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Carlin MillerCarlin Miller will be researching the effectiveness of a course designed to improve mindfulness for teachers and parents of children with ADHD.

ADHD study among projects backed by research stimulus fund

Anyone who ever raised and educated a child with ADHD knows it can be a challenge, but armed with new stimulus funding, a psychology professor is planning to equip parents and teachers with skills to better deal with their demands.

“We’ve acknowledged the disorder exists, so now we need to promote resiliency and help people function better,” said Carlin Miller, who will soon begin researching the impact and effectiveness of a mindfulness course for parents and teachers of children with ADHD. “These kids can be pretty frustrating some times, so we need to help parents come up with coping strategies.”

Dr. Miller was one of five researchers in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences to receive grants from the university’s research stimulus fund, whose mandate is to build upon research strengths, enhance future research funding, especially from the tri-council, and enhance graduate training and experiential learning.

Other researchers and projects to receive funding include:

  • Christina Burr, history, Working Girls in Early American Cinema
  • Irene Carter, social work, Exploring disability and social work in Indian schools of social work
  • Guy Lazure, history, Mapping the Spanish Republic of Letters (1450-1650): Networks of Humanist Correspondence
  • Lydia Miljan, political Science, Content analysis using qualitative data analysis software

FAHSS dean Nancy Wright says the funding is critical for members of her faculty in the early stages of developing new research initiatives.

“It’s important for researchers to conduct research and publish their findings, but that can be a tall order without some initial support to get their projects started,” she said. “These grants will provide our people with the boost they need and help them attract new sources of funding to expand their projects.”

Miller has applied to the university’s Research Ethics Board, and once cleared, will begin recruiting 10 parents and 10 teachers who will take a special course on mindfulness taught by Rita Benn from the University of Michigan, an expert in using mindfulness with parents, teachers, and medical professionals.

Mindfulness, she said is “all about remaining focused on the present without ruminating about the past or worrying needlessly about the future.” Miller and her team of graduate students will measure the nine-week course’s effectiveness.

“We’ll be looking at things like emotion regulation, perceived notions of their own stress levels and whether their knowledge of ADHD has improved,” she said.