Laboratory for Social-Emotional Development and Intervention

Research Stakeholders

Our Philosopy

At the SEDI Lab, we foster the meaningful integration of developmental and clinical research and practice that is supported by strong partnerships with practice leaders and policy makers, community organizations, caregivers and young people themselves. We strive to achieve this through co-creating knowledge with practice partners who contribute to the continuous cycle of knowledge creation and mobilization.


We work closely with community organizations from service areas such as child mental health, child welfare, and education to help us find new ways to share what we learn from our research with clinicians, practitioners, educators, and families. If you are interested in learning more about the SEDI lab or creating a partnership, please contact Dr. Connie Cheung at


Our Community

   Researcher Stakeholders

   Practice Stakeholders

   Practice Stakeholders

   Policy Stakeholders

   Policy Stakeholders

Our goal at the SEDI Lab is to understand how biological, psychological, and social processes affect healthy child development. We aim to generate new insights into child development in areas such as kindness, aggression and adversity, focusing on how this knowledge can inform services in early childhood education, child and youth mental health, child welfare and education. Our aim is to test, evaluate, and disseminate our interventions for children, families and communities that can promote development and wellbeing. We share knowledge through formal channels such as publishing findings in high-impact peer-reviewed journals (e.g., Child Development) and in open-access journals (e.g., PLoS ONE). We also present findings at national and international conferences to stimulate the exchange of ideas between researchers, policy makers, and practitioners.


Practice Innovation

Our developmental theory and research on social-emotional development and child and youth mental health continuously informs the strategies we recommend to practitioners, clinicians, educators and the public. We offer a range of screening and assessment tools that can help you learn more about social-emotional development and mental health. Through data analysis and data visualization techniques, we construct social-emotional profiles that identify the strengths and needs of children and youth that can inform plans of care, interventions and teaching strategies. This enables practitioners, clinicians and educators to select developmentally tailored approaches for children and young people they work with.


Young People and Families

Children, adolescents, and families have access to our research findings that can help young people and caregivers understand and nurture social-emotional development and prevent and reduce mental illness. Based on research, we offer user-friendly fact sheets, community engagement events and information sharing outreach events.


Families who are interested in how we conduct our research also have the opportunity to participate in one of our many studies at the University of Toronto, Mississauga. We have different studies for children and young people of different ages. One visit typically lasts for about one hour and children generally have lots of fun playing our games and answering our questions. For young people, they will have an opportunity to share their perspective and thoughts. If you are interested in learning more about our research opportunities, please contact the SEDI Lab by completing  → this form.


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Training for Translational Scientists

We are committed to the principles of integrated knowledge translation that involve strong, synchronized partnerships with community organizations, policy makers, practitioners, families and young people. Collaborative partnerships with the community not only support the meaningful integration of child-development concepts and research into practice, but also enable practice wisdom to inform the research process. Our goal is to promote service excellence through the training of a new generation of leaders in translational science in academic and practice settings. We offer training curricula that tailor to the specific needs of research and practice stakeholders across different sectors. By offering an integrated suite of modules, our training aims to promote and foster an organizational culture that consistently strives to promote the systematic integration of empirically informed knowledge into practice.


Training for Undergraduate, Graduate and Post-Doctoral Students

We offer training opportunities for undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral students in translational science. Combined with training in child development research, students have an opportunity to participate in the co-creation of knowledge with community leaders, families and young people to translate and integrate their research into practice. Students also learn to appreciate the importance of practice wisdom in informing research design and implementation.


Training for Practitioners and Educators

For frontline service staff and educators, training modules focus on understanding child development concepts, research and data, with an emphasis on how it can be integrated into practice. To promote the synthesis of data into clinical decision-making, training modules also feature innovative data visualization tools to construct social-emotional profiles.


Training for Policy Makers, Senior Management Staff and Quality Assurance Professionals

For policy makers, senior management staff, and quality assurance professionals, training curricula focus on applying our child development research to understand, identify, and evaluate practice and policy strengths and needs in order to inform strategic and operational planning and resource allocation. Training will also discuss how to apply child development metrics to monitor outcomes and evaluate programs to improve services for children and families.




Strategic Planning and Consultation

Social-emotional development and child and youth mental health data collected by different sectors is an important source of information that can guide strategic and operational planning for government and organizations. To help organizations leverage this data in informing practice trends, service priority areas and identifying potential gaps in service, we offer support in understanding child and youth development and mental health outcome data. This service can help organizations make policy decisions that can directly link practice to child and adolescent development and mental health.





University of Toronto Mississauga