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Michael Boyle

Michael Boyle

Canada Research Chair in the Social Determinants of Child Health

Tier 1 - 2003-07-01 Renewed: 2010-07-01


Biography:

RESEARCH INVOLVES

Examining the adverse effects of socioeconomic status on children's health, and identifying the characteristics of families, communities and nations that diminish these effects. 

RESEARCH RELEVANCE

The research will provide insights for evidence-based policy decisions on the allocation of resources for children's health and development in Canada and abroad. 

GIVING KIDS A BETTER START

One in five children in Canada suffers from clinically significant behavioural and emotional problems. That was a key finding of the Ontario Child Health Study, which was carried out in 1983 and was the first large-scale observational study of children in families in Canada. For many researchers, clinicians and community organizations, an important way to reduce these problems is to understand the adverse effects of socioeconomic disadvantage-and then to develop policy and programs to offset them. 

Providing information to help guide decisions on allocating resources is occupying much of Michael Boyle's time as the Canada Research Chair in the Social Determinants of Child Health. He is analyzing outcomes for children who are participating in the Ontario Child Health Study as well as other large population-based child development studies. These analyses are quantifying the long-term adverse effects of socioeconomic status on children's health. They are also helping to identify the characteristics of families, communities and nations that mute those effects. 

Boyle hopes to conduct an international comparative study of child health and the impacts of social, economic and cultural forces on children and their families. He expects that his work will provide information that will help others advocate for the right of children to healthy lives. The results of his work will also guide decision makers in allocating Canada's foreign aid resources to children and families in the developing world. Finally, his research will help establish Canada as a world leader in the study of child health and development.