Autism Speaks Awards Prestigious Grant to Researchers at Trent University and Queen’s University


$115,891 Grant to Support Research into Bullying and Victimization in Adolescents with Special Education Needs by Trent-Queen’s Ph.D. Candidate

Friday, August 14, 2009, Peterborough

Autism Speaks, an organization in the United States dedicated to funding research on Autism Spectrum Disorders, has awarded Dr. James D. A. Parker from Trent University and Dr. Elizabeth Kelley from Queen’s University $115,891 for a two year collaborative project to investigate bullying behaviour and peer victimization in adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). 

Although parents frequently report that their children with ASD are bullied at school, virtually no scientific research has been conducted to address why this problem exists and what can be done to change it. This research project will involve the investigation of a number of specific factors that might be related to experiences of being bullied in adolescents with ASD attending junior high and high schools in the Peterborough, Kingston and Frontenac regions. Understanding the factors that predict adolescents’ experiences with being bullied will allow for the development of more effective interventions and prevention programs for these individuals.

Professor Parker holds the Canada Research Chair in Emotion and Health at Trent University, while Professor Kelley is a member of the Psychology Department at Queen's University. This award will provide support for Patricia Kloosterman, a graduate student in the Trent/Queen’s Graduate Program, to complete her Ph.D. in the area of bullying and victimization in adolescents with special education needs. Dr. Parker and Dr. Kelley are the sole Canadian researchers this year receiving such a prestigious award from Autism Speaks.


For more information regarding this research project, please contact:
Patricia Kloosterman, graduate student, Trent University, 705-927-5274 or