Linda is a mixed methodologist with expertise in the use of both qualitative and quantitative approaches to fieldwork. She has extensive experience in the use of image-based elicitation methods within a phenomenological and grounded theory framework. Here she makes use of techniques such as photovoice, drawing and participatory workshops to understand how people experience and understand aspects of their lives, as well as what communities identify as needed and valuable resources. Her quantitative skill-set includes the design of validated measures and use of multivariate data analysis techniques such as Principle Component Analysis and Structural Equation Modeling. She also makes extensive use of mixed-methods designs in the development of research projects, including for example, complex longitudinal studies with marginalised youth populations.
The Spaces and Places Program
Spaces and Places is a three-year, multi-site, visual methods study funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Atlantic Aboriginal Health Research Program (AAHRP). The purpose of this project is to conceptualize what spaces are available to youth that establish a sense of community and cultural connection when facing heightened risks. It also seeks to understand how these spaces facilitate a sense of cultural and civic engagement in youth, in turn fostering resilience. The partners of this project have identified the need to better understand youth living in three remote communities of Labrador.
Networks for Change and Well-being: Girl-led ‘From the Ground Up’ Policy-making to Address Sexual Violence in Canada and South Africa
This international and interdisciplinary partnership, under the leadership of Claudia Mitchell (McGill University) and Relebohile Moletsane (University of KwaZulu-Natal), brings together government and community-based organizations focusing on girls and young women, 40 co-applicants and collaborators from 14 post-secondary institutions in Canada and South Africa and a network of stakeholder partners located in both countries. The partnership seeks to examine and learn from the contexts in which communities of girls and young women are subject to exceptionally high rates of sexual violence. In the Canadian context this grouping refers to self-identified young Indigenous girls/women, and in the South African context girls and young women who belong to two of the official government designated groups, Black and Coloured (mixed race), and who live in rural areas. Methodologically, the project draws on approaches to learning ‘from the ground up’ (digital story-telling, participatory video, cellphilms, drawing and mapping, etc.) and builds on various iterations of youth-led media making, community-based research, participatory action research, research as intervention and research as social change. It aims to shift the boundaries of knowledge production and policy change. It also studies knowledge exchange amongst institutions, community practitioners and policy-makers.
Pathways to Resilience Research Program
The project uses quantitative and qualitative research methods to examine service use patterns, personal and ecological risk factors, and aspects of resilience of youth across different cultures, contexts, and with complex service histories in at least five countries around the globe: Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Colombia, and China.
Survey of resilience and risky behaviour in middle and secondary students: construct validity of the Child and Youth Resilience Measure-10 (CYRM-10) as embedded in the Student Use Drug Survey (SDUSAP).
To assess the construct validity of the Child and Youth Resilience Measure-10 (CYRM-10) against mental health and risky behavior measures embedded in the Student Use Drug Survey (SDUSAP). The purpose in developing and testing a short version of the CYRM is that it will be more suitable for inclusion in omnibus surveys such as the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY, Statistics Canada). The survey includes approximately 3600 students from two Nova Scotia school boards and 1100 students from two school boards in Prince Edward Island, Canada.
Negotiating Resilience Research Program
The Negotiating Resilience project uses an innovative combination of visual methods, observation, qualitative interviews and reciprocity between researchers and youth to deepen our understandings of resilience from children and youth’s own cultural and contextual viewpoints. The purpose of the project is to understand the interactive processes associated with positive development among children and youth who are in transition between two (and possibly more) culturally distinct worlds. The goals are to learn both what resilience means, as well as the pathways to resilience, from the perspectives of youth who are “out-of-place” in some way and coping well with their displacement.
International Resilience Research Project
The International Resilience Project aims to develop a better, more culturally sensitive understanding of how youth around the world effectively cope with the adversities that they face. The IRP uses a unique cross-cultural approach that employs both quantitative and qualitative research methods to examine individual, interpersonal, family, community and cultural factors associated with building resilience in youth around the world.
Research and Programmes for High Risk/Street Children
This collective of service provision and research aimed to address recommendations made by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) of South Africa that included the need to explore alternative educational options for marginalised youth in high-risk contexts as well as educational components for street initiatives. Working within a contextual, eco-systemic model, the program sought to understand individuals, families and communities participating in the project within a social constructivist paradigm, using largely narrative and image-based methods of study.
Projects as part of the problem: Critical perspectives on projects/programs for out-of-school youth in at-risk communities
Collaborative research with the University of the Western Cape (South Africa); the University of Amsterdam (Netherlands); and the Hogeschool van Utrecht (Netherlands).
Women’s Mental Health Research Project, Department of Psychology, Stellenbosch University
The Women’s Mental Health Research Project focuses on research exploring the psychology of low-income South African mothers. This research is situated within a feminist social constructionist framework using mainly qualitative methodologies, strongly influenced by an ethnographic tradition. The research includes a focus on the distress and resilience of farmworkers (1999-2001); as well as a published survey of mental health services available to poor women in the region (2000).