of 1-10 years old would seek help when, or if, their child had a sleep problem. This project included seeking help in primary care.

Our work on access and use of services always includes the role of family physicians and primary health care. An earlier study (Reid et al., 2011, Adm Policy Ment Health)  on help-seeking found, not surprisingly, that family physicians are the first professional that parents turn to when their child has a mental health problem. As noted above, we examined having access to a regular family physician for individuals of all ages (Reid, Freeman et al., 2009). Recent studies have looked at ongoing care needs for children and youth with mental health problems and the roll of family physicians (Schraeder, Brown, & Reid 2017, J Behav Health Serv Res). Our C3MH (Continuity of Care Scale for Children’s Mental Health ) has modules that assess continuity between the children’s mental health and the medical/health sectors. In a project that we are just winding down, we examined care received by family physicians, as well as pediatricians and psychiatrists, for children and youth who were also receiving services in a children’s mental health agency. Finally, our current project on equity in children’s mental health services will examine access to mental health services of all kinds for children and youth, including care by psychologists and social workers in primary health care, and care provided by family physicians.

As part of our work in both access to care and in other pediatric research, we have developed a number of questionnaires. We have investigated methodological issues, such as how best to ask parents about their help-seeking contacts within the mental health system (Reid, Tobon, & Shanley, 2008). Dianne Shanley (Ph.D., 2008) developed a parent-report measure that helps us understand parent-perceptions of their child’s mental health problems. She also developed the Parents’ Illness Perception Questionnaire – Children’s Mental Health (PIPQ-CMH), a modification of the Illness Perception Questionnaire – Revised (IPQ-R); this measure was used to examine the impact of parents’ illness representations on treatment acceptability for child mental health problems. 

Mor Barzel (Ph.D., 2008) examined the validity of the Coparenting Questionnaire (Margolin, 2001) and developed a diabetes-specific measure of coparenting (Barzel & Reid, 2011; Barzel & Reid, 2011). Aimee Coulombe (Ph.D., 2011) developed three measures related to night-waking among preschool-age children that measure: a) what parents think they should do when 2- to 5-year-olds wake at night (Night-waking Vignettes Scale; Coulombe & Reid, 2013), (b), what preschool-age children do when they wake at night (Children's Night-waking Behavior Scale; Coulombe & Reid, 2014), c) what parents report that they do when their own child wakes at night (Night-waking Strategies Scale, Coulombe & Reid, 2014), and d) what parents think and feel when their child wakes at night (Parental Cognitions about Night-waking Questionnaire, manuscript in preparation).

Juliana Tobon (Ph.D. 2013), in collaboration with colleagues in the Departments of Psychology and Family Medicine along with community children's mental health agencies, developed a measure of the Continuity of Care Scale for Children’s Mental Health (Tobon, Reid & Goffin, 2014). The measure assesses continuity of care within the mental health sector, as well as continuity between the children’s mental health and the education and the medical/health sectors.

Graham Reid's research focuses are psychosocial problems in young children, the development of brief parenting interventions as well as psychosocial issues in medical populations (e.g. transition from pediatric to adult health care, research on the children’s mental health system).

He is a clinical psychologist with a part-time psychological practice.

Children: non-compliance, attention deficit-hyperactivity, sleep & bedtime problems, anxiety, depression and parenting problems
Adults: anxiety and panic, depression, post-traumatic stress, chronic pain, driving phobia, insomnia, marital problems

Research Interest Area: Children's health
Research Overview: Child health; Psychology; Primary care; Mental health services; Sleep accessibility


Present Associate Professor, Western University Department of Psychology
Present Associate Professor, Western University Department of Family Medicine
Present Scientist, Lawson Health Research Institute ‐ Children's Health Research Institute (CHRI)


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Recent Works (10)