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Cynthia Maya Beristain, M.S.

Cynthia Maya Beristain, M.S. I am a doctoral student in the School and Clinical Child Psychology program at OISE/University of Toronto and a member of the College of Psychologists of Ontario with twelve years of clinical experience in school psychology. In my master’s program at the University of Southern Maine, I studied the relationship between maternal aspirations and adolescent female academic achievement and was involved in studies of silent reading fluency using curriculum-based measurements (CBM). In my clinical work, I conduct assessments, provide consultation to parents and teachers, and assist in the implementation of academic and behavioral interventions for students who struggle to meet the academic or social demands of school. At OISE, I have been involved in developing and making available information for a comprehensive research-into-practice website for knowledge mobilization in literacy education (litdiet.org).

My doctoral research, under the supervision of Dr. Judith Wiener aims to understand the friendships of adolescents with ADHD and explore the association between ADHD symptoms and the development, stability, and quality of adolescent friendships. My research also explores the role of other factors, such as social skills and co-existing mental health issues (e.g., anxiety, depression, conduct problems), on friendship development in adolescence. I am also interested in studying how adolescent friendships impact developmental outcomes such as social competence, mental health issues, and self-worth. This research is important because we know that having a close friendship can help alleviate stressful life events (e.g., peer rejection, family conflict) and because children without friends are at high risk for being victimized and for engaging in risky behaviour.